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American Express; A Look Into Social Marketing

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Autor:   •  May 5, 2011  •  2,850 Words (12 Pages)  •  838 Views

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American Express is a company with a lot of history that continues to excel in the Global financial market. From credit cards and travelers cheques to business finance management and social cause involvement, American Express handles worldwide business in a manner that is simply unmatched and unbeatable by other Global financial companies.

Currently American Express is the 15th most valuable brand in the world. Its worth is estimated at a staggering $20.87 billion. Founded in 1850 in Buffalo, New York by three men, Henry Wells, William Fargo, and John Butterfield, American Express became an official business. Soon after the announcement, the company moved to Manhattan, purchased a few small rise buildings and set up shop. Today the headquarters building is directly across from ground zero in downtown Manhattan and has been the official site of American Express since April 1986.

When considering the reach that American Express has to businesses and consumers, Globalization is an idea that comes to mind. As the global market continues to expand at its rapid rate, more offices are needed to fit the growing demand. American Express has set up global offices in many countries such as, Toronto, Canada, Brighton, England, UK offices in Sussex, the Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore and the Latin American & Caribbean division is located in Miami, FL. The alliance that �AMEX’ has as a global network stretches worldwide and is still in further development and expansion.

As you might remember back a year, AmEx was using a slogan for their advertising campaign called; “My Life. My Card.” Described as, “The theme, appearing in ads for American Express charge cards since November 2004, is being supplanted, beginning Monday, with a campaign that replaces a general, image-oriented approach with a specific, product-focused tack.” (Are You? 1) This campaign was semi-successful even though it came to an end a few months ago. In light of the new change it was time to launch a new advertising campaign. This campaign that is still running currently has been extremely successful. “The change is embodied by a rhetorical question, ''Are you a card member?'' -- Amex-speak for ''cardholder'' -- which is answered with demonstrations of what American Express believes, are the benefits of its charge cards.”(Are You? 1) The new question, Are you a card member has customers and potential customers asking themselves, are they? If not, some may question the statement or others might simply discard the whole idea all together.

When American Express asks consumers and businesses are you a card member? The people that like to or would like to identify themselves with the company feel that it is an easy process and that you have a sense of belonging and feeling like a human and not a statistic. Instead of telling consumers about your product, AmEx asks a question where one has to think and ask them the question to whether or not they are an existing card member and by doing so, being part of an вЂ?elite’ class of credit card holders. “The strategy is to convince consumers that there are meaningful advantages to carrying the green, gold, platinum and other colorful charge cards -- even if it means paying fees not assessed for the rival credit cards like Capital One, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.” (Are You? 1) Each credit card states a given credit limit and rewards classification status. For example, the platinum card which is gold and no has no credit limit also includes the best rewards program at American Express. The platinum card also has a $450 membership fee but the balance must be paid off in full each month. If the platinum card is not what you were looking for, AmEx has a card to best suit your needs. The green card is a preferred rewards card where the user earns points for rewards, can pay their balance off in full over time and carries an annual fee of $95. The color variation in their credit cards helps distinguish different levels of customers that are all card members.

Changing paths for a brief moment, American Express has one branch of its business that has done surprisingly well. Travelers Cheques are a staple in Amex’s business and put the business on the board as far as being a truly international company. Denominations in 1891 were as follows, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Today these denominations exist but also include higher value notes to suit their clientele’s wants and needs. At this current time American Express continues to be one of the leaders in the Travelers Cheques market. While on the subject of travel, when card members want to redeem their awards towards travel, the customer does not have to look very far. Reason being, Amex has set up their own travel agencies to deal with the customers every need and to increase profits due to the nature of providing this service internally within the business.

American Express’ great push for the preservation and promotion of Free Trade does nothing but help their business and promote a fair economy. In a Toronto conference, Vice President Harry Freeman discusses how Amex is praised for its conservation work with Free Trade and what the company has done to keep the train rolling. ”Amex was doing "the Lord's work," as one free trade coalition member put it, for larger rewards than the Canadian market. In speeches, Freeman and others explained that the deal with Canada would be a prototype for what American Express hoped to achieve around the globe.

"I think, particularly in financial services, the larger companies will be looking at what I would call a niche strategy, looking for niche here or a niche there to go into the Canadian market," Freeman told a U.S. congressional trade committee last year.

With 28 million card members on file, assets of $116 billion and business booming around the world, building a niche here and niche there appears to be working for American Express.” (What it wants 2)

Moving forward in time brings us to a point in advertising that has always seemed to work; using celebrities to advertise your company’s product and/or services. American Express has been using this technique for some time now but as of more recently, has been using the services of celebrity card members to speak on how their American Express card helps them in their life in many ways. Having the card be more than something tied to finances and more tied to life and the way each one of us lives it is one of the major selling points for the celebrity card members advertising campaign. For three decades,


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