This case describes a unique opportunity for one of the largest financial brand names in the world, American Express, whose leaders have demonstrated a knack for identifying obscure market niches. The rapid success of Green Dot has drawn attention to American Express and creates an interesting opportunity to explore the dynamics within a company attempting to diversify its revenue stream and to discover a long-term strategy.
This case begins with the birth of Enterprise Growth. The CEO of American Express, Kenneth Chenault, named Dan Schulman to lead the group, and stated, “the Enterprise Growth group is designed to extend our leadership into the world of alternative payments and to create new fee-based revenue streams for the post-recession environment.” Other leaders include Chokshi as the president and Wright as the head of the product development. The case then delves into the American Express’s primary and traditional business model, the model of exclusion for the affluent consumers. The leadership team, competitive landscape, history of prepaid products, the target customer segments, and marketing efforts are presented to justify why American Express wants to serve the unbanked and the underbanked. Financial records are also included, so that an assessment of the company’s performance and capital structure can be conducted.
Respond to these questions in the discussion forum:
1. Define American Express’s overall business-level strategy. Does Bank 2.0 fit into American Express’s overall business-level strategy?
2. How does Bank 2.0 stand up against the competitors in the industry?
3. What insights does a SWOT analysis reveal about how Bank 2.0 should be positioned in the future?
4. Integrate the results of the analysis into recommendations for growing the business and combatting competitive pressures to maximize performance.
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