John Vachalek May 29, 2012

Experiential Marketing Example: Casa Bonita

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In past posts, we’ve stated that in order to create an impactful experience around your brand, you need to:

  • Provide a great product
  • Provide a very good level of service
  • Create an exceptional experience around the delivery of your product or service

Casa Bonita does all of this in spades. If you have not been to this Denver landmark and you want to witness a truly unique experience, you should plan a visit.

Casa Bonita is housed in a fairly non-descript shopping center in Lakewood, Colorado. It opened in 1974 and it is consistently ranked as one of the top places to visit in Denver.

The exterior has:

  • An 85ft pink Mexico-style bell tower
  • A dome covered in 22-karat gold leaf
  • A huge fountain which was shipped in pieces from Mexico

The interior took a year to complete and features:

  • Over 52,000 sq ft and seating for over 1,000 guests
  • An intricate labyrinth of tunnels and pathways leading to uniquely-styled dining areas
  • A spooky cave for the kids to explore
  • A 30 foot Acapulco-style cliff with a waterfall and diving performances throughout the day
  • Stage shows, gun fights, musicians, piñata celebrations, a game room, and more…

The interesting thing about Casa Bonita is that they very rarely refer to themselves as a restaurant. Yes, the primary premise is that this is a restaurant. However, they have successfully identified that what they really offer their guests is so much more than what a “restaurant” might provide. They have created a truly unique experience which includes food, but not one person whom I have ever talked with has indicated that food is the reason that they visited.

Their website, bills Casa Bonita as, “the GREATEST SHOW in Denver” and they invite guests to “Come join the fun in 2012.” If you are a South Park fan, you may have seen the episode where the South Park characters visited Casa Bonita.  Casa Bonita’s Facebook page has over 11,000 likes and almost every man, woman and child in Denver knows about them.

What makes Casa Bonita such a well-known and popular attraction is the sheer novelty of what they offer their guests. They set out to create something truly unique and immerse their guests in an adventure of excitement, food, fun, and novelty. They focus on these key areas and people talk about the entertainment and they encourage others to enjoy this over-the-top experience.

How to use this Information
Ask yourself what you currently offer or what you could offer besides the delivery of a good product and a good level of service that might make your business as famous as Casa Bonita.

There IS something that your clients/customers already recognize in your offering that sets you apart from others who may offer the same base product at a lower price.

  • What is this?
  • How could you expand and accentuate this?
  • What could you do with this so that everyone who does business with you would want to tell everyone they meet about you?

P.S. If you do not offer ANY experience which sets you apart from lower priced options, you’d better find one fast or begin developing a business strategy based on how you are going to compete on prices alone!

If you can use some help identifying the key experience factors for your business, please give us a call at 303-300-2640. We would be happy to show you how our proven programs help businesses create more impactful experiences.

If your business creates a great experience or if you what to comment on this post, please share your insights with our readers (via your comments below).

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