Nasdaq spent 10 years creating advertising and marketing aimed at positioning itself as a global leader among financial markets. In support of this strategic initiative Nasdaq began a corporate wide design program to reflect its strength as a uniquely efficient, dynamic and automated marketplace.
Nasdaq was an up and comer. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was historically known to be the de facto stock market. But Nasdaq wanted to change this. Started in 1971 as the first automated marketplace, Nasdaq was designed to accommodate the smaller, mostly technology stocks that needed a more efficient marketplace. But it was now 1989 and Nasdaq had evolved as their listings grew to become major companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Intel and Apple. Nasdaq wanted to continue to grow and serve the biggest and best companies in the market. But Nasdaq was continually losing their larger listed companies to the NYSE (10% in the prior two years). They also wanted to be in a better position to attract the larger IPOs. Nasdaq decided it would invest heavily in marketing and advertising, a first for a major U.S. stock market.
A Convergence of Forces
The information revolution spawned by personal computers and the internet was taking hold. As a result, there was significant growth in investing by the general public. This contributed to the excitement and momentum of the time. In addition, to Nasdaq’s credit, with some key hires, they created a culture of fearless innovation within its marketing department.
The Nasdaq Identity
The initial effort centered around a marketing campaign to build awareness and understanding of Nasdaq. A television campaign touted Nasdaq as “The Stock Market for The Next 100 Years”. As part of the development of the campaign a corporate identity was needed. We created a new logo and identity system for Nasdaq. The Nasdaq logo was developed to embody a newer, more advanced stock market. It utilized a bright blue color with letterforms with square geometries inspired by the screen pixel. A distinctive element is the square used for the tail of the Q.
Part of the focus of developing the Nasdaq Identity was coming up with visuals for its communications. We started to feature the workstation screen used by traders in their marketing literature because it was one of the only visual elements that said something important about what Nasdaq does. This trading screen image was the beginning of creating a more concrete sense of Nasdaq for people.
The idea was that the data would have a visual identity. We would be delivering data under the Nasdaq brand. The market data graphics used in the delivery of real-time data on-screen became a large feature of the overall identity as branded graphics on pieces of communication. Sales literature targeting potential companies, retention initiatives, broker-dealer communications, and literature for the individual investor all embodied the idea of access to market data with these concrete visualizations.