AmEx asks customers to embrace 'member since' date

Fifty years ago, American Express added the "member since" date to its credit cards. To mark the occasion, the company created an app allowing customers to share the year they became a member.

NEW YORK: Fifty years ago, American Express added the “member since” date to its credit cards. To mark the occasion, the company created an app allowing customers to share the year they became a member.

M Booth is supporting the initiative's PR efforts. The app was developed by marketing agency Alldayeveryday.

“We know card members seem to have this affinity for their member-since date; we wanted to figure out a way to use new-school tools and platforms to celebrate this milestone, along with AmEx's heritage and innovation,” said Mona Hamouly, the company's VP of social media communications. “We wanted to bring it to life in the digital age.”

Communications efforts are initially targeting the US market to gauge the audience's reaction, focusing on key metrics including positive engagement, advocacy, and sentiment. American Express is working with Alldayeveryday to rework the app for international markets such as Asia, South America, and Europe, where a launch is planned for early next year.

Approximately 10,000 consumers have used the app since the campaign's launch earlier this month, according to Hamouly. When the app is utilized, consumers get a badge on their Facebook timeline. Participants seem “excited” to share more than just their member-since year on the social network, Hamouly said.

“The app is only designed to ask you to share your member-since year with us, but we have gotten some of the most incredible stories, so we are starting to think about how we can repurpose these unsolicited testimonials,” she added. “We have people who got the card when they moved to New York and started this new life, or when they got married. One woman said she got the card the year she got married – since then she has ditched the husband, but kept the card.”

Aside from Facebook, AmEx has promoted the campaign on Twitter and using traditional outreach, such as issuing press releases. Hamouly added that the company may begin to feature the initiative in traditional marketing channels, as well.

As more people use the app, the company will create a map that highlights where the largest clusters of AmEx members reside.

Last month, American Express reported a 9.3% jump in third-quarter profit, as well as a 7.3% increase in cardholder spending to $236.2 billion in the third quarter. Revenue was up 5.6% to $8.3 billion, year-over-year.

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