What David Bowie and Casinos Have in Common


The other day I watched “David Bowie: The Last Five Years.” At the end, I turned to my husband of almost 30 years and confessed. See, when I was in high school, I was really into modern-rock, and Bowie’s album “Let’s Dance” (1983) was a staple in my record collection along with Adam Ant, the Cure, Talking Heads, etc.

Where’s the shame?

I didn’t know that he was THE Ziggy Stardust and I had just “discovered” him on his FIFTEENTH album.

This is almost as bad as thinking that Led Zeppelin was the name of a real person (I’m not admitting to this).

Okay, sure, I knew he had been around “for a bit” – but for my friends and me, his current music was most relevant. He looked like us; we dressed like him and we loved that Robert Palmer look and his hair. Ziggy, just too weird.

Go ahead, send me hate mail and tell me how shallow I was.

So really Chris, you ask, what does this have to do with casinos?

Well, we talk a lot about connecting with our customers now and those of tomorrow. Boss lady Deana wrote an article about how the 50-something woman is YOUR customer. We’ve talked and debated to exhaustion about how millennials are our future customers. Still, with this awareness, we continue to launch new brands that don’t exactly match up with our clientele. We build attractions that don’t fit the bill.

See, here’s my point: Deana’s 50 something-something year old self is your customer. And Gency Warren, our marketing manager and resident millennial, is your customer on occasion and maybe in the future. And folks that listened to Ziggy back in the day, they are also your customer.

Your casino will ALWAYS have a multi-generational base of customers, just like David Bowie did, that is composed of:

  1. Core fans that have been with you from the very beginning and will never leave. No matter how much you change, they’ll stick with you. You may re-engineer your players club, take away their favorite machines, you may replace their favorite dance venue with a sports bar, but there’s something that will always bring them back that only you can provide. Is it your service? Is it nostalgia? Do they always feel special, despite the “new you”?
  2. New fans that have just recently discovered you. These are the guests that have either just come of age or “discovered” your new hip restaurant, or the new bocce ball cocktail lounge. Somehow you’ve got them through your doors, and they are spreading the word through social media about this new, hip, rebranded place. Although their parents or older coworkers may have suggested it to them, their “discovery” came from their own peer set.
  3. Fans that just don’t get you anymore. I really wanted to like David Bowie’s last album, but the videos surrounding the music just disturbed me and made me sad. Made me feel old. So, these fans of yours, they’re now inactive because you’ve changed too much. You got rid of their ONE favorite restaurant; the staff doesn’t know them anymore, they don’t feel special, or lucky, or like a winner. Is there a chance to get them back? Sure there is! Just like I’ll dance around the house when “Let’s Dance” comes on my Pandora station or “Modern Love.” You just need to find the connection again with them.

See, we all have a place in your casino. It’s all about making the connection, giving your “fans” something “relevant.” We know this multi-generational connection does work. You’ve seen us at your concerts: the gray hairs, the “I’m not accepting my gray hairs,” and the young dudes with the man buns. We CAN coexist. Find out what is relevant to each of us.

Christine Faria