Black Day for Faux Black Card
There is a near-mythical titanium card, usually called The Black Card, issued by invitation by American Express. Among the criteria for acceptance is an annual, minimum expenditure of $250,000. It’s actually titanium, and can’t be shredded (there is a pouch provided if you have to return it for any reason), and there is no limit on it. My wife and I used the service of a single call from Capri, Italy to reverse our entire trip and return home the next day when my daughter gave birth prematurely last September. The agent took care of every single need in 20 minutes, and left a message for us at DeGaulle Airport where we changed planes, that if we didn’t make our connection, she had a later flight also reserved, first class.
I tell you this because I’m receiving offers and reading ads for a Visa “black card.” It purports to have extra benefits and “status,” but it’s really a woeful derivative of Amex. If you’re going to try something, at least be original. When you have to leap on to a competitor’s coattails, it means you’re acknowledging that they’re better, got there first, and have a stronger brand.
A lesson for everyone: If you have to use the competition’s brand and signature approach, you’re just not good enough to compete in that arena. Therefore, I welcome Visa to the ranks of DASM.
(See the prior post here and how Visa could learn a lot from The Naval War College.)
© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.