Tuesday, May 17

American Express Social Currency

I've been speaking a lot lately about how social media can transform a brand.  Either give it a voice for the first time, give it thought leadership status, or give its brand essence real meaning.

I love what American Express is doing.  The brand's Membership Rewards program has been around probably almost as long as Frequent Flyer Miles.  I personally have participated in the program year after year after year -- in fact I have about 100,000 points racked up again to be "spent."

In a truly integrated fashion, American Express is now re-inventing how we interact with the Membership Rewards program through social media.

Re-dubbed Social Currency, American Express is encouraging card members to share how they use their points by posting their stories on social media.  It's a unique way to encourage people to earn points by showing inspirational stories of how other people have bought merchandise or had cool experiences.

I even sent in a tweet about how I used my points to send my family to Hawaii to celebrate my son's 10th birthday!

There's also an American Express Social Currency app fueled by foursquare that allows users to check in to retail locations and tag the items they would like to purchase (or have already purchased) -- and then share that with friends.  I guess the idea is that if you save up enough points, you can buy the item using Social Currency.

The brand is staying fresh by using social media to re-tool an existing brand asset and then integrating social media throughout their marketing plan including television advertising, website, digital marketing, and even retail.

Using social media to transform a brand.

What's your experience?  Jim.


  1. I have thought about your comments on this since you first posted and tweeted this. It is a wonderful self-serving thing AMEX has created for consumers to tweet about what they have purchased with rewards points encouraging people to get an AMEX and earn points. I got a set of golf clubs with points a few years ago with points. It was awesome.

    But what would be really "social" would be if consumers could share their points with others and other organizations for them to use. Being truly shareable giving others a gift is the real benchmark for being social not just sharing stories. I think AMEX stopped short of being truly social.

  2. By and large, American Express cardmembers spend around 3X over the ones from MasterCard and 3.5X more than those of Visa. Rather than from loaning charges and spinning credit parities, American Express wins a large portion of its incomes from cardmember consumption and with business that they drive to traders. https://customercaretoll.com/listings/american-express-customer-support-service-toll-free-phone-number