As a pioneer in electronic stock trading, Instinet had been setting the pace for innovation in the industry for nearly five decades. With new opportunities, business objectives, and competitive challenges, it was time to revitalize the brand — and remind the marketplace of Instinet’s exceptional vision and value. Instinet’s new CMO brought in Thinkso to develop and implement a strategic, end-to-end brand overhaul with a new visual identity, solutions architecture, messaging, and editorial voice. The new creative system gave Instinet an energizing, modern edge that underscored its continued relevance, leadership, and unique way of doing business in an era of exceptional change — and exceptional opportunity — in the financial markets.
Instinet was the “original fintech,” having created the first electronic securities trading network. And with a long history of fundamental innovations, it had become a leading global agency trading firm. Instinet had always placed itself at the forefront of change in its industry — and the changes had been coming fast in the electronic markets. To help them stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace, they needed a brand and message to celebrate their vision in shaping the markets, and to promote the fundamental benefits they provide for their clients every day.
Energized by the new marketing leadership and inspired by new opportunities in Instinet’s business, Thinkso set out to capture the company’s history and culture of innovation — and its continued commitment to pushing the industry and the markets forward. Our strategy focused on articulating the fundamental essence of Instinet’s value in a crowded marketplace: a combination of uncompromising technical excellence and continuous innovation that differentiates Instinet from its competitors. This balance of practical value and strategic vision became the thematic backbone of a dynamic new look, message, and voice.
We evolved the logotype and other key brand assets to keep a connection to the established brand. This included redesigning and repurposing the chevron shapes that were integral to the legacy logotype and keeping the distinctive red and black-based color template. At the same time, we sought to develop a more energetic and unique look to capture Instinet’s personality — a stylish, clean, and thoughtful brand system and architecture to support and enhance its unique market position.
We also knew that a more direct, authentic, and fresh voice was just as important as a more up-to-date and energetic look. We recommended clear, jargon-free language and a more confident tone, with room to be edgy or humorous when it fit the audience and the message.
Foremost, Instinet’s new brand sends a clear signal to its client base, competitors, and the industry at large that the firm is optimistic and stronger than ever and thriving as it enters its sixth decade as a leading global trading firm.
With its more distinctive brand, Instinet can increase opportunities to grow its business and market reach with a coordinated message across its service areas and solution sets. In particular, a streamlined brand architecture provides a clearer view of what Instinet thinks, how it works, what it delivers, and how its clients benefit.
Thinkso’s work on Instinet’s new brand identity was recognized with a silver medal at the 2018 Financial Communications Society Portfolio Awards.