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American Express
Target Market (Category and Brand Specific)
American Express is well known worldwide for its travel service charge cards and financial
service. The American Express products’ primary target market is the computer literate who
look for accessibility and convenience in payment services and can pay in full. American Express
Company targets consumers from college students to the average elite class who have high
earnings and savings. These customers also include companies across different industries.
These customers are often quality conscious and not price-conscious. The company divides its
customers into groups according to travel frequency, income, and spending habits (Bhasin,
2018). The strategy enables the firm to pinpoint loyal and more profitable segments.
Furthermore, the company introduced rewards programs and even new cards for the individual
segments. In the 1970s, American Express was able to identify appropriate target segments
that were likely to respond through a database system developed. It also used the system to
recruit merchants using actual consumer data to demonstrate American Express products’
capabilities. With the different brands, American express has to approach the various target
audiences differently but complementarily to ensure maximum results.
Value of Rewards Earned
Category Purchase or Usage Behavior
After developing the “Do you know me?” tagline in 1980, the number of consumers
increased significantly to 12 million. This was 40 percent of the older and successful company’s
market segment. High-end cards such as Gold and Platinum cards were issued to attract more
customers. These cards were used 50 percent more than the other regular cards. The average
purchase of the elite cards also increased by 150 percent from the standard cards. After
American Express introduced Optima and improved its marketing to students, young men, and
women, the card market also increased to 10 percent. Presently the consumers continue using
the American Express products because of some of the benefits they offer. For example, it
offers exclusive luxury services for those who pay their credit cards fully.
Demographic and Psychographic Characteristics
Companies use different demographics to target customers. The demographic characteristics
used by American Express consumer segmentation include income level, marital status,
occupation, and education level (Bhasin, 2018). American Express has classified its consumers
demographically. For example, the Black Card, an American Express product, is not available to
everyone. The product is only available to a very small and precise demographic. The black card
is depicted as a symbol that signifies a certain level of financial status and success. This kind of
segmentation has increased the brand’s value through its exclusivity. The company developed
the “Do you know me?” tagline to target successful, older, and affluent businessmen who travel
a lot. American Express ensures that clients with advanced spending and high income and pay
their credit card bills on time every month get cards that provide wide-ranging luxury services.
By segmenting the target audience using income, the company can identify the most profitable
American Express also classifies the consumers with their psychographic characteristics, which
entail why the consumer buys the product. For example, with the launching of the green card,
an eco-friendly card product, American Express classified its consumers on their motivations
and passion for the environment, animal rights, and climate change (“How AMEX Uses
Segmentation to Create the Right Foundation – All Things Marketing,” 2020). These consumers,
therefore, have an emotional connection to the green card brand. The gold card has also
depicted consumer buying behavior. The gold card inspires brand loyalty using the Membership
Rewards Program. Customers with these cards remain loyal to the company because of the
rewards they get. This depicts a psychographic characteristic since the consumers are classified
with a reason to stick to the brand. Therefore, the target market is segmented majorly by
income and brand loyalty.
Geographical Concentration
American Express limits its promotional campaign to a particular geographical area.
Upcoming, established artists and high-profile celebrities often attend the Art Basel, a weekend
event in South Florida to showcase their talents. American Express engages in providing highclass services such as private parties, complimentary food, and beauty services (“How AMEX
Uses Segmentation to Create the Right Foundation – All Things marketing,” 2020). American
Express applies this unusual event to classify their card clients by advertising their product to a
specific cluster that can significantly profit the company. American express limited its
promotional campaign in 1981 at an art festival in San Francisco. American express donated to
different charitable organizations each time the Bay Area cardholders used their cards and
encouraged them to spend more to support the noble cause.
Audience Size and Segmentation
Audience segmentation helps get a product in front of the customers that can benefit
from it the most. It also helps increase the sales value and the number of loyal customers.
American Express uses audience segmentation to strengthen the brand. American Express has a
large audience size because it is regarded as the 5th most popular financial service.
American Express market is typically segmented depending on the product type. The
points-driven segments are awarded high-quality and most profitable products. For example,
the Black Card is for those with a certain level of financial success that only a few people can
attain. For example, the Green Card is for those who have a connection to the environment and
animal rights. The American Express Centurion Black targeted customers with a higher salary,
and the blue card targeted the younger adults. The target audience also includes the
merchants. Partnership with merchants has helped in adding extra choices and point schemes.
American Express can identify the most profitable audience with a large audience size through
segmentation done through the product type.
Target Wants and Needs Relative To the Category
American Express can position its products and services to target its customers’ specific
wants and needs by dividing the market into segments. The target wants and needs have
changed with time due to the global economy and completion with MasterCard and Visa. The
target audience of American Express products may not be able to afford to pay in full every
month. The audience may want to target actual consumptions to pay down grounded on their
needs. Therefore, the company’s charge cards ensure one’s balance is characteristically due in
full every month and satisfies the target audience’s above needs.
Some consumers want utility and peace of mind to get the most out of every moment.
American Express has introduced a new advanced look and feel for their brand that aligns with
the target customers’ spirit and style. Redesigning the Green Card by bringing to life its new
features reflects how the cardholders live life today.
2. Consumer wants and needs
a. Target market (category and brand-specific):
i. Category purchase or usage behavior
ii. Demographic and psychographic characteristics
iii. Geographic concentration
b. Audience size and segmentation
i. How is market typically segmented? e.g., by product type, quality tiering,
ii. How big are these segments, where is the volume?
C. Target wants and needs relative to the category

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