Case study: HSBC
A tone that’s intelligent and inclusive
It was time for a spring clean
HSBC approached us to refresh their tone of voice guidelines after a decade of use around the world. They were happy with the core principles, but wanted us to:
- show them how to dial up humour and warmth
- test how the tone was flexing for global audiences
- audit their writing for inclusivity and add in extra guidance
Signed off by the people who matter: readers
This project was unusual because we had access to the bank’s insights team, who helped us test the new writing with real customers. Thankfully, readers told us they preferred the newest version of the tone unanimously, across all the territories we surveyed.
The new guidelines are more concise and easier to use, with new content on inclusive language: including writing for neurodiverse readers, working with global audiences, and avoiding gendered or coded language.