Swimming against the tide
Swimming against the tide
Edward Ihre, CEO of live dealer pioneer Codeta.com talks about the challenges that come with launching a new brand in a competitive market
When bringing a new brand and proposition to market, doubt often creeps in and you wish you’d played it safe. Instead of swimming against the tide, go with the flow and position your offering in-line with your rivals. But then you look at your research, and the product you have spent thousands of hours – and hundreds of thousands of dollars – creating, developing and polishing, and your confidence returns. After all, what’s the point in being an also ran, especially in an industry already full to bursting with copy-cat sites.
So here at Codeta.com we have gone to great lengths to stand out from the crowd, to have our own voice and style, and to do things a little bit differently. That has meant building our brand and proposition around live dealer table games instead of the more popular and lucrative slots games. Why would you do that, I hear you ask? We believe live dealer is the next big thing in online gaming, and will become a significant vertical in its own right. Games are already gaining traction amongst players, and that’s only going to continue.
Pull the trigger
Live dealer games are far more immersive than slots. They are authentic, interactive, and thrust the player into the heart of the action. From talking with the dealer to the sound of cards being swept across the felt, there is no other product on the market that brings computer/mobile gambling to life in quite the same way. But our confidence in live dealer games is not whimsical or misplaced; we have conducted extensive research to make sure our idea, our passion, has legs.
Unlike others, we did this prior to pulling the trigger, using our findings to tweak and fettle Codeta.com on its journey from inception to launch to ensure all core elements from communication to CRM were 100% right. It allowed us to identify features our target group wanted from a live dealer offering, but were not being given anywhere else. Table game players are willing to take a considerable risk, but only when they feel they are making an informed decision and are in control. And that is why we have been so transparent with the rules, odds, pay-outs, promotions, and everything else we do.
This has meant putting the player first, and being fully transparent about who we are, what we do, and how we go about it. We have done all we can to give players the information they need, including the inner workings of the games so they are always aware of the rewards and the risks. We have also included photographs of our customer service team on our site, rather than staged shots from a rent-a-model catalogue, so players know exactly who they are dealing with.
These may seem like small things, but when coupled with the growing popularity of live dealer games, make for a big difference. We also understand just how important it is to keep innovating and improving our offering if we are to achieve our mission statement of revolutionising the online casino sector and bringing live dealer games into the mainstream. As a part of this, we have recently joined forces with Authentic Gaming to integrate their dual-play product into our platform, as well as products from market leaders Evolution Gaming and NetEnt Live.
It’s not realistic, it’s real
Dual-play, for those who don’t know, streams live games from the casino floor. So the tables are real, the cards are real, the dealers are real, and the other players around the table are real. It takes live dealer to the next level; the games are not just realistic, they are real. We believe it is a huge step forward, and backs up our theory that live casino can overtake slots as the game of choice in the coming months and years. Of course, we are still a fair way off that, and the success of Codeta.com hangs on how well we market our offering.
Being a new brand in a crowded market is a frightening thing at times, and we have had to think long and hard about how best to make a name for ourselves while taking share away from the big boys. And while we are using the common above the line and digital channels, we actually believe word of mouth and player feedback will have the greatest impact. That is why we have focused on delivering the best possible experience to our players, and we continue to listen to them and the changes they want making to the site.
It is still early days for us, but we are already well on our way to having a large and established player base, and one that is loyal and keeps coming back for more. As we strengthen our range of products with new launches and fine-tune our marketing strategy as we enter additional markets and jurisdictions, we believe we have the potential to become a power player in the online casino industry. And the doubt that used to creep in prior to launch? It has gone away completely.