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Amex Recommends

Being an American Express Card Member is not only a luxury but also an accomplishment. For decades, the American Express brand has been touted by celebrities and on television. While the consumer gets a high throwing down their metal Platinum Card out to dinner with friends, a small business merchant wasn't always able to share the same thrill. American Express card suppression is a common practice in the small business sector. In a parity effort, they have reframed accepting Amex with multiple value propistions—one being Card Member Recommendations


Experience Designer

Project Co-lead


ERGO Interactive

American Express


April–June 2018

(15 weeks)


See the Value in Accepting American Express

Many small business owners suppress American Express Card acceptance for various reasons and some do not see what's in it for them. There has been a huge effort to create value propositions for these businesses like effortless payments, streamlined disputes, signs and supplies, and 24/7 access. In addition, American Express has introduced Amex Recommends—a feature that recommends businesses to Card Members in their email, their online account, and on the Shop Small Map®.


Small Business Owners

Small business owners have a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. Some are past business owners, while others are completely new to entrepreneurship. Some have a stronghold on their financials, while others are more creative thinkers. But, the common thread is that all small business owners need to plan and track their marketing efforts if they want to be successful. American Express accepting merchants are offered valuable marketing resources in return.



Build a Relationship

A brand element called The Relationship Device (or RD) is a graphic element that is used repeatedly across American Express platform communications. This asset symbolizes the relationship between American Express and Card Members, merchants, and business owners. The hand-drawn aesthetic of the RD is used as a theme throughout the video, to convey the reciprocal relationship between American Express and small businesses.


You may view the initial storyboard sketches by clicking through the gallery below:

An example of the RD in use and the initial storyboard for the video


The Powerful Backing of
American Express

While small business owners are taking care of their customers, American Express offers a valuable tool to get more of them. American Express recommends small businesses to Card Members who are more likely to spend with them. Over 15 million people received these recommendations on where to spend in 2017 alone. The video educates the merchant about this tool and leaves them with a call to action to visit a landing page with other business solutions they provide.

The final video used in email marketing and ad placements

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