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American Express


Red Lobster



United States Postal Service

Salvation Army

Time-Life Books

National Geographic


New York Yankees

Washington Redskins

Ruth's Chris Steak House

TJ Maxx

GoodYear Tires

Bell South

The Clean Store Challenge

“The holiday gift that keeps on giving”

Clean Store ChallengeThe Challenge

During my career every year, I was faced with the challenge of trying to figure out how I was going to increase year-over-year charge volume within the markets I managed.

I had a variety of options…

  1. I could cross my fingers and hope the economy performed well.
  2. I could create marketing campaigns that were so successful they shifted share or spending from other competitive products to American Express.
  3. I could try to acquire some of the big holdouts.
  4. I could work on improving Point-of-Purchase signage in order to influence customers when they were paying their bill to pull out American Express.

The Journey

One year when faced with the challenge I analyzed the point-of-purchase signage within the marketplace and determined there was a real opportunity for improvement. Our statistics indicated that charge volume within a merchant account would improve 20% Year-over-year if our logo in the form of a decal or sign was placed at the point-of-sale.

The Discovery

My team and I compiled a list of the merchants that currently did not display point-of-purchase materials and segmented these accounts by charge volume and industry category.

Interestingly, what we found was that the majority of these merchants were high-end merchants or merchants that were located in malls that prohibited the display of these materials.

The Solution

After quite a bit of brainstorming the solution we came up with was relatively simple.

We purchased inexpensive but elegant looking candy dishes and had our logo etched on the side of them. Then we purchased the Hershey kisses with the red and green wrappers and we personally delivered these as gifts to our clean store merchants thanking them for their business.

The Result

The clients thought it was a very nice gesture and prominently displayed these candy bowls next to their cash registers. They even refilled these bowls for years with their own candy.

This promotional effort produced an 18% lift in charge volume from establishments where the bowls were placed and generated millions of dollars in additional revenue for American Express in the Washington market.

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