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    Monday, September 03, 2007

    Rewards: US OPEN

    Citibank pretty much upped the game years ago with its reward lifestyle positioning. American Express has been one to quckly follow suit (despite it wanting to be an originator, you arent). They have created some authentic claims though evident in my visit to the US Open yesterday. Upon showing your card you (and your party) recieve a wireless radio to listen to the matches, which also turns into a normally functioning radio for sporting events after the match is said and done. Brilliant! You can also "borrow" a wireless lcd tv to watch every match while on the premises as well. AE has stepped up its marketing and communications over the years to position its simple credit card, as giving insider access to events and rewards. While everyone talks rewards, AE makes it come true in real life experiences. Enhancing events makes every brand-member worthy and part of a greater experience. The best part was not needing 10,000 points or the black diamond magenta card. This sorta brushes against the whole brand is a utility thing everyone seems to kick around gloriously. How does a brand's functions affect your head next to your actions. In my case, it created a richer and more meaningful experience. It gets me asking why arent more brands creating reward type relationships with consumers. How can they reward patronship beyond the core product? What makes AE so outstanding is not being linear with X being given for Y, such as points. Reward is by definition, something special or extra. If frequency or amount must be relied upon to create a relationship, consumers feel 'used' by the system. Giving back outside the core product or with typical "rewards naturally extends the brand and develops a stronger consumer relationship, setting the brand up for value outside of its core, creating a potentially longer lasting and more robust brand.




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