It's all about the marketshare!
Z06Biker wrote:This is a great explanation. I may be particularly partial to it because it involves some wonderful car analogies. I'm also guessing that you, CC Deville (Caddy owner?), must either be a car nut or in the car business...
Anyway, back to the original topic, I don't think Amex has watered-down their brand at all. They're still the largest credit card issuer by spend-volume, presumably as a result of their targeting the more affluent segment of the credit-using population (or so they claim). Of course they have to offer lower-end products to the masses; Audi, Mercedes and BMW do it with the A3, CLA-class and 1-series, respectively. Tag Hauer, Rolex and Omega have sub-$5K watches. Ralph Lauren, Georgio Armani and Louis Vuitton all have "affordable" as well as stratospherically-priced clothing lines. And if you're an audiophile, marques like Lexicon, Mark Levinson, Krell and McIntosh likewise offer products geared toward increasing their market share amonst the "common folk." It's business sense. Amex still has some of the top customer service; the best integration/interfacing with social media apps like Four Square, Facebook, Twitter and Trip Advisor; and have the coolest looking mascot by far!
Besides, when the Oracle of Omaha owns 12-13% of your company -- the largest stake of anything he owns -- you must be doing something right.