“Today we are a contender and not yet the champion. We aim to change that.”
--Sir John Bond, HSBC Holdings Group Chairman
“Our traditional modus operandi really was as the world’s local bank. We had a local customer base, local management, local deposits, local lending. We acknowledged that the world is not a homogenous place that could be micromanaged from several thousand miles away.”
--local manager (pg.146)
HSBC’s traditional strategy was to invest surplus profits from its dominant position in Hong Kong elsewhere to improve their performance
In 1998, HSBC overlaid “customer groups” upon its existing geographic organization which centralized and shared best practices in product development, management, and marketing
All transactions exceeding $50 million were submitted to London for same-day approval which required regulatory parameters. This differed from competitors who let local managers decide what to distribute
Frugality has always been a virtue at HSBC where all staff fly economy class, including Chairman Bond. Bond took the subway to work and encouraged staff to turn off office lights at night.
HSBC created a program called International Managers for young recruits which gave them insight into the company and placed a value on determination and hard work
After talks about possible decentralization, HSBC took a major turn around and formulated a new strategic plan. In 2002, HSBC rolled out the tagline “the world’s local bank” with $50 million spent on advertising.
“The global piece differentiated us, and the local piece made us relevant to local customers.”
HSBC is often cited as an example of successfully implementing brand consolidation strategies
In November, 1998, the company embarked on brand integration efforts by creating a single hexagonal shape brand.
According to industry experts, such brand strategies enabled HSBC to create a successful global brand without losing touch with local flavor and content.
Despite rebranding in 1999, the HSBC brand has become well-established and is considered particularly valuable within the industry.