For the last eight years, I have been a member of YPO (Young Presidents Organization) which is considered the most prestigious global network for business leaders. Each year, our Orange County chapter hosts a President’s Retreat to all parts of the globe — and most of the time I pass on the opportunity citing some family or business conflict. But this year, with the setting of NYC, I decided to attend and am glad I did.
One of the highlights of the trip was our chapter’s opportunity to ring the closing bell on the NASDAQ. The experience was truly unique and I thought it was worthy of sharing. As you probably know, New York is home to a number of stock exchanges with the two most prominent being the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ. To me, these two organizations are at opposite ends of the spectrum in how their brands are positioned and experienced. Here’s an overview.
The NYSE is by far the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US $14.242 trillion as of Dec 2011. The NYSE is branded as the ‘Big Board’ and was founded in 1792 and is the most prestigious and closely watched stock market in the world. On the trading floor, the NYSE trades in a continuous auction format, where traders execute stock transactions on behalf of investors. Hollywood has famously illustrated the frenetic pace and incredible stress associated with the trading floor. Outside, the scene is completely different and serene, as the marble columned building is like a stately fortress, situated in the city’s conservative financial district on the famed Wall Street.
The NASDAQ is the second-largest stock exchange by market capitalization in the world and was founded in 1971 — 200 years after the NYSE. In direct contrast to the paper traders on the NYSE floor, the NASDAQ was introduced as the world’s first electronic stock market and was also the first to trade online, reflecting its technology heavy companies. Unlike the NYSE, there is no trading floor but rather all transactions are done in real time electronically and utilizes the NASDAQ tagline “the stock market for the next hundred years”. Expecting a furious pace, my experience at the NASDAQ was quite the opposite and well orchestrated leading up to the ringing of the closing bell (which too is electronic). Geographically positioned in Times Square to reflect its high tech companies (Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google), the NASDAQ building represents the brand quite well with its electronic façade and holds its own amongst a sea of competing electronic ads.
In summary, it’s no wonder why these two brands are the world’s largest stock exchanges, as both are well positioned to reflect their unique value proposition. Their distinctiveness is experienced at virtually every brand touchpoint. The NASDAQ did not disappoint in leveraging its innovative approach as they not only broadcast the entire YPO presentation on their building façade, but also each of our 30 members were photographed and images broadcast multiple times in Times Square. What a cool experience and a great memories. Now that’s a lasting impression.
Learn more about the author of this post, Ryan Rieches.