John Hayes is Chief Marketing Officer at American Express. Here he discusses the relevance of branding in today’s highly competitive and rapidly changing world of business. All the way through his discussion, Hayes pointed out that branding is paramount to success, not just for businesses and organizations but likewise for personal employment opportunities. John’s approach to the topic of branding was perfect for various students from all sorts of qualifications.
John Hayes centered on three primary topics: brand building, business re-invention, and consumer relationships.
- Brand Building
John Hayes started out his discussion with talking about the four principles he concentrates on while developing the AMEX brand. First, stay true to your values. Secondly, always focus on the service to others. Thirdly, understand the relevance of making a difference, an last, be sure you laugh. Exactly these four guidelines helped Hayes develop more than two hundred flourishing AMEX products and activities, such as Members Project, AMEX Open, ‘My Life, My Card, and the highly sought after Centurion Black Card.
- Business Re-invention
John Hayes said he feels that the world we are now living in is in the middle of a big revolution. Among other aspects, this revolution involves technological, economical, societal, and political changes. As a consequence of these rapidly evolving changes, we all need to be ready to leave our comfort zones. We really should be prepared to do a lot of things differently. To demonstrate his point, Hayes pointed out that from the top 100 businesses in the year1900, just 8 of them were still around in 2000. To be able to keep up with all the fast-paced and dynamic business developments, re-invention is key. Exactly this is what kept those eight businesses alive and still active among the top 100 businesses in 2000. American Express turns out to be a real model of re-invention. AMEX, as the company is known, set off in the freight forwarding business, and at some point shifted into the travel business. It took over a hundred years in the company’s existence, that it had re-invented itself and became the strong credit card brand it is today.
- Consumer Relationship
The primary center of every business enterprise is the people. If there is no consumer support, every business will go wrong, and people value relationships. If you find yourself in business, you need to understand that there is more than only transactions, everything is about consumer relationships. These consumer relationships are elementary to the success of marketing efforts. To set up solid relationships, trust is fundamental, states Hayes. This is most true in the financial business where companies deal with clients’ capital and personal data files. Trust appeals to people to establish and manage relations with your specific business.
Students’ response to Hayes’ speech was absolutely favorable and probably this event will be positioned as one Gabelli School of Business’ most important events of the year. The school was able to organize this event thanks to The Fordham University Entrepreneurship Society. All the way through the meeting, the secret to being successful turned out to be the most emphasized topic. The information that Hayes shared with his audience was extremely valuable. Hayes reminded the audience that as such, skills do not correlate to success, nor does intelligence. To be successful, curiosity and persistence are the essential factors, and we must always look for learning opportunities, or explore strategies we wouldn’t dare before. And regardless of what happens, we should always persist. There is no such thing as easy success, but you can achieve your goals if you continue to keep overcoming obstacles.