Insights

Preparing your brand for location based entertainment oppportunities

The location based entertainment (LBE) industry has seen a huge surge in both consumer and investor demand, as traditional shopping centres and out-of-city entertainment venues are being repurposed for new generations. Supply of brands and IPs into the industry has also hit record levels as everyone from old cartoon characters, to modern football clubs fight for attention in the LBE market.

With over 20 years experience and having worked on dozens of LBE projects globally, we want to share with you what your brand or IP can do to prepare for entering the LBE market. This guidance will set you on the right track to taking future opportunities that come your way.

What’s your key motivation to move into the industry?

Revenue, yes, but is what other motivation is making you look towards the LBE industry? Is this about broadening your exposure, simply selling another license, or, increasing loyalty and turning casual fans into super fans? Whatever the motivation that is driving this commercial decision, keep this in mind – it’s very easy to get sidetracked by the excitement of creating a visitor attraction.

What’s your preferred operational model?

Driven by your key motivation, it’s important to have a grasp of the operational and commercial models you are comfortable with. Are you happy for an operator to simply license your brand and do as they please? Or, do you want more creative license as part of a joint-venture project, perhaps? Understanding these dynamics between yourself, operator, investor, designers and other stakeholders is important.

Does your market provide a commercially-viable attraction?

There have been some brilliant brands and IPs enter the leisure market, only to fail miserably in a visitor attraction concept. Sometimes that is due to the experience itself, as well as the market simply not being strong enough for their offer. Consider whether your brand really does have the reach you believe, and whatever attraction you’re thinking of creating, is welcoming of casual fans and followers too. These groups will sway your decision to create a location based entertainment venue, or not.

What experience would your existing fans want from a LBE attraction?

The guest can see through an ‘experience’ if it is a glorified retail outlet. Your LBE attraction is the chance for guests to embrace and immerse in your brand’s world like they never have before. With that in mind, what activities would best represent your brand and be most applicable to your guests? What is the story that the attraction tells? What does it look, work, smell, sound, taste like? This is one of the fundamental questions to answer to ensure your attraction is unique and stands out from the crowd.

High competition, low operators

A saturated LBE market means brands and IPs really have to stand out from the crowd, especially considering the lack of leisure operators who will phsyically run these attractions – if you can’t do so yourself. Operators and investors alike are looking for the same pieces of information to make the best choices: the motivation, the experience, the demand, the operating model and the commerciality.

Answer these questions, and you’ll be one step closer to moving into the location based entertainment industry. Need some support on making this happen? Speak to the Katapult team today and see how we can work alongside you on creating the strategy, insights and designs to wow operators and investors.

Robbie
Jones

Insights Analyst Lead at Katapult. He works on providing data-driven audience and market trends, as well as operational insights, to assist the client and design team in creating immersive, commercially-successful experiences. Robbie has over 10 years' experience in the leisure and tourism industry and has worked with iconic brands, theme parks, family entertainment centres, museums and visitor attractions around the world.