Hello and Welcome back!
I just got back from a fabulous trip to Las Vegas, and I have one word to sum it all up.
It was a mind-blowing experience. From the hotels on the strip to the casinos, the luxury shopping, and the amazing food. It was an amazing trip and there’s no wonder that so many tourists are willing to visit the Sin City all year round.
As a marketing student, I saw the city and its success through a marketing lens, and it made me think about branding. Visiting Las Vegas is an experience on everyone’s bucket list, and one you talk about and think about before and after you have lived it. It has a compelling promise, a clear positioning and targeting, a slogan and a logo. To me, it seems like Las Vegas is a major brand attracting people internationally.
Before you started reading this blog and read Las Vegas, you probably associated to the famous welcome to fabulous Las Vegas sign, to casinos and hotels on the strip, to glamour, and more. This is what marketers aim to do. Marketers aim to create emotion and gain a place in your mind and heart.
A Desert Oasis
It is crazy to think that this city rose from the desert. Through the years, Las Vegas has strategically marketed itself into the famous city it is today. With the legalization of gambling in the state of Nevada, the city started to grow due to the influx of Hoover Dam workers and tourists aiming to indulge themselves in pleasures that were not available elsewhere. It all started with the rise of gambling and the creation of the first major hotel-casinos such as El Rancho Vegas and the Flamingo. Later, came the Rat Pack era that featured iconic performers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis JR. This added a new layer of entertainment and glamour to the city and slowly led to the introduction of themed resorts such as Caesars palace and The Mirage. The entertainment capital of the world not only promised amazing hotel experiences at the Flamingo or the Sahara on the strip, but also offered musical performances that attracted a new wave of tourists. New hotels with new themes started to emerge and gave life to the famous strip we know of now, and let’s not forget the iconic reign of the King of Rock, Elvis Presley.
Through these efforts, the city created an image of luxury and themed entertainment. Although the city marketed itself as a family-friendly destination for a few years, it solidified its reputation of entertainment capital of the world in the 2000s trough the use of several shows, concerts, fine dining, concerts, gambling and other non-gaming attractions. In 2003, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) launched the iconic campaign of what happens here stays here and the slogan became synonymous with the city. It offers visitors from across the world a chance to let loose and experience their wildest dreams with no worries of it haunting them on their return home just as we have seen in movies! Famous movies such as The Hangover, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Godfather, Ocean’s 11 and many more have contributed to the image we have about the one and only sin city. A trip to Las Vegas not only offers gambling, but it now is also synonym to luxury, entertainment, and excess.
There is much more to the way Las Vegas has marketed itself into the city it is now, and this is simply a taste of what the city has done in the past. The image it has created through the different channels has remained consistent with the image of freedom and indulgence in this adult playground.
Viva Las Branding!
Las Vegas has a strong brand identity and image that has earned a place in our mind with the iconic Las Vegas strip, the neon lights, the themed resorts and so on.
Imagine having people line up to take a picture with your logo! That is exactly what was happening with the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. People would park their car before entering the strip and line up to take a fabulous picture. Amazing!
I truly believe that through impressive marketing practices Las Vegas has turned itself into a brand. It is positioned as the Entertainment Capital of the world and promises every tourist world-class entertainment while being synonymous with gambling and luxury. It targets different types of travelers and offers them a personalized experience while sharing the idea of living large.
Not only can you gamble your money away in a casino of your choice, but you can also visit famous designer brands such as Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Rolex and feel luxurious spending your money on 4,000$ bags. Just as you are not only buying a plane ticket, you are not only shopping for a 4,000$ Prada bag, you are buying the experience that involves someone opening the door for you as if you are walking into a royal kingdom with music that sets the tone for your warm welcoming and your personal assistant to recommend the best purse based on your wants and advice you on the latest trends. Asking for the sales section doesn’t even come to mind! I even heard one tourist say, “Las Vegas is the only place in the world where I can feel good despite blowing all my money away!”.
Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?
In marketing we focus on experiences rather than focusing only on the product. Our goal as marketers is to exceed any expectations customers have and create an unforgettable experience when they interact with our brand or product, this is exactly what Las Vegas does. According to the LVCVA, visitor volume exceeded 3.29M as of November 2023. The city has built a loyal customer base and constantly attracts new visitors with their strong social media presence and brand consistency. It offers a fascinating escapade for every traveler, and it exceeds this promise making people want to come back and even get married there. You know you’ll leave Las Vegas with a feeling of excitement and satisfaction.
Go big or go home!
When starting your own adventures in the marketing realm, I think Las Vegas is an important example to follow. Remember that you are creating something different for customers, you are creating an experience.
If you are promising them something, be sure to deliver and surpass it so you can earn a place in their mind and turn them into brand advocates. You must be consistent with your message and target the people that want what you are offering. Las Vegas not only targets gamblers, but they also target foodies, entertainment seekers, luxury, and high-end consumers. You cannot please everyone, make sure your offer is tailored to the needs and wants of your audience just like Las Vegas has done with their casinos and their luxury malls. And most importantly, never stop exploring and adapting to the changing world.
Try big crazy ideas and blow people’s minds!