Vegas: The Branded Experience

The Department Zero 2014 annual retreat took everyone to Las Vegas. In just 72 hours, each member of our company logged around:

  • 30 miles on foot
  • 20+ different hotels/casinos/venues
  • 18 hours of sleep in total, on average
  • Un-reportable amounts of delicious cuisine
  • Untracked amounts of champagne/whiskey/beer
Department Zero in Las Vegas

So what could a fun weekend in Sin City teach about brand activation? A lot. Vegas nails the basic tenants of experiential marketing, but really overdelivers on creating the most remarkable customer experiences imaginable. Here are a few of our key takeaways:

  • Accessibility is Key – Casinos all feature doors at every corner of the floor, so visitors can jump into the fun from any point. Invite people into brand experiences with multiple points of entry, and never make it a challenge to participate.
  • Go for Remarkable –Slot machines have flashing lights, rumble seats and sirens,  a shopping mall has circular escalators, and the city boasts the worlds tallest ferris wheel. In order to be memorable, your brand must really stand out in a highly competitive environment.
  • Engage the Audience Consistently– Vegas has outdoor timed displays, live animals, lounge performers, big budget theater shows and a non-stop concert calendar in place. Keeping consumers engaged and focused on your brand means that content and programming must be constantly available and updated.
  • Reward Loyalty – Just like the bartenders and waitstaff that comp your drink and the shop keepers that remind you to use your players card to reap the extra points, brand experiences should reward loyalty and the behaviors the brand values.
  • Co-Brand with Care – Vegas properties are careful to choose big musical acts and celebrity chef restaurants that align with their core audiences. Associating your brand with other, supportive brands can drive complimentary business, and each can benefit from the other’s brand halo.

Las Vegas is an entire city built around remarkable experiences, to create positive memories, positive associations, and repeat behaviors.