Amex’s Grand Slam in Innovative Marketing

Here in New York, the end of summer means the U.S. Open – the biggest, noisiest event in Grand Slam tennis. It ended earlier this week, but it isn’t too soon to reminisce. For folks getting off at the 7 train stop at Flushing Meadows, the first sign they saw welcomed New Yorkers and right after there was another sign that welcomed tourists, each of them with messaging from American Express.

As market research becomes more quantitative and analytical, marketingbecomes more about relationships, identity, and experience: how the product makes you feel is as important, if not more, than the product itself.  It’s product differentiation taken to the stratosphere.

We’ve developed a new customized research service here at ORC International called Innovation Monitor and it aims to boost an organization’s knowledge of the marketplace, competitors and trends. This is the challenge we hear most from our clients:  “We need a way to come up with better ideas to drive growth, to retain, to fight attrition and defection.”, “How do we stand out from the crowd?” and “We need a way to know which ideas to invest in, and which ones to back off of.” 

American Express is excellent at linking their brand to these major events and the experiences their customers and future customers have at these events. They’ve engaged folks in a way that makes them think about the brand as they think about the good time they had at the Open, for instance. Our Social Buzz data here at ORC shows a 92% positive sentiment in online mentions of the Amex brand, with words like “fun”, “fresh” and “impressed” floating around comments of it.

American Express’ sponsorship included new features in the official U.S. Open mobile application and a partnership with ESPN on a second-screen mobile Web initiative. There were free Pedi cabs at the gates at Flushing Meadows as long as you flashed your Amex Starwood Preferred Guest card. 

Once inside, Amex kiosks beckoned cardmembers with ear buds for radio play-by-play, clever wallet maps and a $50 gift for $150 in Amex receipts from the Open. The SPG booth had a surreal screen on which you could enter your email address to win a weekend getaway and even if you didn’t win, you got a cool iPhone cover. Did you know Amex cardmembers are three times more likely to own a smartphone than the general population?

Practically everywhere you look at these sporting events, the message is: Amex cardmembers are special. We’re offering these things because you are one of our members, not just another customer.

Want to make your members/customers feel special like Amex does? Ask us how!

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Categories: Financial Services, Sports

Author:Small Budget

Big Apple Small budget is a blog about living fashionably and frugally in the city that never sleeps.


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