HSBC Innovation Banking was launched at London Tech Week in June following HSBC’s acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank UK in March. What followed was a whirlwind journey to create and launch a global tech-focused banking brand in 100 days.
This year has been particularly challenging for businesses, as a result of the high interest rate environment and scarcer access to funding, which is placing unprecedented stress on the ecosystem. Against this backdrop, it was important to assert our role as a trusted partner to the innovation economy, reassure businesses and support them in their ambition to scale and grow.
We had to mobilise quickly with a team spanning individuals from HSBC and SVB UK (now HSBC Innovation Banking). We wanted to retain the aspects of culture, values and expertise that our clients knew and loved whilst leaning into our exciting future and journey with HSBC.
Our key takeaway: collaboration is key
As a client-centric bank, we knew we had to develop ideas in collaboration with the innovation ecosystem. Our first step was to create a focus group made up of our clients – investors, founders, influencers, across different sectors and stages.
This group played a crucial role, giving real-time feedback and sparking valuable ideas on the visual identity, and brand narrative, right through to the testing of the brand name.
Once testing with clients had taken place, we shifted focus to working closely with HSBC colleagues to bring the brand to life.
Our brand promise and identity
While building our brand promise, we looked at the role we currently played in the ecosystem and more importantly the role that we wanted to play moving forward. With the power of the HSBC network, we really wanted to push forward our impact and ambition towards our clients and the innovation economy at large.
Our brand promise is – igniting bold ideas that reshape our world. This captures our ability to combine deep expertise with dynamic agility as a trusted financial partner for the innovation economy. We believe it’s a position that emphasises our unrivalled experience, capability and genuine empathy at the heart of everything we do.
The prism is the central part of our visual identity and was developed to reflect the diverse and ever-changing landscape of the innovation economy. When you look through the different facets of a prism you see a multitude of different colours and perspectives, a visual representation of opportunities and possibilities.
It’s very similar to how the sector views us – a trusted financial partner who opens up connections for early to late-stage businesses, and across sectors, from biotech to AI and beyond.
What the future holds for HSBC Innovation Banking
Since the launch at London Tech Week, the brand has received overwhelmingly positive reactions from our clients and the ecosystem at large.
Going forward, our priorities are to establish and raise awareness of the brand across key markets, leveraging the power of the HSBC platform and global connections for our clients. It’s important to us that we continue to be seen supporting the innovation economy and our clients.
HSBC’s resources enable us to build on our already extensive client base of over 3,000 innovation businesses and funds, while also improving our capabilities to serve and connect founders and investors on a global level.
Our client focus group will play a crucial role in the future development of the brand, and we’ll continue to involve them in our decision-making. We’re looking to replicate this approach in other markets outside of the UK, as we believe co-creation is critical to our brand’s growth journey.
It’s an exciting time for us and our clients – we know bold ideas are dynamic and ever-changing, so it’s important that we’re flexible and innovative to match. Building a global business is all about ambition.
The success of that ambition depends on collaborating with people who can propel your vision forward, and we believe we have the infrastructure to continue to support our clients to grow across the UK and globally.
Arpit Gupta is the head of brand & corporate communications at HSBC Innovation Banking UK.
In paid partnership with HSBC Innovation Banking.