HSBC - Creating a powerful financial brand from a brand idea


When HSBC needed a single, compelling brand idea to bring together its operations across businesses and geographies, it turned for an answer to Lowe, the UK-headquartered agency network.

You can watch this brief film about the success of the idea that was developed out of this initial partnership and then expanded by JWT, the advertising agency.

Throughout the decade of the 2000s, the idea of communicating the importance of HSBC's local knowledge of its customers across its markets was emphasized using variations of the theme in advertising, online and in-branch branding. The approach was also a key part of the group's overall business strategy as it sought to expand into new markets.

A detailed case study written by executives at JWT, presents evidence of the benefit this communications strategy had on perceptions of the brand and on its business performance. This includes increased customer affinity to the brand and improved cut through of its advertising messages, as well as greater support and cohesion amongst staff and managers.

Using a variety of methods, the case study's authors estimate that the combination of HSBC's use of the "World's local bank" as both a brand idea and a business idea resulted in the generation of almost $70bn of incremental value to the business between 2002 and 2008.