When the subprime mortgage crisis hit in 2008, well-respected corporate security expert Jules Kroll saw an opportunity for dramatic reform. The securities rating system—then dominated by a small handful of big players—was broken and seriously lacking in credibility and objectivity.
With this backdrop as inspiration, Kroll launched Kroll Bond Ratings—a new kind company to bring greater accuracy, accountability and trust to financial markets. The firm would provide accurate ratings through high standards of due diligence, in-depth analysis with direct accountability to the investment community, and timely credit ratings backed by new criteria of risk assessment.
In building a brand for this market challenger, our team created a powerful strategy around the Kroll name; built an emotional connection to investors by tapping into the firm’s commitment to meaningful change; and encouraged the firm to aggressively assume leadership in the ratings arena. Ultimately, we positioned Kroll as the champion of investors, with a clear, authentic and confident voice.
The new measure of accountability and transparency—the underpinning of the company’s purpose—was translated into a bold, external-facing tagline—“Our name is on the line.” A distinctive visual identity featured an assertive logo, an optimistic, bold yellow and black color scheme, and simple, direct headlines across all media platforms.
To launch the company, our team used a multi-media marketing and advertising campaign that targeted the investment community across print, radio, broadcast, Bloomberg’s website and mobile devices. In a series of 30-second television commercials we developed, Jules Kroll spoke directly to the investment community about his vision for Kroll as a leader in the industry, concluding with “Ask for a Kroll Bond Rating. Our name is on the line.”
In the first two weeks, the campaign sparked widespread positive visibility, earning more than twenty million impressions from the digital campaign alone.