My Favorite Brand
Write a 750- to 1,000-word paper in which you identify your favorite brand and explain why it is your favorite. In the paper you should do the following:
- Student: JuJu Ibal
- Textbook: Marketing
- Course: MKT 421 Week 1
Favorite Brand – Introduction
Engaging consumers in the modern business environment requires savvy branding efforts from companies in virtually every industry. My all time favorite brand is American Express (AMEX) for the ability to stand out in the highly competitive financial services sector. The following paper will analyze the brand and explain how effective branding has fostered financial success for stakeholders.
Reasons I’m Passionate about the AMEX Brand
I have been using AMEX for various financial services for the last 20 years. The first reasons I am passionate about the brand is for the company’s ability to adapt to trends in American culture. The company pioneered the rewards system for credit cards that allows people to earn cash pack and rewards dollars for their everyday purchases. This move makes the company stand out relative to its main competitors of Visa and MasterCard. While all competitors now offer similar programs, being the first to do so has greatly helped American Express build a loyal following. A second major reason for the choosing AMEX is the company’s commitment to customer services. When you purchase a product that is backed by the AMEX logo, you have confidence that there is strong customer service behind the scenes. Again, this is not something you would expect from other competitors in the financial services industry. Lastly, AMEX has made the wise choice to cater to the very wealthy by offering “black card”, which is only available to high net worth individuals. Many celebrities and professional athletes show off this card as status symbol. This creates pull from the middle and lower classes of society that have a strong desire to emulate the wealthy class.
Loyal Customer Relationships Across Different Groups
The financial services sector has a very broad customer base because virtually every average citizen requires some form of financial service. AMEX has managed to reach a very large class of people by offering a range of highly targeted products. For instance, it offers the bluebird program for low net worth individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for high credit limits. From there, it offer the gold and platinum cards for bulk for American consumers. These cards have credit limits ranging from 5K to 20K and are suitable for the average middle-class family with stable employment. Lastly, the company offers the black card to the wealthy class, or the 1% at it has become known today. The company has created a highly efficient system for individuals to use plastic credit cards as status symbols. This branding strategy has allowed AMEX to reach a wide audience, despite differences in purchasing power.
Comparison of Other Competitors
There are only two other competitors to AMEX that are worth mentioning – Visa and MasterCard. These two cards have slightly large availability rates among businesses because they offer lower transaction fees. However, the lower fees come at the cost of customer service and flexibility. The strong reputation of dedicated customer service provided by American Express is the primary component of the brand that trumps its competitors. In order to get around this, Visa trends to focus on its widespread acceptance with the tag line “Everywhere you want to be”. Likewise, MasterCard uses the tagline “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard”. This message focuses simply on the ability to use credit to buy goods that would otherwise be unaffordable.
In summary, American Express has created a unique brand message in a crowded financial services market. As long as the company continues its commitment to customer service I will continue to be a lower customer. The business model of AMEX serves as a good example for other companies looking to reach customers among multiple social classes.