Land-based casino resort operators employee a variety of methods to recognize and incentivize loyal patrons.
Many of these involve monetary remuneration, often in the form of additional play at a slot machine, a free meal at a property restaurant, gratis tickets to a show or a free room night or two at the facility’s hotel.
However, many gaming properties are finding success using high-end merchandise instead of money to lure additional attendance from customers. These items can range from clothing and kitchenware to food items and furniture—the product list is truly limitless. In addition to fostering return visits, these objects also serve an important marketing function as well; they are physical reminders of a winning resort experience.
As promotional and incentive items grow in popularity among both operators and casino customers, a number of providers are coming to the fore with unique offerings and service. What follows is recent news and new products from a few of these providers.
GLOBAL PROMOTIONAL SOURCING (GPS)
Las Vegas-based GPS is a marketing merchandise provider that specializes in premium gifts for casino events and promotions, as well as employee gift and recognition programs. Established in 2001, GPS currently derives more than 90 percent of its business from casinos and the gaming industry and its clients include Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Sycuan Casino and Sky City Casino.
“We wanted to be more customer-focused to help the casinos achieve their marketing goals; in other words, to help our casino clientele give their customers an exceptional experience,” said Donna Raucher, CEO of GPS. “We partner with our customers so that we understand what they are trying to achieve with their promotions and what they are trying to convey in their brand. Once we know their marketing objectives, we can help steer them towards the right merchandise to get their message across their brand(s) and demographics.”
GPS is able to offer exclusive products from brands such as Marc Jacobs, Hugo Boss, Fendi, Fossil, Mikasa and Waterford Crystal, just to name a few. According to Raucher, popular items over the last few years have included housewares and quality custom apparel. “The custom jacket and apparel programs have been successful for other promotions because quality apparel can advertise a casino’s brand for years,” she said. “Here in Las Vegas, we still see jackets we created for a local casino fifteen years ago.”
GPS is constantly looking for unique items and new brand names to add to its stable of promotional offerings, all with the goal of providing a market advantage for its clients. “It is important that our customers understand that finding the right merchandise to convey their brand and the objectives of their promotion are paramount,” Raucher said. “It might be jewelry for one promotion, but a custom piece of luggage would be better for another. We have also found that name brand products outperform fictitious brands commonly used in the promotional market.”
The better serve client needs, GPS launched an event gifting division last year. “We set up a staged and merchandised ‘store’ concept for a customer promotion,” Raucher said. “We provided logistics and staffing to run the event so that our customer could spend more time with their customers while we handle the details.”
RYMAX MARKETING SERVICES
Pine Brook, N.J.-based Rymax is a full-service loyalty marketing provider and a leader in the industry. The company offers award-winning loyalty programs and events designed to maximize business growth, engage employees, motivate sales teams and increase customer retention though brand name rewards.
For more than 20 years Rymax has delivered results for its partners by creating customized solutions that are designed based on targeted demographics with more than 13,000 product rewards from over 350 top brand name manufacturers. These solutions include corporate gifting, incentives, sales incentives, employee recognition and loyalty programs. To supply these recognition programs, Rymax offers trending items in the categories of fashion/accessories, jewelry and watches, electronics, sports and fitness, kitchen and tabletop, children’s, home and office, travel and outdoor goods.
Rymax recently added to its eclectic mix of exclusive brand offerings, with products such as women’s handbags and leather accessories from Cole Han; paper shredders, safes and door locks from Honeywell; china, bar/stemware, candlesticks, vases, frames, games, tray, desk accessories, bedding and towels for both the beach and bath from Ralph Lauren Home; and jackets and vests from Tumi Outerwear. Rymax also inked an exclusive partnership with Cloud b, a leading manufacturer of products and accessories designed to help both parents and children sleep peacefully and comfortably.
“Cloud b is an internationally-renowned brand that remains committed to providing high-quality products and maintaining exceptional safety standards, said Randy Toth, vice president of business development for Rymax in a press release. “Those factors, combined with their position as the number one company in the sleep category, make them a must-have brand for Rymax and its clients.”
Most people probably recognize the Omaha Steaks brand from its thriving mail order and catalog business, which has been in operation since 1952 and, at last count, serves more than three million active customers.
But for more than 30 years, the Omaha Steaks B2B division has been designing effective corporate programs, with budgets of all sizes, to motivate employees, reward customers and boost sales. The B2B Division is efficient on prompt fulfillment and offers the highest quality products at volume pricing. With various direct shipment and certificate programs, the company can also customize a program to meet customers’ needs. Omaha Steaks B2B Division client base is vast and includes financial services, heavy industry, automotive, retailers and, of course, casinos.
“Omaha Steaks is a nationally recognized brand that resonates with casino guests across the country,” Jerry Carnazzo, B2B outside sales manager for the Omaha Steaks B2B Division told Casino Journal in April. “When doing a promotion a casino operator wants to make sure they align with the best brand that will excite their guests and have them coming back for more. You don’t have to explain what Omaha Steaks is; the guests will already be familiar with the brand.”
Recent additions to the Omaha Steaks include skillet meals, spice mixes, seafood options, desserts and wine sets.
Established in 1970, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based PromoGroup is a full-service promotional marketing agency that builds successful campaigns for gaming companies.
The company offers its casino partners incentive products that reward top players and engage new customers at the same time. PromoGroup also helps gaming properties build a long-term relationship with patrons through unique premiums and promotions.
PromoGroup’s primary product offering is Rewards Gift Coupons. According to the company website, not only do the Gift Coupons alleviate any stock issues, they are also available in a variety of options, giving players the convenience of choosing the brand they want, from the store they want, any time they want. The company also offers gift cards from popular name-brands and stores for casino giveaways, and items such as t-shirts, water bottles, drink coolers and even hand sanitizer that a casino can use to promote its brand to players.
On the corporate side, PromoGroup offers food product gift certificates for employee incentive and business gift programs.