Going above
and beyond

Date: 2006-2007
Agency: OgilvyOne

Services: creative direction, visual design, experience strategy, user experience design, production.

In 2006 American Express were repositioning themselves as a challenger brand, with an emphasis on the added benefits of membership and customer service. My responsibility was to lead and oversee the redesign of American Express International sites (including the UK) to bring to life this new brand direction and redesign the customer digital experience.


 

The challenge

Declining audience share and a dated brand prompted American Express to reassess their offer. They moved to become a challenger brand. The bland and uninspiring experience on their site was transformed at concept stage to a brave, worldly aware and challenging one. Tone of voice was key to this metamorphosis. In testing, card members and prospects reacted very positively to the new, bold stance.


 

The big idea

Working with my copywriting partner to provide creative direction, we used the concept of ‘Above and Beyond’ to inform the development of ideas and themes for the future of American Express. Amex card members are demanding, expect more, take risks and have fun.

 

We amplified the extraordinariness of card members’ 'ordinary' lives and used stories to illustrate how Amex staff go above and beyond the call of duty to make a real difference, and add a touch of ‘VIP status’, to everyday experiences, something that the brand still uses in its communication to this day.

The design

The solution redesigned the website through implementation of a global CMS to reflect brand alignment, with simplified design components and language that could easily be updated and adapted quickly. The visual design elements repositioned the brand in a fresh confident manner, with clarity and reassurance paramount. Tone of voice was key to this metamorphosis, and we ensured all copy was revitalised and in line with the new brand direction. In testing and rollout, card members and prospects reacted very positively to the new, bold stance, and the redesign set the foundation for the brand for years to follow.

American Express

© James Deeley 2019

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