How HSBC pursued a global rebranding program – and responded to a pandemic

HSBC, the financial-services provider, undertook a rebranding exercise that aimed to reflect its internal culture of being a diverse, international organization, while remaining locally relevant.

Three years ago, when Leanne Cutts signed on as group chief marketing officer at HSBC Holdings plc, the most formidable project on her desk was a global rebranding program.

Believing that “great creative takes its lead from culture,” she told a session on Lions Live, a digital-content platform run by Cannes Lions (a sister company of WARC), Cutts immediately realized the breadth of her assignment: London-based HSBC is the seventh-largest bank in the world and one of the largest financial-services providers in Europe.

“HSBC is a very diverse place,” she noted. “We’re in over 60 markets, with 40 million customers...

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