HSBC ‘Different Points of Value’

HSBC has been positioning itself as the “worldwide local bank” for a while now. They are a bank that takes pride in understanding the subtleties of cultural differences. Last year, they introduced a thought-provoking ad campaign illustrating how there are multiple perspectives on any given subject. HSBC tagged the campaign with a special URL,

The “Your Point of View” portal/microsite (above), and the
relatively large library of advertising materials it contains (below).

HSBC Brand Values: The Way We Are

The website serves as a gateway to the current campaign’s creative materials, where you are also invited to learn about HSBC’s brand values:

  • Perceptive — We will anticipate and meet the needs of our diverse customers around the world by using our ability to combine our global reach across markets and segments with local knowledge and expertise.
  • Progressive — We are committed to continuous improvement in quality, effectiveness and efficiency through team work.
  • Responsive — We will act quickly to ensure we meet and exceed our customers’ ever-changing expectations. Management at all levels will be hands-on, operating with a minimum of bureaucracy, giving guidance with wisdom and delegating with confidence.
  • Respectful — We will exercise corporate responsibility in our activities and we are committed to the welfare and development of our local communities. We are committed to complying with the letter and the spirit of all relevant laws and regulations in the various countries in which we are present. We will operate the Group prudently, exercising strict expense and credit discipline, and maintain strong capital and liquidity ratios to ensure no diminution in our external ratings. We value long term, ethical client relationships.
  • Fair — We will demonstrate the highest levels of integrity and put the Group’s interests ahead of the individual’s. We will treat customers, employees and suppliers fairly and objectively.

Key Questions:

  • When HSBC says “we will put the Group’s interests ahead of the individual’s,” (under “Fair”), what does that mean? If you were a customer or employee, how would you interpret that?
  • How does the creative work reflect HSBC’s brand values?

HSBC: Different Points of Value

HSBC’s advertising certainly reflects one brand value, and very much so — the first one, “Perceptive.” All the bank’s current advertising materials illustrate how the bank celebrates diverse cultures and customs of people around the world, and that “every individual has their own priorities and values, and that these form the basis of many important decisions,” as the bank puts it.

“A different point of view is simply the view from a place where you’re not.”

“Through our campaign, HSBC challenges people to address their own values and discover what drives and motivates them in their daily lives,” the bank says on its website. “And through this journey it is our belief that what we learn from one customer will help us to better serve another.”

Key Question: Assuming HSBC is successful at positioning itself as “a bank that understands different perspectives and local cultures,” how much does this resonate with the bank’s target audience? If you don’t need international banking expertise, what does HSBC’s positioning mean to you?

This dramatic and somewhat touching TV spot (circa 2008) tells a story of love
and tension between a lumberjack and his tree-hugging wife/girlfriend.

The following is a series of airport advertisements — smart media placement
if you’re targeting international business people, as HSBC is.

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