Merging Exchanges Crowdsource Name Ideas

Deutsche Boerse and the New York Stock Exchange today launched a crowdsourcing initiative to decide on the name of the new, combined exchange. A nod to trendy creative techniques, the exercise also looks like a bid to calm concerns over whether the U.S. city will be dropped from the institution’s title.

With the assistance of marketing powerhouse Interbrand, the two companies are turning to their 6,000-strong combined workforces for ideas on what to call the joint organization, inviting them to submit potential monikers through digital suggestion boxes set up by D Boerse and NYSE Euronext, respectively.

”We’re starting with our employees,” Marisa Ricciardi, the global head of marketing at NYSE Euronext, said. “It’s an inside out approach.”

There are no strict parameters or caps on the number of submissions. Employees will be asked for submissions that honor the vision for the new entity, with the initiative hoping to produce suggestions that “reflect the blend of the various cultures, brands, countries, markets and . . . histories that will comprise our combined organization,” Ricciardi said.

But there’s no guarantee that the final decision will use an employee-sourced name, and the exercise could be read as a signal that it’s listening in the wake of controversy sparked by February’s news that, by the terms of the deal, the iconic Manhattan exchange had agreed to be bought by its Frankfurt equivalent.

The initial reaction to the announcement that the two entities plan to combine with D Boerse controlling 60 percent of the new exchange illustrated just what a political tinderbox the deal engenders. NYSE officials insisted it was a “merger of equals,” while the press widely declared it an acquisition. At least one powerful Empire State figure voiced concern about what the organization would call itself, arguing New York should lead the new name.

“NYSE is one of the most preeminent brands in the financial industry, and there is no reason it shouldn’t come first in the new exchange’s name,”

@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.