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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. ​

Since then, we've:

  • transcreated 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​
  • Simplified business banking’s terms and conditions (and made friends with compliance)​
  • rewritten hundreds of letters and emails, and simplified customer journeys – saving them £1.4m​
  • made job descriptions more inclusive, and onboarding materials more welcoming​
  • created guidelines to help sub-brands like HSBC Premier flex the tone​
  • written scripts for videos, call agents and chatbots​
  • evolved the tone of voice guidelines over time, like covering inclusive writing and aligning with the bank's new purpose.​

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