Total : An investment case with a human face

Illustrated private investor profiles bring the advantages of share ownership to life

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The feature

French energy group Total has an ‘Individual Shareholders’ area in the Investors section of its corporate website. This includes a page titled ‘Individual shareholders explain why they invested in Total’.
The page includes four testimonials from private investors, each accompanied by an illustrated portrait of the investor, plus their abbreviated name – eg ‘Jacques C’. 
The testimonials emphasise the length of each investor’s shareholding, as well as the advantages of Total as an investment. 
The bottom of the page features an illustrated portrait of Total’s chief financial officer, and a quote from him on the ‘great importance’ of the company’s relationships with both individual and institutional investors.

The takeaway

Profiles are widely used in Careers sections of corporate websites to ‘sell’ a company to jobseekers. They’re rarer in investor relations sections.
Total’s investor profiles have two benefits. First, they bring to life the company’s investment case to potential individual shareholders. Second, they send the message to existing shareholders that they are important to Total – and part of a broad and longstanding community.
As we pointed out in a previous BC Tip during 2014, other companies, such as L’Oréal, have produced investor profiles in video format. Total’s magazine-style approach shows how such profiles can be also effective without the need to invest in sophisticated audiovisuals.
First published 24 September, 2018
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