Every retailer dreams of getting a million eyes on their products, though the 7 million visits the American Express My WishList online shopping site (amexnetwork.com/mywishlist) receives is even better. "In combination with our merchant partners, [we] track down the hottest products and experiences of the year and [offer] them to cardmembers at unheard-of prices," says Luke Gebb, vice president of Merchant Services for American Express. Products often sell out, and approximately 1 billion impressions are made across American Express' various marketing channels--which means major exposure for the companies involved.
Benjamin Harnett and Toni Hacker, co-founders of Hayden-Harnett, a handbag manufacturer in New York City, know all about the explosive brand awareness that comes from being on My WishList. American Express approached the duo after seeing one of their handbags through a trendspotter. Harnett, 26, and Hacker, 34, sent samples of their designs, and American Express decided to feature three of their bags on the spring 2007 list--as well as in banner ads and direct cardmember correspondence from American Express. "I didn't realize how broad the exposure was going to be," says Harnett. "Each [handbag] sold out basically instantly. I was pretty flabbergasted." American Express also directed people to haydenharnett.com to buy a wallet also featured on the WishList. Thanks to the exposure, Hayden-Harnett gained many repeat customers and pushed 2007 sales to $3.7 million.To be considered for the spring 2008 list, entrepreneurs should submit products this month. Submissions will continue to be accepted for the 2008 holiday WishList. American Express looks for nonperishable items that are broadly popular. High-end consumer products, toys, fashion items, jewelry, handbags and up-and-coming tech gadgets are ideal. Merchants must accept the American Express card and be able to handle fulfillment. E-mail your product submission to firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of your company and product as well as your contact information. Also explain why you think your item would be a great addition to the WishList. Says Gebb, "If you think you have a great product that should be known, [we'd] love to be the platform that gets you there."