The Weakest Link Can Damage Your Brand

ASI recently held our semi-annual owners meeting in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. We scheduled the meeting around the ISA (International Signage Association) Expo that was going on at the same time. Although the ISA Expo and our owners meeting were held in the Mandalay Bay Hotel we stayed at the Luxor Hotel, their sister property, which was next door and connected via a 310 foot long retail sky bridge filled with restaurants and upscale shops.

Each of the many large Las Vegas hotels and their humongous casinos built in the last 25 years is a spectacle to behold. Navigating through them is quite another matter and will be the subject of a future blog.

The Luxor’s Grandure

The Luxor, like each of the different major Las Vegas hotels, was massive with stunning architecture and lavish décor. The 30-story hotel boasts a 120,000 square-foot casino with over 2,000 slot machines and 87 table games as well a total of 4,400 guest rooms including 442 suites. The Luxor is the second largest hotel in Las Vegas and the eight largest in the world. It features a pyramid tower along with two 22-story towers added during a later expansion.

The Luxor opened in 1993 at a construction cost of $375 million. The hotel went through a massive expansion in 1998 that cost $675 million and it went through a major remodel in 2008 and 2009. It is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International. The Luxor boasts 10 restaurants, 29 retail shops, 4 swimming pools and whirlpools, a wedding chapel, its Nature Spa and Salon, an artifact exhibit from the Titanic, “Bodies… The Exhibition and a variety of shows including “Carrot Top, Worth the Trip” and “Believe” staring famous magician Criss Angel.”

The Luxor features the Luxor Sky Beam which points skyward from the top of the ,pyramid (the central structure of the Luxor. The Sky Beam is the strongest beam of light in the world and can be seen by aircraft flying at cruising altitude up to 275 miles away at night.

Needless to say, the Luxor, along with many of the high-end Las Vegas hotels was a modern marvel to behold. The rooms were well appointed, spacious and comfortable and their bathrooms were fit for royalty. The service was impeccable. The Luxor is a major brand for MGM with a proud history and a stalwart reputation.

Signage Is a Key Element in Branding

Architectural signage is part of the Luxor’s branding with signs throughout the hotel reflecting the Luxor’s grandeur and image. Excellent signage embellishes architecture in much the same way a top-notch frame adorns a fine piece of art. Upon checking into the hotel and traipsing through the enormous casino and endless hallways to the west wing of the hotel I took an elevator to the 16th floor and looked for wayfinding signage to help me find my room. Finding one room in a massive hotel with 4,400 rooms isn’t easy. As I neared my room the last wayfinding sign I saw was the one pictured above.

Damaged Signage Weakens Your Brand

I don’t know how long this sign had been broken or if and when the Luxor had ordered a replacement. But one thing is for sure this unsightly sign heavily weakened the Luxor brand in my mind. I couldn’t help wondering what else was broken behind the public façade of the hotel. The weakest link stole the intrigue, glamour and mystery from what had appeared as a stellar brand in my eyes.

The lesson to be learned is that if your establishment has broken signage, get it fixed immediately. If you need to come up with a temporary fix be sure to find one that still portrays a positive image of your brand.

Perform Regular Signage Audits

Perform an architectural signage audit at several times each year. Examine your signage as if it was the first time you have visited your establishment. If signage needs to be replaced and/or additional signage needs to be ordered be sure to do so quickly. One thing is for sure, your customers, clients, vendors and visitors will notice architectural signage that is in ill repair or lacking and their impression of your brand will be tarnished.

Source material and additional reading – “Luxor Las Vegas,” Wikipedia.com and Luxor.com


John Selig
Marketing Manager

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