No Need To Ask Directions. Read Your Map.


I was reading this great article about Chasing The Competition and I started thinking about how many times I’ve been in organizations that have both been the leader and the follower in this no-win chase. You sit in meetings, and no matter what is said, we keep up the chase. They give new members $25, we give them $50. We give away a cute little convertible, they give away the hottest sports car around.

Do you know what works the best? Knowing your brand and reading the roadmap the brand lays out for you. If you do that, you won’t be copying others, and if others copy you, it’ll never seem genuine and “right” because they’re not you. It’s when you don’t focus on your brand that you become a commodity…one like the others without the ability to stand out as a unique experience.

You all know that I’m in the casino business (have been for more years than I care to remember now). I’ve been a part of marketing teams that have given away thousands of $5 prizes with scratch cards. We’ve given away houses. We’ve given customers a chance to hunt for a million dollars in the desert. Cruises. Cash. Cars. Diamonds and ice cream makers.

I’ve been part of organizations that have been first to market with the newest, hottest slots. I’ve been part of organizations who have ageing slot floors.

I’ve worked with make-shift to gourmet buffets.

Folks, I’ve seen it (though undoubtedly, not seen it all).

I can honestly say that working with the Lady Luck brand has been a great experience. Somehow we’ve been able to articulate the premise of the brand into something that all of our employees can understand. When we stay focused on the brand, the experience has been remarkable – both for our guests and our employees. It’s been scary but nice to hand the brand over to the teams at those properties and to see them live the brand.

I see people living their brands every day in the casino industry.

I think Hard Rock does a great job of staying on brand. Their promotions, events, tweets, posts are always coming from the same voice even though they are not all as connected as one would think. The thing that connects them, however, is that the marketing folks LOVE the Hard Rock brand and LOVE to live it!

Another brand star? The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Walk into this place on a Saturday night and you see the exact vibe they’re marketing. The people, the games, the nightclubs. It’s all in sync. Walk in there at 11:30am on a Tuesday and it’s a completely different set of people and somehow, they still feel like they’re delivering the same brand experience (albeit in a quieter way).

I think Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has huge potential to be a brand rockstar as well. I think they’re still growing into their brand, but they have a focus that is seldom seen. Time will tell.

Who is living the brand in your eyes?

No Need To Ask Directions. Read Your Map.

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