I just spent a few days in Las Vegas and I walked away uninspired.  I have been there a handful of times and each time I tend to notice something different about the culture in Sin City.  This particular trip was different though because I left with far more questions than when I arrived.

More questions

I had the opportunity to visit a few hotels on the strip that I had not experienced yet.  Much like a kid, I was excited to see first-hand what all the excitement was about.  It struck me that beyond all the glitz and glam, most of the hotels offer a very similar experience.  Granted, they differ in size, color and theme but not so much in brand intimacy. They are crowded, hectic and smoke-filled.  They offer craps, black jack, slot machines and watered down beverages.  A melting pot of humanity converged with the hope that they too walk away a winner.  It is amazing what hope can do to ones psyche.  The mere rolling of dice can certainly improve or damper ones mood in a matter of seconds.  In some ways, being in a Las Vegas casino this time felt more like Indiana Jones looking for new civilizations.  Unfortunately, the staff, locals and the experience were all members of the homogeneity tribe.

What is brand-Las Vegas these days? I am not sure.  My impression is that most arrive hoping to mentally get away, experience something different and live on the edge a bit.  I get that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but for a town that promotes itself for creating unique experiences, it must go way beyond the art work in the lobby.  Who am I to question all the highly intelligent people running the hotels?  No one really, but then again, why did everyone keep asking me for my players card?

Delivering on a brand

In a city built on being able to reinvent itself, I would suggest that they start speaking with their constituents rather than their peers across the street.  Don’t worry; I am not giving up on you (Las Vegas).  I just hope someone figures out that I am less concerned about the price of the buffet and more concerned about your ability to give me a bear hug with your brand.  Brand awareness is one thing… delivering on the promise is quite another.


Devin Hughes is a former college basketball player, sales and marketing aficionado, keynote speaker, part-time academic and frequent eclectic thinker.  He draws on a variety of ideas, disciplines and trends to inspire “Big Thoughts” and facilitate conversations.  He is an avid storyteller who has the unique ability to connect with audiences by inspiring them to be the change they wish to see in the world.  A graduate of Colgate University, he lives Carlsbad, CA with his wife and four daughters.  You may contact him via e-mail at devin@devinchughes.com. His website is: http://www.devinchughes.com/ He is also a featured blogger on http://www.upstartnation.biz.