Case Studies

ISE Case Study
Development of a Global Brand
  • Background: The ISE was the first all-electronic US options exchange beginning to trade in 2000. It was the 5th exchange with the lowest market share in 2001.
  • Approach: We first needed to explain internally at the ISE the nature and value of Branding. We then conducted a formal positioning study interviewing internal and external respondents on a 1:1 basis to begin the development of the initial Branding direction. In parallel we began an agency search and selected Publicis. We brought them in to complete the finalized positioning document from which the copy strategy was written. We wanted them to have ownership of our positioning versus viewing it simply as an assignment.
  • Results: The advertising campaign gave trading desks permission to trade at the ISE. It was benefit-oriented clearly articulating why ISE was superior in numerous ways to the entrenched, floor-based exchanges. The ISE became the world’s largest equity options exchange in less than 3 years. The initial campaign won four FCS awards including Best-of-Show competing against very large institutions. It utilized a graphic style from US, British and Russian poster art of the 1930s and 40s with original graphics. It was extended to campaigns for index options and the ISE Stock Exchange (which merged with Direct Edge).
LEAPS Case Study
Branding a New Generic Product
  • Background: The 1987 Market Crash halved options volume which only began to recover modestly by 1989 when the mini-crash occurred. This put more nails in the options coffin.
  • Approach: We reexamined and reanalyzed all market research and undertook extensive 1:1 research among 3 customer segments – former users, current users and non-users who had a portfolio of individual stock names. They were exposed to different product ideas and Marketing themes.
  • Analytics: Research showed that LEAPS appealed to stock investors, but not former or current users. BDG recommended that we brand the new product as new and not as options to avoid comparison to what was viewed as a very risky asset class. LEAPS was developed by BDG and chosen as the name and stood for Long-term Equity AnticiPation Securities. The name was then licensed to other options exchanges in order to become a new type of options traded by the industry.
  • Results: LEAPS became one of the most successful new options products, fueled CBOE/industry growth and, importantly, attracted non-users into the franchise. We positioned it as a stock replacement product: “Why buy stock when you can lease it?”