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Desert Diamond Casinos' Striking Transformation: From Underdog to Casino Titan
In 2015, Desert Diamond Casinos took a bold step by introducing their West Valley casino outside their Southern Arizona stronghold. Fast forward to 2020, this modest slots-only venture had expanded into a $400 million, 75,000-square-foot gaming powerhouse in Phoenix Valley, complete with state-of-the-art slot machines, poker, blackjack, premium bars, and gourmet restaurants.
However, challenges loomed. Phoenix Valley was already dominated by legacy casinos, and Desert Diamond's new enterprise was practically unknown. Their ambition? Not just to be another casino in the Valley but a unique, standout entity. To achieve this, they didn't rely on mere fortune but sought expert casino marketing guidance.
Focusing on the Pure Player – a slots enthusiast playing purely for the game – the marketing campaign identified that these players prioritize quality gaming and the feel of a winning atmosphere. Based on this, Desert Diamond differentiated itself by designing the casino with the Player in mind. This resulted in features like an expansive live bingo room and a unique jackpot celebration – making them unparalleled in the Valley.
Their marketing approach unfolded in three phases:
Keeping the Lights On: Initially targeting their local West Valley audience, the message "We Are In Your Backyard" emphasized proximity. They also introduced the concept that at Desert Diamond, "lucky feels familiar", emphasizing both the proximity and special jackpot celebrations.
The Fun Rises in the West: The next phase spotlighted the superior amenities of the new Desert Diamond compared to its competitors, encapsulated in the slogan, "The Fun Rises in the West". This pre-launch strategy generated tremendous buzz, with guest numbers during the casino's early days far surpassing projections.
Welcome to Jackpot Valley: Post-launch, the campaign evolved to "Welcome to Jackpot Valley", highlighting the exhilarating jackpot-winning experience exclusive to Desert Diamond. This phase also introduced unique features like an Alexa Skill for casino updates and a special Tribute Card for Veterans, offering them exclusive benefits.
However, the campaign faced an unforeseen challenge: the COVID-19 pandemic. Just days post-launch, lockdown measures forced the casino's closure. Pivoting swiftly, media messages were altered, and new strategies focusing on safety and social distancing were employed.
Despite the challenges of 2020, the outcomes were remarkable. On its opening night, the casino drew such a crowd that they had to turn visitors away after reaching their 10,000 capacity. Notable successes included a 33% improvement in media impressions per dollar spent and a 2:1 ROI on media savings.
In sum, Desert Diamond's journey is a testament to the power of strategic storytelling. Through keen market insights and a distinct positioning, the casino transformed from a new entrant into a domin