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S&P Global

A Heritage-Based Brand Proposition, a Motivating EVP and a Best-in-Class Website Strengthens S&P Global’s Brand and Talent Recruitment

Our story starts with a new brand. It ends with S&P Global getting:

  • Brand positioning grounded in its heritage
  • Storylines befitting a global firm
  • A new employee value proposition informed by its core DNA
  • A dynamic careers website to attract and differentiate S&P Global talent 
  • An audacious approach to storytelling that shattered preconceived limits

What’s the Story Behind S&P Global? 

In 2016, McGraw Hill Financial rebranded to eliminate its long-standing association with education. dIt chose the name S&P Global in part to tap into the global brand equity and heritage of its nearly 160-year-old legacy company Standard & Poor’s.

As S&P Global’s rebrand took shape, however, leadership recognized that its brand story was missing a key element: the organization’s long track record of providing investors with reliable, accurate information about the markets so they can make decisions with conviction and confidence.

Using Brand Heritage To Ground New Positioning

S&P Global turned to History Factory to ground its positioning, “Essential intelligence,” and purpose, “Accelerating progress,” with stories from its heritage that would authentically position the organization in the market.

Through our research and discovery process, we began refining how to tell the modern S&P Global story, uncovering details about the founders of its legacy companies and stories of recent challenges and successes. Applying our storytelling and narrative methodology, we engaged employees across S&P Global’s footprint in London, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, Singapore, Mexico City and New York to help combine historical facts with contemporary experiences.

Using these first-hand stories and details, we were able to elevate S&P Global’s new positioning, catching the eye of the firm’s people team in the process.

A Framework for an Employee Value Proposition and a Plan for Compelling Storytelling

S&P Global’s people department had long wanted to develop an employee value proposition that would attract and retain the world’s best talent, but it struggled to articulate how to stand out from the ever-increasing competition. Partnering with the firm’s chief purpose officer and examining our previous research and brand positioning work, we saw strong similarities among the firm’s founders and subsequent generations of leaders. By highlighting the shared qualities of these entrepreneurs, History Factory created a framework for describing the S&P Global culture, spotlighting the traits of successful employees and enticing the kinds of people the firm wanted to attract. 

The new employee value proposition served as a guide for everything that followed. 

At the same time, the S&P Global website’s careers section needed an upgrade. Its iteration at the time didn’t speak to the world-class, worldwide talent pool that S&P Global wanted to attract—the pioneers and thinkers. With stock imagery and a generic design, it also wasn’t an accurate reflection of the organization’s visionary brand and diverse workforce.

We designed a bespoke, best-in-class careers webpage and laid out a strategy to record stories from S&P Global employees around the world to give prospective applicants a real sense of what it would be like to work for the firm.

“It was pretty dated, what we had. But we wanted it to be real. We wanted our real employees to share their real stories so that we could showcase them in a completely fresh way.”

Dimitra Manis, S&P Global EVP and Chief Purpose Officer

Adapting to the Unforeseeable

Just as we were packing our bags to meet and record employees face-to-face across the globe, we were grounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. We quickly adapted our strategy and launched a remote story capture program. This method combined our storytelling approach with people’s existing technology to allow our subjects to film themselves remotely from the comfort of their homes and neighborhoods.

Because participants in the remote story capture project were in control of their own recordings, the proverbial walls came down. There was a palpable personal touch that couldn’t have been replicated by a video crew, and as a result, the new website was rich with personality and better showcased S&P Global’s top-tier talent to entice others like them to apply.

“It’s a brilliant piece of work. I think the team has done a wonderful job equipping people to be doing it themselves, but also our employees, our people, rose to the occasion, and it’s been fantastic. I just love the rawness of their stories.”

Dimitra Manis, S&P Global EVP and Chief Purpose Officer

A Best-in-Class Careers Site Connected to the Brand’s Core

Ultimately, we translated the firm’s unique employee value proposition and positioning, grounded by its DNA, into a compelling careers website to attract and differentiate S&P Global talent

The results for the website in its first two weeks surpassed all expectations:

  • Visits to the site were 12 times higher than before the update
  • 27,000 sponsored ad views on LinkedIn
  • 8,000 organic feed views reported on LinkedIn

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