Marketing Case Study American Express “My Life My Card”
Between 2004 and 2007 American Express was running the My Life, My Card campaign. This campaign while well-liked was not effective and American Express has fallen from first in customer loyalty to 5th. American expressed switched its campaign in 2007 to the “Are you a card member?” American express is faced with the decision to continue switching campaigns and run the risk of confusing consumers about its positioning or run the risk of losing market share to competitors (Solomon, Marshall, & Stuart, 2011).
There seems to be an issue with American Express in not being able to reach its target market. There are a variety of reasons that this could be happening but before continuing to alter campaigns, the firm needs to analyze the market. It is possible that the target market has changed considerably and there is a need for a different form of advertising in order to reach the market.
Factors to Analyze
The retail credit card market is a large with many different segments. There are credit cards that are focused on all different socioeconomic brackets. American Express has always been a card that was geared for conservative and affluent spenders. This means that that this market segmentation would need to be analyzed to see if somehow the card has lost appeal to this consumer group.
Who is the target market for American Express? Historically, this market has been affluent consumers but with the changing global economy, price has become a large driver impacting the loss of market share. Consumers seem to desire lower annual costs and more flexible payment terms.
Buyer Decision Process
One of the primary drivers in the retail credit market is the buyer decision process (Nowlis, Dhar & Simonson, 2010). Because credit cards are competitive and have a high degree of substitution they are able to be marketed in many different ways that are conducive to different consumers based purchasing power. For many consumers, low interest rates and flexible terms mane the American Express unappealing. This buyer decision process could be the result of the global economic recession resulting in the need for more flexible payment terms.
AMEX is at a significant disadvantage in the credit market. The reluctance to change marketing strategies and campaigns has placed the firm in 5th place. The best recommendation is to maintain the AMEX brand and marketing campaign “Are you a card member.” However, in order to gain market share the company will need to expand its competencies and products into lower income markets. This recommendation seems to have a significant evidence. In 2011, AMEX began shifting its competencies and introducing new products.
While reinvention of an individual business segment holds promise for Amex, perhaps most crucial to lasting growth going forward is the company’s ability to shed its traditional reputation as the high-income earner’s card.
And executives at American Express have accepted that this type of revenue diversification is a pressing matter. Over the past few years, the company has introduced products that target financially underserved and lower-income households, in a strategic shift that demonstrates that the company is serious about making inroads with new customer bases (Valentino, 2013)...
Nowlis, S. M., Dhar, R., & Simonson, I. (2010).The effect of decision order on purchase quantity decisions. Retrieved from http://faculty.som.yale.edu/ravidhar/documents/TheEffectofDecisionOrderonPurchaseQu antityDecisions_000.pdf
Solomon, M.; Marshall, G.; Stuart, E. Marketing: Real People,Real Choices. Textbook. 7th edition. Pearson Prentice Hall. 2011. ISBN 978–0–13–217684–2
Valentino, A. (2013, March 5). American express targets the young, underbanked in bid to bolster bottom line. Retrieved from http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=217654
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