HSBC banks top spot in Top 30 Strongest Brands in Hong Kong

Date 2023-07-24

Global bank HSBC has landed the top spot in WPP global design agency Design Bridge and Partners and Kantar’s inaugural ranking of the Kantar BrandZ Top 30 Strongest Brands in Hong Kong. Measuring 129 brands across nine categories over a two-year period, the report is a definitive exercise in understanding Hong Kong’s most powerful brands.

The brand equity report reveals the strongest brands with the most cultural power and equity: those that build emotional connection with their audience, differentiate from competition, and mean the most to consumers.

HSBC, one of the largest banking and financial services institutions in the world, took the top spot, with data from the study indicating that HSBC is seen as ‘meaningfully different’ to its customers; it can also boast very high levels of brand salience in the financial market. HSBC taking the top spot can in part be attributed to a strategic emphasis on thought leadership. The business has driven the HSBC brand around its progressiveness, building resonance with the younger generation, as well as refreshing the bank’s Premier account proposition. The bank has also focused on increased proactivity in communicating about its products and services.

HSBC has tangible success metrics to point to as well: despite the universal impacts of the pandemic, inflationary pressures, high interest rates and the ongoing war, HSBC delivered improved returns for shareholders. Its 2022 results suggested the bank's steadfast pursuit of its strategic purpose of 'Opening up a World of Opportunity' is working, while continuing structural transformation means HSBC is in a stronger-than-ever position to serve the needs of its 39 million customers worldwide.

The brand has also put efforts into engaging younger generations, for example with its “Wealth A0” campaign featuring popular boy band Mirror, that encouraged millennials to take their first steps into investing. A collaboration with New World Development for the Digital Art Fair was also a bold move into the digital asset space. HSBC was the first bank to enter the metaverse.

Despite being shut off from the world during the Covid-19 pandemic, Hong Kong is still an international hub with globally connected brands. As one of HSBC’s campaigns stated, ‘Hong Kong is inspired by the world, and the world is also inspired by Hong Kong’. For Hong Kong that prizes its strong local identity and heritage coupled with an international outlook and reach, it follows that HSBC, a brand that so embodies these values, would resonate so highly.

“In an ever more complex world of tumultuous market forces and constantly evolving consumer wants and needs, HSBC shows how it’s done when it comes to the power of brand building. Investing in brand, while sometimes seen as something to dial down in uncertain times, has clearly paid off. The bank has prioritised a holistic focus on customer-centricity and ensuring that, internally, brand-building is seen as the responsibility of the entire organisation, not just the marketing department. HSBC taking the top spot in the rankings is a reflection of how the bank has elevated the role of brand and marketing within the organisation to truly deliver world class products, services and brand experience.”

— Hannah Duley, Managing Director at Design Bridge and Partners Hong Kong

View the findings from the BrandZ Top 30 Strongest Brands in Hong Kong Report.