HSBC believes a Londoner is a Londoner

HSBC Ad
HSBC Ad, seen at a London Railway Station, February 3, 2020

On January 31st, 2020, the UK formally withdrew from the EU, the latest marker in a journey that has seen so much divisive identity politics in the UK.

On February 3rd I saw this ad at one of the busiest London railway stations.

It struck me as powerful in several ways.

Since the Brexit referendum in mid-2016, of late the question “where are you from?” has increasingly become a very loaded one for many non-white Londoners, many of whom have had to get used to being told they will soon have to “go back to where you came from”. In short, it has got nasty here for many Londoners.

As someone who has travelled to over 70 countries, for decades I was used to HSBC advertising in airport and aircraft jetways in ways that showed they understood cultural diversity with the message that they stood out as a truly global bank. In the last year or two, their changing billboard campaigns in London have shown to this metropolis of 10 million people where they stand.

HSBC believes in the idea that everyone who makes their home in London to feel at home. A Londoner is a Londoner, at least as far as HSBC is concerned. If you agree with that, you may be more likely to bank with them. If you don’t, you won’t

I simply love this type of clarity in advertising that makes clear where a company stands from a standpoint of their human values.

“The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

Simon Sinek, from his famous TEX talk “Start with Why”

Now consider your company.

Are you clear on what you believe and then do you actively seek to do business with people who believe what you believe?


Also published on Medium.