While American Express has never shied away from highlighting the cachet its members can expect, the company has focused its more recent marketing efforts on redefining exclusivity to be more inclusive and appealing to a broader cross section of audiences.
Since the 2012 launch of “The Membership Effect” brand campaign, American Express has been underscoring its power to connect consumers and businesses to benefits, experiences, and possibilities that simplify their lives. In February of this year, “The Journey Never Stops” campaign profiled inspiring people on their paths to success and positioned American Express’ products and services as tools that enabled them to realize their dreams. Customer-focused efforts, like the newly revamped Amex Mobile app featuring Touch ID, serve as proof points for the company’s continued dedication to lifestyle simplifications and customer service.
While all of these efforts have contributed to American Express’ shift from traditional payment services to being a platform that facilitates commerce more broadly, the company is also continuing to democratize its position in the market. Earlier this year, it joined companies like AT&T, Macy’s, Rite Aid, and ExxonMobil to launch the first U.S.-based coalition loyalty program that rewards consumers, regardless of payment method. The program, called Plenti, is expected to benefit from American Express’ experience operating multi-partner global programs like PAYBACK, which manages coalition programs in Germany, Italy, Poland, India, and Mexico.
2015 has not been without notable challenges. The emergence of mobile wallet technologies like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay and the loss of partners like Costco and JetBlue have undoubtedly contributed to recent earnings slips.
However, looking ahead, American Express is creating new ways for people to experience the brand on its terms, and according to their lifestyles.