Capitalism can be a marvelous thing – and titillating


Article Tab : Cafe Lu owner Natalie Nguyen, left, and waitress Quynh Ly, at right, prepare drinks for customers. Garden Grove has approved changes to an ordinance to ban pasties, gambling and smoking from these cafes.
Cafe Lu owner Natalie Nguyen, left, and waitress Quynh Ly, at right, prepare drinks for customers. Garden Grove has approved changes to an ordinance to ban pasties, gambling and smoking from these cafes.

The city of Las Vegas through its marketing arm, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, is cranking up its marketing efforts for the summer; Vegas will be spending $24 million – $3 million more than last year – in key feeder markets, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix and Denver and this year the LVCVA added two more cities, Dallas and Houston to the list.  Mayor Oscar Goodman is always good for a photo op with showgirls and a quote, says Vegas has a leg up on every other city in the country.  Goodman will be ending his term as mayor with this year’s election; his wife is running for the job so we may still be hearing from him in the future.  In any case, Goodman says Las Vegas is different because there are more special events in Las Vegas than any place else.

Mayor Goodman says: “Some places are lucky to have one or two events a year like we have,” said Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who will relinquish the chairmanship of the LVCVA board next month when a new mayor takes office. “But we have events one after another, every day. That’s what makes us different. That’s what makes us the best.”

Differentiation is a key concept in marketing, it may be the most important element in creating successful marketing campaigns: What makes your product different from its competitors? What makes it better?  Now, some try to make the point with smoke and mirrors – that is with nothing more than slogans and buzz words. You know like, Ford’s “quality is job one!” Quality is measurable by independent agencies and obvious to the consumer.  If the car you make is not as reliable as say Toyota or Honda, a catchy phrase doesn’t do make it more reliable or make you more loyal.  In fact, misplaced slogans often point out weaknesses rather than strengths. During the days of that campaign, Ford was a long way from having the top quality rating in the industry.

Others try, when planning a news business or when remodeling or remaking an old one, really try to make it  different, that is to differentiate it from the competition.  Apparently that is the what has been happening in Garden Grove, California among coffee shops, they are trying very hard to be different from other coffee shops.  The competition must be intense, so intense that the city council felt it had to step in and make some rules.  Among the rules; rule #1 – servers must wear clothes, both their upper and lower body parts should be completely covered; rule #2 – no illegal video gambling games are allowed.  The police have raid 20 coffee shops; in the raids the police confiscated 200 games, but there is no word on how many bathrobes, coats or other coverings the police distributed among the workers – no naked coffee cups were confiscated.  Isn’t capitalism a marvelous thing?

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