August got me to thinking about Augustus—as in Caesar. And Caesar got me thinking of Caesars Palace. That’s why I’m shifting from Augustus to Julius for the theme of this column. Is Caesars Palace so successful because they market a personal brand? The resort is named after someone specific, albeit a deceased emperor. And Caesars Palace is taking itself seriously with this brand. You won’t find an Orange Julius anywhere on the property.
Why don’t Las Vegas properties realize that when you personalize a brand, there is more identification for customers, more loyalty and most importantly, more foot traffic? Many resorts are happy to feature restaurants with celebrity chef names and even bars named after well-known performers. But why not consider retrofitting an entire resort with a big name? Keep the old signage and just add a snipe to signal the new age of personality branding.
Here are some examples:
Johnny Depp’s Treasure Island
Now that he’s won his lawsuit, Hollywood studios are anxious to bring him back. And why not a Las Vegas hotel that’s close to the theme of “Pirates of the Caribbean”? Johnny can make personal appearances (seen but not Heard) and join partying high rollers.
Frankie Valli’s Four Seasons
Imagine walking into the newly branded resort with the sound of “Sherry” playing in the main bar; “Let’s Hang On!” in the elevator; and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” playing from the cameras in the hallway.
Paris Hilton’s Las Vegas
Walk in and immediately buy Paris branded merchandise in the gift shop; enjoy reruns of “The Simple Life,” playing 24/7 on your room’s TV (for an extra $20, you can watch the old sex tape); and walk through the newest (interactive) attraction, Paris Hilton’s “Cavalcade of Old Boyfriends.”
Alexis Rose Park
Alexis Park Resort becomes Alexis Rose Park, named after one of the leading characters in “Schitt’s Creek.” While not a real person, she is a popular character and definitely aimed at a targeted market; once wealthy families seeking to renew their fortunes. Just don’t model the place after the Rosebud Motel.
Steve Wynn’s Wynn
A little controversial, since the rapper would displace Elvis in the building, including his iconic statue in the lobby. Kanye would also be in charge of booking entertainment, which means no Pete Davidson in the showroom. But the vibe would be different and establish a personal connection with a whole new demographic.
These are but a handful of marketing suggestions, which executives will promptly dismiss. But here’s the thing: If you don’t want to change the name of your property, at least offer an environment that seems personal. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Caesar still lives in Las Vegas.
And the emperor has clothes.