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Building a Brand to Build Trust

A new company with the highest standards

After Jules Kroll sold his premier corporate investigations firm, Kroll Associates, to insurance broker Marsh & McLennan, he turned his attention to the credit rating system. With the status quo of Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch Ratings in question after the subprime mortgage crisis, Kroll perceived an opening for a new company to bring meaningful change to investors.

Kroll Bond Ratings officially launched in January 2011 with the goal of bringing increased accountability to the financial markets through accurate, transparent credit ratings. The firm emphasizes ratings accuracy through the highest standards of due diligence, in-depth analysis with direct accountability to the investment community and new standards of risk assessment.

"Our claim of greater trustworthiness is based on vigorous due diligence, transparency of process, thoroughness of discovery, expert judgment and real-time surveillance," according to James Nadler, president and chief operating officer. "We are loyal to the legacy of the Kroll name, which is synonymous with the highest standards of professional research and factual accuracy."

A legacy to uphold. A future to claim.

In building a brand strategy for this challenger brand, Siegel+Gale urged Kroll to become the champion of the investor and aggressively assume thought leadership in the ratings industry. We took the firm's commitment to restore trust—the underpinning of the company's purpose—and built a brand promise that Kroll can boldly, credibly declare: OUR NAME IS ON THE LINE.

Such a powerful promise requires an equally strong and memorable visual identity. We designed an assertive logo, along with an upbeat yellow and black color scheme and simple, direct headlines to support it. An authentic, confident, provocative Brand Voice rings true across all media.

Causing a stir

A multimedia campaign launched the company on Bloomberg, targeting the investment community across print, radio broadcasts, mobile devices and the Bloomberg website. At heart, it all comes back to trust, as Jules Kroll says directly to the investment community in a 30-second spot:

"If they were in any other business, they'd be out of business. And because the Big 3 bond ratings agencies failed to sound the alarm, now a lot of other people are out of business. And that's outrageous. We're going to make it okay to trust a Triple-A again. And all the other bond ratings. Ask for a Kroll Bond Rating. Our name is on the line."

In just the first two weeks after launch, the campaign sparked considerable positive visibility with over 30 articles in business publications and numerous posts on websites and blogs. The 20 million+ impressions from the digital campaign on delivered 20 thousand+ directed visits to

But most important were the numerous calls leading to many new business opportunities. Evidently, the word on the street is that trust is making a comeback.

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