“I think the brand name alone is not enough to distinguish the brand in the marketplace. What you really need is a powerful story that you bring to life and keep fresh. There are audiences that are so dispersed globally, that you need to find ways to engage different audiences in many different ways—from a trader to a government official.”
What role will Corporate Social Responsibility be playing in the brands going forward?
Corporate Social Responsibility is really part of our identity. Our role in the market is to encourage transparency, to set higher standards, to show integrity as well as governance and so it is really at the core of our business model. Improving financial capability and financial literacy, are really keys ways in which we can make a positive impact and we are seen to a large extent in the light.
Is Corporate Social Responsibility directly linked to this notion of financial literacy, and is this your articulation of that?
Improving financial literacy is a cornerstone, given who we are and the content we can bring to this discussion. NYSE Euronext is committed to financial capability efforts through both our Corporate Responsibility program and our philanthropic giving through our Foundation. In fact, our Foundation has three main focus areas including Financial Literacy, Economic Opportunity and Entrepreneurship. So we can have a significant impact on the community, on our people, on the planet. We believe the Exchange has a broad role to play given our rich history and connection to the capital markets.
What role do environmental aspects play for you, especially given that you operate with "data sinners" that obviously use a lot of electricity. Is environmental sustainability part of your strategy?
It absolutely is. Operating our business responsibly has always been a core part of our identity as I mentioned before – and this includes consideration of our impact on the environment. That is why our Facilities and CR team led the way in helping our company become the first global exchange group to go 100% carbon neutral , and simultaneously launching a new Corporate Environmental Policy. Also this year, they led a major solar initiative, with a 2,610-panel photovoltaic solar panel system installed on the roof of our data center located in the U.K. We are in the process of putting a similar system on the roof of our primary US data center located in NJ. We have also been systematically reporting our environmental performance and efforts to create a benchmark. For example, we actively participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project and we are proud to be able to say that for the second year in a row we have been named to their S&P 500 Leadership Index. We are committed to being a good corporate citizen and to leading our industry in areas of environmental sustainability.
How do you think the brand will continue to be a driver of differentiation from the competition?
A brand name alone is not enough to distinguish our company in the market place, despite the high awareness and strength of the New York Stock Exchange. What you really need is a powerful story that you have to bring to life and keep it fresh. There are audiences that are so dispersed globally, that you need to find ways to engage different audiences in many different ways. such as From a traders, to issuers, to government officiasl, our constituents need to be told our story and be are part of our story.
Are there specific things that you can point to?
We recently launched guerilla social and outdoor efforts, which targeted our trading community. So, trading firms in our key markets in New York and Chicago were paid a visit to the offices in summertime by an ice cream truck. It’s a creative way of communicating different products and services that we are offering to the trading community through the ice cream flavors served. That worked quite well, because of an extensive digital engagement to get peoples attention and bring them to the truck. That was fresh, new and just great - if people sit behind a desk on a beautiful summer day and an ice cream truck comes out and provides you with ice cream, flavors names after our products and services, you will pay attention.
Some of our community might think that this kind of tactic is not appropriate, but for those we would be focusing on more meaningful content. Each audience needs something different. Important is to know what works for whom!
What role does the brand play internally?
We know that brands are built from the inside out, so our employees are our strongest brand ambassadors. Our management recognizes that it is the people that form our company and therefore are our brand. We spend a significant amount of time to empower our employees through strong values and actionable behaviors to implement change within the organization. We recently launched a campaign, called "it happens here", which was focused on the key behaviors internally and how to bring those behaviors to life - such as innovation, collaboration, engaging clients and thinking globally.
What role does the digital world play for your brand?
Similar to Corporate Social Responsibility this is part of who we are - a very content-rich technology company at heart, even though we are one of the largest global exchange operators. It is part of our brand in terms of how we execute it and how it manifests itself. Our primary channel in 2011 was digital marketing and different forms of social engagement because our audiences are so wide spread globally around the world. In terms of the role that our brand plays in the digital world, our assets are our technology resources. By definition we bring markets to life, we bring companies public and we bring a trading community to life - through our technology.
What are the challenges for the next years? Maybe if you think in terms of the changing market place?
With or without a merger we need to balance our rich history as a provider of technology and exchange services, leveraging the NYSE brand equity that we now own for over 200 years, with the technology services oriented organization that we strive to be. The challenge is to add a third party like Deutsche Börse to the mix, with a rich history as well, with values internally and externally. The challenge is to find a ‘thread’ that connects all dots to create a story and a family of brands that are meaningful to the different audiences we collectively need to meet. And we will have to be doing it in an authentic way for each of our individual brands, cultures and markets.
ABOUT MARISA RICCIARDI
As the Global Head of Marketing & Brand for NYSE Euronext, Marisa Ricciardi is responsible for marketing strategy and initiatives that include advertising, digital marketing, internal brand engagement, corporate sponsorships, event management, and business unit product marketing (Global Derivatives, NYSE Technologies, Cash & Listings). From conception through production, her team leads the co-branded partnership effort for the issuer community and pre-IPO prospects by building customized integrated campaigns. She is also the steward of the company's brand.
Prior to the Exchange, Marisa held financial marketing roles at Morgan Stanley, Omnicom and Goldman Sachs. She received her BA in Marketing & Finance from Siena College, AAS in Design at Parsons and an MBA from Pace University. She sits on the Board of Per Scholas, a non-profit social venture, and the NYSE Euronext Foundation. Marisa was recently honored with a 'Marketer of the Year' award by The Internationalist Magazine.