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Case study: HSBC

A tone wasn't built in a day

0 min read, tagged in Consulting, Writing, Training and in Brand & marketing.

​When is a tone of voice not a tone of voice? When it's languishing in a virtual drawer, and no one knows how to use it. ​

HSBC knows that creating tone of voice guidelines is just the beginning​

Bringing that tone to life is a long and evolving journey. We've been working with them since 2015 to train their people (more than 54,000 at the last count), write best practice examples – and save them money along the way. ​

A worldwide partnership

Since then, we've translated their guidelines into six languages, working with local linguists to get the spirit of the tone right for each culture​. Trained their teams on four continents, in English, French and Spanish, on everything from tone of voice to covid comms​.

Applying their tone far and wide

From writing simplified business banking’s terms and conditions (and made friends with compliance) to rewriting hundreds of letters and emails, and creating simplified customer journeys – saving them £1.4m​! We've made job descriptions more inclusive, and onboarding materials more welcoming​. From creating guidelines to help sub-brands like HSBC Premier flex the tone​ to writing scripts for videos, call agents and chatbots​.

A long lasting relationship

Working together, we have evolved the tone of voice guidelines over time, like covering inclusive writing and aligning with the bank's new purpose.​ As the world changes, we are at their side to make sure their brand and tone of voice continues to speak to their customers.