American Express: Examining the strategies of a leading mass affluent brand

AMEX markets itself as a high-quality payment service brand, providing a bespoke experience to customers who meet its criteria. With a range of loyalty programs available on cards with premium price tags, AMEX is not only a brand that customers in the mass affluent category can use as a status symbol, it also has a tiered structure of premium cards to promote aspiration among existing card holders

Scope

  • Learn about American Express's business model and how it differs from those of its closest competitors.
  • Analyze American Express's brand positioning and how its marketing helps it portray an air of exclusivity.
  • Learn about how American Express uses loyalty programs to retain customers and shore up its long-term revenue streams.
  • Look at how possible changes to merchants fees could affect American Express.

Reasons to buy

What is American Express and how does it generate revenue?

What marketing strategies does American Express adopt to project an exclusive brand?

How does American Express use innovative loyalty schemes to retain customers?

How could rulings over merchants fees impact American Express's business?

Companies mentioned

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Table of Contents

OVERVIEW

Catalyst

Summary

AMERICAN EXPRESS TRADES ON EXCLUSIVITY & PRESTIGE TO GENERATE FEES

American Express card holders are both engaged and high-spending

American Express relies ...

OVERVIEW

Catalyst

Summary

AMERICAN EXPRESS TRADES ON EXCLUSIVITY & PRESTIGE TO GENERATE FEES

American Express card holders are both engaged and high-spending

American Express relies on interchange and annual fees for revenue

The merchant revenue stream has come under threat

American Express’s unique status plays into its bespoke image

MARKETING IS FOCUSED AND ON-MESSAGE

A large part of American Express’s appeal is based on exclusivity

Quality of service is at the forefront of American Express’s advertising

American Express makes use of social media to engage customers

AMERICAN EXPRESS’S LOYALTY PROGRAMS ARE GEARED TOWARDS RETENTION

Combining quality service & loyalty programs to retain custom

American Express uses merchant partnerships to provide value from its points

The Plenti loyalty coalition adds another layer of rewards for US card holders

American Express uses card-linked offers to personalize rewards

Data could be used to provide even greater value for card holders

CONCLUSIONS

Prestige supported by effective marketing and loyalty schemes engenders repeat custom but threats to fees exist

APPENDIX

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