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Common language.
Uncommon value.

Common language.
Uncommon value.

CUSIP Global Services

How do you market a required fee as a value-add service?

Formed in 1964, the Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures, now CUSIP® Global Services (CGS), is the trusted originator of interoperable identifiers for regulators, banks, vendors, exchanges and depositories. Its main perceived function is to originate codes required to clear and settle trades in North America (CUSIP, CINS, ISIN), as well as other markets.

Our challenge was to rebrand this venerable institution as a forward-thinking asset to the global securities marketplace, rather than a costly rubber-stamp.

CGS is a brand positioned between two other brands – the American Bankers Association (ABA), who owns CGS, and S&P Global Market Intelligence, who manages CGS on behalf of the ABA. This added a further layer of complication; not only did we need to get multiple stakeholder buy-in, we also had to develop a brand voice that would fit within S&P’s and the ABA’s evolving brand standards, while still standing on its own.

Our Contributions

  • Strategy
  • Content
  • Brand
  • Video
  • Web

A global provider of essential intelligence, strongly aligned with S&P’s brand promise, yet also independent of it.
Before: Seen as simply a “Bureau” operated by Standard & Poor’s
After: Truely global intelligence provider across global markets
Before: Seen as simply a “Bureau” operated by Standard & Poor’s
After: Truely global intelligence provider across global markets

Making standardization exciting

Tapping into the S&P brand approach, we firmly situated the identifiers as a value-add service through the “Common Language. Uncommon Value” grammatical construction, repeated in various iterations throughout the brand (“One Standard. Many Users.” “One Number. Innumerable Applications.” etc).

Transforming a “numbering institution” into a big-data powerhouse

We played up the intellectual capital and sophisticated technological processes powering CGS with a structuring narrative and visual thematic, “What’s Behind a CUSIP Number,” that highlighted the immense value CGS brings to the global securities marketplace.

Before: The old website no longer reflected the technologically advanced nature of CGS’s global offering
After: A modern, mobile-friendly website with an overhauled architecture was produced to highlight and communicate the true value CGS brings to global securities markets.