As the iGaming market continues to flourish, it has become increasingly challenging for brands to stand out from the rising tide of online operators. Engaging an audience and retaining their attention has become an increasingly expensive task, but a vital one, nonetheless.
We spoke with Pelle Wiman, Co-founder of House of Spades Casino to hear his thoughts on the best ways to increase customer loyalty and how to make your brand stand out from the crowd.
The iGaming market is thriving and there is a lot of competition. How important is it to have a unique brand and how is this best achieved?
“Brand differentiation is key in most industries. Especially since the iGaming arena is a very generic one, House of Spades stands out in its uniqueness which will not only attract a niche rock audience but draw the attention among casino players as well. Honestly, who really wants another “Bet this” or “Vegas that” brand around these days?
“As you said, it’s a highly competitive market and therefore brand stickiness is an absolute key if you’re planning on starting up a new casino brand in 2022.”
Another aspect of operating in such a competitive industry is the lack of brand or customer loyalty. How can loyalty schemes be used to mitigate this?
“I do believe this is the iGaming industry’s main problem. There is no “true” loyalty other than to bonuses and cashback. Whoever’s willing to pull the pants down the most are the ones that will draw the players’ interest. But don’t mix that up with the kind of loyalty a fan has to a rock band or a football supporter. I believe true loyalty comes out of being able to identify with the brand. In our case, fans and players can identify with the bands and artists that are behind the games. Alice Cooper or Kiss maybe awakens something more in the emotional memory of players than just money and bonuses.”
House of Spades has adopted a true rock vibe. Why was creating this theme so important and how does it impact the type of players you’re able to attract or engage with?
“The main reason is that rock slot games have picked up momentum in recent years with 15 rock thematic Play n’ GO games on the market and more to come. I believe there’s a reason for the existence of a casino packaging this to the players and fans out there. Otherwise, these slots would be spread out on generic casinos and nobody would ever pay attention to what’s going on in this growing number of official band and artist related slots movement.”
Many of the most popular games on the market are achievement-based and non-monetary. How have you been able to integrate these aspects into the HOS playing experience and do you think this is something the industry needs to embrace in order to improve player engagement going forward?
“Just like the pull effect you get from playing a good slot with instant rewards and thrills, we’ve built a gamification model that will encourage the players to progress through a 36- level achievement program. This program is built like a House Tours with six escape rooms that you play your way through finding hidden artefacts and keys on the way.”
As the casino market continues to expand, what opportunities do you see for growth in other regions such as LatAm or Asia? What will be the key drivers for this?
“Asia is a huge market and I’m very excited looking at Japan since it has an obvious cultural connection to rock music. Same with LatAm and markets like Brazil and Argentina. Huge rock fan bases throughout the years. I want to pinpoint markets that have both good casino player potential and rock preference.”
After speaking with Pelle, it’s clear that brand differentiation is obviously an important aspect regardless of industry, but with relatively generic sectors like iGaming, it becomes especially important.
For too long it seems, operators have been competing solely on bonuses and free spins, continually lowering their margins. Pelle believes that customer loyalty and better acquisition will come from the uniqueness of the brand, finding more creative ways to engage players. This has been boldly demonstrated with the rock-themed House of Spades platform, setting the benchmark for brand differentiation. We look forward to seeing more operators taking this more exciting approach in the future!