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American Express continues to attempt to expand its customer base, while at the same time trying to keep its reputation as a card of status. Its successful marketing tactics in the United States compared to the slow expansion into markets abroad show its lack of consideration of the differences of these markets. By preparing a more decisive plan as to what type of consumers to target and what products to push in each of its market areas, American Express could have a much greater success with foreign expansion.
American Express has been known as a commodity to most business travelers. In order to build its customer base, other consumers need to see the card as an indispensable convenience in their lives. American Express offers convenient methods to obtain account information, pay bills, find discounted products, and even make travel plans via the Internet. The Internet site offers these options, as well as other services, such as on- line help and assistance for small businesses. American Express realizes the need for many consumers to save time and money, but to still feel important and respected. The ingenuity and thought put into the services offered on the web site shows that American Express is genuinely concerned with the satisfaction of its customers.
American Express has always been known for its benefits to travelers. Some of the new travel discounts; such as the “Bahamas Getaway” packages offer significant discounts for planning a vacation in the Bahamas through a travel agent. The catch is that one must charge it on the American Express card to get the discounts. Coupon books that offer discounts at many shops, restaurants and attractions are given to those who buy a package. Over $11 million in “Bahama Getaway” packages were sold in 1999. Other getaway packages are available to consumers all over the world. American Express has successfully used this marketing strategy, as it realized that consumers want an opportunity to enjoy an exotic vacation, while at the same time, getting value for their dollar. Saving money is important to most consumers. Once again, American Express aims to please its customers.
With these successful ventures, it is difficult to imagine that American Express is struggling in many parts of the world.
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American Express has developed several market areas to increase consumers’ usage of their card. With more consideration of the needs of merchants and consumers in each of these markets, American Express may be able to better expand its presence in the foreign market. With planning and analysis of what has worked in other markets, as well as what has worked for the competition in each market, American Express could build its merchant and customer bases worldwide.
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