Full-service branding is our stock in trade

After a merger in 2013, KCG became one of the largest traders of U.S. equities in the world. They hired Thinkso to build their nascent brand into a robust marketing and communications program. Until KCG was acquired in 2017, we handled all of their high-profile print and digital work — including advertising, sales materials, event design, and corporate communications — as well as the company’s day-to-day marketing needs, which included e-blasts, newsletters, fact sheets, and much more. We collaborated closely with their marketing team of five to produce a large volume of high-quality work on fast-paced, efficient timelines.


The leadership of KCG had a bold vision in 2013: to develop a technology-driven trading firm, a company whose cutting-edge tools were better suited to meet the demands and structure of modern financial markets. With this new business model, a unique corporate personality, and a demonstrated commitment to ethics, KCG established from the beginning that they were different from any other company in financial services sector.


Because Thinkso was brought in early on, we were able to help the company’s leadership articulate their brand values, which we then translated into an extensive brand toolkit and institutionalized with an internal brand vision book.

From the get-go, KCG knew that a different kind of financial company would need a different kind of voice. We established an editorial tone that was informal yet intelligent, easy to understand yet substantive. This personal, jargon-free voice ensured that the company’s focus on technology would not leave clients feeling cold; it also helped KCG stand apart from the straitlaced competition.

Our visual approach brought cohesion to a vast array of communications vehicles across media, while still providing each of their three business lines with distinct graphic identities. With the same witty voice — and by sharing visual elements from the corporate toolkit — these offerings are recognizably KCG, yet different enough that clients aren’t numbed by repetitive templates and graphic “sameness” (as happens with so many large, cookie-cutter graphic systems).

“Thinkso functioned as a seamless extension of ​our internal marketing and corporate communications team. Because they understood our business, they were able to develop creative content that was both high-impact and highly effective.” Sophie Sohn, Chief Marketing Officer, KCG

Over the years, Thinkso built out this communications system to support every corner of KCG’s operations: sales and marketing materials, the website and e-blasts, annual reports and signature investor outreach, interior signage and environmental graphics at their offices, and motion graphics and live video. We helped KCG develop new recruiting programs and a system for distributing their thought-leadership program, ensuring that their brand fundamentals both guide and gird these efforts. We produced the marketing communications for their events; their flagship annual conference was named by Thinkso, and it now stands as one of the best in the industry. Throughout each of these projects, Thinkso was responsible for strategy, writing, design, and production.


KCG’s fresh, high-tech look paired with an unexpected, down-to-earth voice continues to impress today. Their clients are thrilled by the clarity of KCG’s materials and the engaging and accessible visuals. Employees rally around the strength of their unified identity and values. And KCG competes successfully against big tech companies for the best programmers and analysts.

By working so closely with Thinkso on the full scope of their communications work, KCG has ensured a consistency, depth, and sophistication for their brand that is unrivaled in the financial industry — and that is perfectly situated to help them grow into the future.

We wrote and designed a series of striking image ads that highlight KCG’s differentiating factors. These ads ran in print, outdoor, and digital venues.

We developed different but related looks for the various business groups within the firm’s brand architecture.

For Trading Services, we created a dynamic motion graphics video and eschewed the typical capabilities brochure content in favor of a marketing piece that crossed over into thought leadership. These demonstrated KCG’s trading prowess, rather than just talking about it.

In addition to the higher-profile videos and brochures, we wrote and designed KCG’s day-to-day sales materials.

During our four years as KCG’s agency of record, much of our work was delivered in digital form. In addition to several videos, we created interactive annual reports—like this sample from 2015 that took home an FCS Portfolio Awards gold medal. Likewise, in support of KCG’s recruiting efforts, we developed a custom app to draw in potential new hires by determining “how KCG” they were.

KCG had a vision for an annual client event that would be like nothing else in the industry. To help bring this vision to life, Thinkso created a unique name and identity for it, and each year gave it a new twist, with the theme centering on the city in which the event was held. Our work for UnConvention, or “UnCon,” as it came to be known, included website and app creation, environmental graphics, invitations, custom gifts, animation and video, and so much more, including naming each year's custom cocktails.

Thinkso designed branded environments that showcase the firm's unique design scheme and editorial voice. We provided a thread of continuity from office to office and reinforced the culture of the brand among employees. We included everything from fun turns of phrase, to 30-foot-high murals made of Ping-Pong balls, to a data visualization exhibit illustrating the thousands of events that take place within a single second of market activity.