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HSBC: The World’s Local Bank no more

In a major shift, HSBC has confirmed that it will gradually phase out its global brand strategy “The World’s Local Bank”, with all material to drop the tagline with immediate effect.

The strategy, confirmed by HSBC’s group head of advertising and marketing Andrea Newman, comes at a time of great change for the banking group.

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver warned in August that HSBC will cut up to 30,000 jobs around the world by 2013 and rethink its strategy in many markets globally.

In an interview, Newman said the decision to scrap “The World’s Local Bank” is to reflect its new strategy and “have a new conversation with our customers and the markets we operate in about the future.”

Newman added all advertising and marketing materials printed and rolled out this year will no longer have the tagline. Across its retail and airport portfolio, this will be a more gradual process given such a large re-branding exercise.

First launched in 2002, HSBC’s brand has been one of the great success stories of modern marketing, consistently named number one financial services brand by industry bodies.

In 2012 HSBC was named the world’s No 1 bank brand in Brand Finance’s 500 bank brands list.

On the Bank’s new approach, Newman said while there will be no tagline, the new campaign and brand positioning will highlight four aspects of HSBC’s strategy: its presence in growth markets and businesses, focus on markets where wealth is being created, emphasis on retail banking and global connectivity.

“Our global positioning is to be the world’s leading international bank.”

The new campaign has already launched in some markets, running in print and online since October 2011. A roll out of communications including TV and airports will continue throughout 2012.

JWT, HSBC’s lead advertising agency which has worked with HSBC since the appointment of the WPP group in 2004, is responsible for the new campaign.

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