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Major US Credit Card Issuer

Competitive repositioning, business innovation, and broad-scale transformation in response to an economic downturn and industry disruption.

Capabilities Deployed: Brand, Strategy, 

Innovation, Insights, Culture

The Challenge

In the midst of an economic downturn and resultant industry sea change, this leading U.S. Credit Card Issuer was facing increasing regulatory restrictions, rapidly intensifying competition, product commoditization, dwindling margins, and widespread industry consolidation. The company needed to shift its focus to new and unfamiliar consumer segments, and develop a compelling competitive positioning, value proposition, and go-to-market strategy for those segments.

Our Solution

We organized a broad, senior client task force, and conducted internal visioning and ideation sessions to generate fresh, critical thinking and ensure broad buy-in and commitment to the insights, strategic decisions and outcomes of the initiative.  We conducted a deep-dive brand assessment, consumer needs assessment and competitive analysis utilizing both qualitative and quantitative research, and market intelligence. The research uncovered significant unmet emotional and functional needs among a large, middle-market consumer segment that was largely under-recognized, and under-served by virtually all financial service providers. We created a new, compelling brand positioning centered on a promise of “Respect & Recognition.” Our firm led the launch of the new positioning and strategy, including product and service innovation, marketing communications, enhanced customer service protocols, creative strategy, and an extensive internal rollout of the new brand positioning.

The Outcome

The company achieved a landmark revitalization, including renewed internal commitment and enthusiasm, and a revolutionary new business model for the industry. Our client established strong competitive differentiation and relevance through an array of new products, services, communications and customer experiences – initiatives that were tightly focused on delivering on the “Respect and Recognition” brand promise. By leveraging the new brand strategy and innovation framework, the company experienced an unprecedented 20% lift in direct mail response rates, as well as a significant improvement in the credit quality, profitability, and loyalty of new accounts booked.

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