HSBC rethinks strategy with wealth-based plan

LONDON - HSBC is to realign its marketing based on six sub-brands that will target consumers and businesses according to their level of wealth.

HSBC in strategy rethink
HSBC in strategy rethink

The shift is part of a wider brand-strategy overhaul initiated by the bank's group head of marketing Tracy Britton, using WPP's teamHSBC agencies JWT and Fitch.

The fresh approach, based on the concept ‘HSBC helps you unlock the world's potential', will be launched in the next few weeks. However,  the financial-services brand's long-running strapline, ‘The world's local bank', will not be changed.

The segmentation strategy is intended to help the brand  target its communications.

Four of the sub-brands will be consumer-facing. Of these, HSBC Private Bank was revamped last year, while the visual identity of HSBC Premier, which was launched in 2007, will be refreshed this week.

HSBC Advance, a current account targeting the ‘emerging mass affluent' sector of young professionals, who have been identified as potential future Premier customers, was launched last week.

The product, which carries a £12.95 monthly subscription charge, includes services such as travel insurance, roadside breakdown recovery, and ID theft assistance. It replaced the similar HSBC Plus account.

Details of the fourth consumer sub-brand have yet to be revealed. However, Britton said it would further enhance HSBC's positioning around ‘relationship rather than transaction-based banking'; it will be rolled out later this year.

The bank's business-focused offering will centre on two products: HSBC Corporate, aimed at firms with a turnover of more than £25m, and HSBC Business, for SMEs.

Britton said it was important for all of HSBC's divisions to work to a single ‘over-arching idea' to ensure that each proposition fed into the primary HSBC brand. The ‘unlock the world's potential' positioning will be supported by a global ad campaign created by JWT.

Britton was promoted to her role last March, having been in charge of HSBC's North American marketing. She replaced Chris Clark, who is now head of customer experience at HSBC.

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