The analysis results are summarised in Table 2.
HSBC, as the biggest bank in the group, would want to stay in the lead, even widen it by increasing its customers, so the ad campaign would reflect a strategy to accomplish such, using the tagline "The World's Local Bank" to communicate the bank's credentials and highlight its expertise to give customers what they want. Striking images that generate opposite sentiments allow its advertisements to emphasise HSBC's knowledge of customers' intimate details, sending the message that the bank knows what they want. This is based on the recognition that each person may see the same thing in different ways because each one is unique. Emphasising its knowledge of different cultures where the bank operates, HSBC shows that it retains a local touch, appealing to customers to trust the bank.
Gaining the customer's trust is important because the bank is a repository of something of value to the customer's present and future: wealth. The bank has to look trustworthy, competent, but daring. HSBC's recent change to the "What's Your Point of View" campaign relies on customer-generated content to extend and reinforce its previous message in a way that is consistent with the assumption that in a world increasing in sameness, customers are tired of the same things and are looking for something new, and that being new and different creates the potential to discover new experiences that could make the customer rich in their humanity. Associating the knowledge of other cultures with personal growth, HSBC sends the message that its familiarity with the unique, the unexpected, diversity and uncertainty is a quality that helps the bank grow the customer's wealth.
The bank's consistent use of "The World's Local Bank" and the single, unified, and easily recognisable global brand represented by the red and white hexagon logo reveals HSBC's core marketing strategy, which is to make the bank the preferred choice for every customer, retaining what they have and encouraging potential customers to give HSBC a try.
HBOS: Always Giving You Extra
Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) is playing catch up with HSBC and would want to distance itself from its Scottish cousin, the Royal Bank of Scotland. As can be seen from Table 1, HBOS is not as profitable as RBS, so it would design a marketing strategy that would allow it to get closer to HSBC and make it more profitable than RBS. This means increasing its customer base and revenues, and finding a way to get more profits out of each. HBOS does this uniquely, using its staff - colleagues as the bank calls them - to sell products in print and TV ads. For years, HBOS has been running singing auditions amongst its back office and front line colleagues to choose a "Star Colleague" to appear in their ads.
Behind such a marketing strategy are two messages HBOS wants to send. First, that the bank has a "human" touch, that its people are extra special and possess an X-factor (playing on the bank's logo) that makes them go to extraordinary lengths for their customers. Second, building on this human and personal connection makes it easier to cross-sell other products and services. The first brings in the customers, whilst the second brings in the profits because as Reicheld (1994) argued, increasing customer loyalty can