Thursday, February 8, 2024


I "met" Julia Carcamo on Twitter (now X) back in 2012. Since we were both marketing professionals with a passion for brand-building, marketing communications, and advertising, we decided to collaborate in a "She Said, She Said" format discussion about the 2012 Super Bowl's ads in posts that appeared on each other's blogs the Monday following the game. We followed that initial collaboration with several others throughout the years.

Recently, Julia published a book called REEL MARKETING, THE ART OF BUILDING A CASINO BRAND. As she explained, "After years of building and refining casino brands, I've been able to codify the process under five pillars for casino branding. This quick read is a valuable primer for anyone responsible for developing casino brands that will resonate with guests, team members, and stakeholders today and into the future. My wish is that you fall in love with branding in the same way I did."

Julia began her analysis of brand marketing by providing a checklist that will look familiar to most marketers:
(1) Start with WHY.
(2) Research your target audience.
(3) Develop your positioning.
(4) Create your brand identity.
(5) Develop your online and offline messaging.

However, Julia elaborated with what she referred to as "Jules Rules of Branding," that can actually be applied to brands in any industry:
(1) Know your audience/target/market.
(2) Brands are built from the bottom up - how well does the team member journey mirror the brand experience for customers/guests/stakeholders.
(3) Operationalize your brand - create a culture for your internal stakeholders, your employees, who need to understand your brand promise in order to be effective brand ambassadors.
(4) True brand programs share DNA - be selective and only offer the things that make sense to your brand.
(5) Make your brand iconic - iconic brands become symbolic of something more than a mere product.

"Your brand is what the world - outside of the four walls of your casino - thinks of you. Brands tell the world what you stand for with every color, word, and image you use. Effective branding makes you memorable, so guests can easily find you...But branding takes time. It takes effort. Creating an engaging brand can assist you in reaching your business's highest potential, but it takes strategy and vision. Thinking that slapping a logo everywhere and calling it a day is the opposite of strategic branding."
For brands, such as, casinos and others in the leisure, hospitality, and entertainment industries, the brand experience is critical for building successful brands. This is why employees and team members (also referred to as cast members in Disney-speak at Disney theme parks) must combine their culture and brand into a single set of values. Successful brands in these industries create a memorable and positive brand experience, also referred to as a customer experience.

"When team members are engaged with the brand, they will think and act "on brand." Team members become your best brand ambassadors because their belief in the brand promise is deep and emotional. They make decisions by thinking of what is right for the brand in the long-term rather than choosing what will produce short-term results...Internal branding is less about a logo an colors and more about a philosophy that will focus team members and your operations. It is centered on the company culture and promises to guests, team members, and partners, creating a passionate army of ambassadors. Although it has a slightly different focus, it is still an integral part of your external branding."
And lastly, how important is sound when creating a brand? Think about the "dun-dun" sound heard in the introduction to television's Law & Order franchise shows. You immediately know that "it's time for a story ripped from the headlines." The sound is reminiscent of a jail door slamming and is legally protected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

What is the most recognizable sound in the casino industry? If you answered "the sound of slot machine coins falling into the tray" to signify winning, then you're correct. However, the industry transitioned to coinless machines. So, since customers/guests wanted to HEAR a winning sound, the sound of "winning" was engineered into slot machines.

According to Charles Taylor, the John A. Murphy Professor of Marketing at the Villanova School of Business and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Marketing and Consumer Insights in Pennsylvania, "Sonic branding can be defined broadly as the strategic use of sound as a part of a brand identity."

Other examples of memorable audio or sonic logos include:
(1) "I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener"
(2) State Farm: "Like a good neighbor"
(3) Folgers: "The best part of waking up"
(4) Netflix: "Ta-dum"
(5) T-Mobile: series of notes
(6) MGM films and television: lion roar
(7) THX: "The Audience Is Listening" with sound

My applause to Julia for capturing the key elements in building a memorable brand and for sharing them in a concise manner. My advice: read her book and take lots of notes!

SHARE THIS: When team members are engaged with the brand, they will think and act "on brand." ~@jccarcamo #brandbuilding #DebbieLaskeysBlog

Read Julia's and my original collaboration (February 6, 2012):
Which of the Super Bowl Ads Do You Remember?

Read about Brand Experiences and Customer Experiences:
Want Your Brand to Soar Above the Competition? Learn from 6 Amazing #BrandExperiences (April 2, 2018)

Read "The Need To Be Heard: Why Sonic Branding Is Growing In Importance" on Forbes:

Connect with Julia at these links:
Twitter/X: @jccarcamo

Image Credit: Julia Carcamo.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment!