Case study: American Express

Don’t write for Amex without it

0 min read, tagged in Consulting, Writing and in Brand & marketing.

With a rebrand on the cards, American Express needed a new voice. ​

They wanted to show their big-dreaming, go-getting customers they understand, respect, and back them. In a way that would be as relevant in Mumbai as in Manhattan, and as consistent in Durban as in Doha.​

Words that paint a thousand pictures

Amex customers share ambition, drive and a desire for a certain standard of living – as well as a potent sense of their own goals and dreams. We created a voice that puts those customers at the center by using linguistic tricks to paint specific, vivid details of what’s possible when American Express has their back. ​

So instead of telling them they’ve earned ‘enough points to go on an adventure’, we help them imagine sipping Horchata in Oaxaca, or searching the world for the best bibimbap. ​

And with guidelines and training full of tips that are easy to learn, apply and repeat, every Amex writer everywhere can become fluent in the new voice – whether they work in an ad agency or the compliance department.​

A voice that flexes and grows with the brand

The Amex voice needed to be malleable enough for different membership tiers and lines of business to adopt and adapt. ​

A spread of examples in the guidelines showed how the voice can shift from everyday shoppers to small business owners. While Centurion, the invitation-only ‘black’ card, got its own way to flex the voice to appeal to its high-flying clientele. ​

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