You may know HSBC's brand-building efforts from walking through airports. The bank's quirky graphics and cryptic captions catch your eye while you tromp to and from planes. In recent months the bank has invested in a dramatic endorsement of local values – and the bank's ability to embrace and respond to them – and benefit from their variety.
Is this true? Can a bank value values? Can it not? Is this stance sheer hypocrisy coming from the octopus that gobbled up local banks around the world and obliterated their quaint local names? The head spins.
I refrain from opining at length and refer you to the excellent financial brands website run by Jeffry Pilcher, who comments here from time to time: http://thefinancialbrand.com/2009/07/06/hsbc-brand/
I am tempted to condemn this stuff as overweening pretense. But gee, it's so beautifully done and reassuringly humanistic. I might run out and find an HSBC branch and festoon it with emblems of my own values – a photo of Alan Siegel, defaced Merrill Lynch logo, quotation from Herb Schmertz and, from my raggedy garden, the last rose of summer.