The preferred American Express credit card for small businesses used to be called The Corporate Card. Entrepreneurs who had chosen to escape the various corporations they had worked for, had no real credit card dedicated to their world, something that just didn't sit well with us here at Darling.
While unaptly named, we discovered that the membership perks attached to this product were astonishingly good benefits. Yet, according to Jeremy Diamond's research, no member truly comprehended what the product could do for them. Diving deeper into the world of small business, we learned one more essential truth; no matter the trade, service or product offered, small businesses are always open.
Darling took the lengthy list of benefits tucked behind the product and placed it front and center, turning the perks into the actual new product. The name struck like lightning: OPEN. For the first time, Amex now had a product that wasn't made of plastic. In fact, we had created a vast small business network where businesses could find answers to their questions, benefits for support, and quick financial access. Now, all they needed was the key to 'open' these benefits; The American Express Business Card.
Now ahead of the pack, American Express, with Darling's help, had learned to celebrate one of their core audiences: the independent business community. On a national scale, American Express instantly began competing with the pre-existing closest relationships those small businesses had; their business banker. Within one month of the launch, JPMorgan Chase fired back with their own small business campaign and tried to close the gap on OPEN. You know you're doing something right when a national bank gets nervous enough to defend their territories.
Since its inception, OPEN has been Amex' core and most important business product line, consistently backed by a fierce and dedicated marketing budget. American Express added the OPEN logo to the back of their business cards, something they’d previously avoided with other initiatives; it simply reads: OPEN.