Dun & Bradstreet reborn as D&B

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Struggling to move from stodgy to futuristic, 160-year-old Dun & Bradstreet Corp. undertook a major rebranding late last month that touched its products, business segments and overall corporate identity.

The transformation of the business information provider—the company maintains a global database drawn from 64 million companies—starts with the company name, now D&B, and the addition of a tagline, "Decide with confidence.’’

Murray Hill, N.J.-based D&B is changing its branding to reflect trust, expertise and insight, said Steven Alesio, D&B senior VP. "We felt like this was the time to undertake this branding effort,’’ Alesio said, referring to the campaign, which broke October 30. The company’s last corporate identity revamp was in 1996.

D&B was still finalizing media plans as of Nov. 19. But decisions could come quickly, with print advertising appearing in undisclosed publications as early as today, D&B sources said.

An independent branding expert who has seen early elements of the campaign said D&B appears to be on the mark. The "Decide with confidence" tagline calls out its value proposition, said David Intrator, president of global brand management consultants Intrator & Partners, New York.

It’s a message that is particularly relevant at a time when staffs are being reduced and budgets are getting trimmed, said Intrator, whose company was not involved in the rebranding project.

"If the idea is to change old-line ways of thinking of Dun & Bradstreet, it is going to be effective,’’ he said.

New divisions, product names

In addition to addressing corporate identity, D&B divided its solutions group. Now the D&B E-Commerce Solutions segment will validate and authenticate Internet trading, while D&B Small Business Solutions will monitor financial accounts and provide sales leads.

Three new product names complete the broad branding effort: D&B Supplier Management Solutions will provide reliable sources for materials and services; D&B Sales and Marketing Solutions will analyze market opportunities, including sales lead generation; and branded D&B Risk Management Solutions will provide financial information, such as credit exposures and transaction risks—the touchstone of D&B’s business.

D&B did not disclose the budget of the "Decide with confidence’’ branding campaign. Two New York firms, advertising agency Hill/Holliday and FutureBrand Worldwide Inc., were involved in developing the advertising and corporate identity programs.

To date, D&B’s only publicized media buy has been to line up a season-long sponsorship with the New York Knicks for home games and home-game telecasts.

As luck would have it, the campaign’s Oct. 30 premiere had historic proportions, although not because of D&B’s new logo. That night in New York marked Michael Jordan’s return to the National Basketball Association as a member of the Washington Wizards. The New York Knicks beat the Wizards that night 93 to 91.

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