Innovation, expansion and differentiation are key to elevate a brand’s identity, heighten awareness, attract new markets and retain existing guests in the very competitive hospitality and gaming industry. People “buy” people they like and trust. Even if you are not in the hospitality industry this article published in the Indian Gaming magazine will provide you with some great tips to ensure you don’t gamble on your future Success…

In recent years one can see the massive efforts casinos and resorts are putting into re-branding, expanding and improving their facilities. From high tech boardrooms to celebrity chef restaurants, outdoor plazas, award-winning spas, adult only hotel towers, state-of-the-art event venues, and high internet connectivity – the race is on to provide a more “wow” experience than the neighboring competition.

The Forgotten Truth.
Innovation, expansion, and differentiation are key to elevate a brand’s identity, heighten awareness, attract new markets and retain existing guests in the very competitive gaming industry. However, in the rush to be ahead of the “game,” many times a simple truth is forgotten – customers don’t “buy” new shiny buildings, 4-D video slot machines or exotic wellness packages. They buy into people they like and trust.
Guests will certainly notice the new re-branded look and feel in the physical space and social media platforms. But is the renovated brand, look and feel communicated via the employees?

The Best Brand Advertisement.
Each year, millions of dollars are spent on social media, billboards, TV and radio ads, offering a promise of a bigger and better casino and resort experience. Yet a recent Nielsen survey showed that 83% of respondents said the most trusted advertising comes from word of mouth. These are the people who have already had an experience with the casino and resort.

It’s not to say traditional advertising has to be ignored. Rather the promise of the experience promoted through paid media needs to be supported to ensure success.

How is this achieved? By putting the efforts into WHO is offering the experience… it’s the valet attendant, the cocktail server, the cage cashier. A billboard is creating brand awareness; the teams are creating brand impact and experience. In essence, the employees are “walking billboards” of the brand.

When employees are engaged, and in tune with the renovated brand, they become a casino’s greatest marketing and sales representative. The best brand advertisement is your teams – the brand ambassadors. Future-proof them for success.

Elevate Brand Reputation.
To elevate the brand’s reputation, not only does the online brand need to be managed but also the human-to-human brand. This means empowering brand ambassadors with the right skills to elevate the brand at every touch point.
Every day, guests interact with employees who are unaware of the value of first impressions, and how they can provide an experience rather than just a service. What will guests remember more? The fact that not all the lobby furniture arrived for the opening week or that they were greeted by name by the server when they went to dine?

Consistency Builds Trust.
Empowering employees to be “on brand” is critical for success in business today. A new expansion or development heightens a guest’s expectations. The future success of any expansion is determined by a few factors. One of the most important is: “Are the teams prepared to meet these high expectations and make that all important first impression? Everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to representing the “renovated” brand. For customers to have brand trust there needs to be consistency.

If the total professional presence, look, and attitude displayed by the employees are inconsistent with the new brand evolution there will be an immediate lack of trust. This often results in a loss of a valued existing or potential patron.

Change is Scary.
Change is necessary for progress, but it can be unsettling. Not only can it cause employees anxiety but also  loyal guests. When training teams undergoing expansion projects they share one of their biggest fears, “I don’t feel confident to interact with the new guest the expansion will attract – it’s not the same guest I’m used to.” Employees need to have the knowledge and skills to deal with new target markets.

Whilst certain patrons may be excited by the new development, some might feel apprehensive. This is where employees can help them feel they are part of the new exciting journey. These brand ambassadors are the glue to uniting the old with the new brand – they help to humanize the experience.

Common Mistakes.

1. Many casinos and resorts move from a “Walmart” brand experience to a “Nordstrom” experience. Often, many teams are just taken through a customer service refresher. Providing them with brand ambassador skills that are in synergy with the renovated brand look and feel is often not even considered, but it should be.
2. Another common mistake made is that only frontline and management teams are upskilled to represent the brand. In today’s fiercely competitive gaming market one needs an army of brand ambassadors – everyone who comes into contact with your guests needs to be on the same page from the cage supervisors to the technical team.

3. Many times management forgets to communicate the what, how and why’s of the renovated brand resulting in disengaged and demotivated teams. Employees need to feel passionate, connected, and part of the brand journey long before the project is finished.

Even though staying ahead of the curve is critical in the gaming and hospitality space, it means little if the guest experience provided by the employees is a poor one. Before launching a TV campaign, unveiling a new logo or state of the art building, ensure the employees brand provides an experience equal to the investment, time and effort that went into the expansion project.

If you are currently undergoing a revamp/renovation/expansion …

• What is your top concern when it comes to your team members/new hires representing your brand?
• Do your teams display a professional image and presence that represents your brand values?
• Do you have a program empowering employees with the critical skills to be brand ambassadors?
• Are your employees motivated to contribute towards the future success of your casino and resort?

How We Can Help.
For more than 20 years, Haydee has provided proven results globally for companies like Hyatt, Hilton, Sun International, Microsoft, Mercedes Benz, JP Morgan.

We will empower and engage your teams to:

■ Be Brand Ambassadors of Excellence.
■ Elevate the Brand’s Reputation.
■ Gain Guest’s Trust and Loyalty.
■ Increase Confidence when working with new target markets.
■ Enhance Personal Image and Style.
■ Be Motivated to contribute to the success of the project.
■ Turn Customers into Fans.
■ Impact Revenue and Profits.

For a customized solution to suit your team’s needs, schedule a discovery call or connect with us here.

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