folder Filed in Interviews, Podcast
Rob Gallo on Building Brands and Influencer Marketing Strategies
By SmartBranding Team access_time 4 min read


Our guest in this episode is Rob Gallo, a founder, investor, consultant, advisor, and mentor. With a career in the online gaming industry that spans back to 1997, Rob has specialised expertise in casino and poker platforms. He runs a consultancy practice where he offers strategic guidance to position and elevate brands in the market. 

Meet our guest

Name: Rob Gallo

What they do: Rob is the founder of Pivotal Zen, a company that introduces casino gamification into various aspects of digital marketing, extending its application beyond just the gambling industry. Pivotal Zen specialises in developing actionable, tactical plans to construct effective affiliate and influencer campaigns, which help businesses attract new customers and foster robust loyalty programs for sustained brand engagement.

Interesting fact: Rob launched one of the pioneering online casinos in 1997, well before the popularisation of gamification concepts in apps like Candy Crush. He ran the business successfully until 2010, when he started his consultancy practice.

Where to reach them:


Branding should begin with a top-down approach. Having a clearly defined vision and mission is crucial for anyone starting a company, especially a new startup. Now that you have established your focus, anyone joining your team will know and align with the company’s ethos.

Rob Gallo

My advice to startup entrepreneurs is to surround yourself with people who know more than you. Being the smartest person in the room is not always the best thing. If you surround yourself with smarter people, you’ll learn from their experiences. When it comes to branding, remember that choosing a name isn’t just about what sounds cool; it’s about the logical reasoning behind it and your ability to build a brand around it. If you don’t proactively position yourself in the marketplace, your competitors will do it for you – and you might not like their approach.

Rob Gallo

Short overview

Rob shares his professional evolution from operating a successful online casino business to becoming an affiliate and influencer marketing expert. He explains the story behind his company name, Pivotal Zen, which represents his strategic shift from focusing solely on the gaming industry to exploring other sectors that could benefit from his expertise in gamification and loyalty strategies. The inclusion of Zen in the company name reflects his emphasis on a balanced work-life approach, a principle shaped by his experience with demanding work schedules and the importance of overall well-being.

Rob has extensive knowledge of loyalty programs, illustrating their wide-ranging effectiveness with examples from both the hotel industry and grocery stores. When it comes to branding and positioning, he emphasises the significance of these aspects by pointing to the unique strategies of companies like Patagonia and Apple. He highlights the importance of effective positioning in creating distinct brand identities, using Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts as prime examples of how different approaches to similar products can appeal to varied customer bases.

On the domain front, Rob acknowledges the significance of Exact Brand Match domains as symbols of trust and established credibility in the business world, comparing them to traditional markers like 1-800 numbers or a 212 area code.

A crucial piece of advice Rob offers entrepreneurs is the importance of surrounding oneself with knowledgeable people. He emphasises that being open to learning from others, especially in branding and positioning, is more beneficial than being the smartest in the room.

Regarding artificial intelligence, Rob sees it as a valuable tool for content creation and efficiency, stressing the importance of human oversight and noting emerging areas like prompt engineering and AI’s creative applications.

Looking ahead, Rob is excited about his new venture with a gaming company, helping it strive to become a unicorn in the industry. On a personal note, he shares the joy of becoming a grandfather for the second time, marking a fulfilling milestone in his life.

Key moments

  • Branding, gamification, and digital marketing with Rob Gallo. (0:05)
  • Gamification and loyalty programs in various industries. (0:57)
  • Branding and positioning in business. (8:36)
  • Branding and naming for online casinos. (13:29)
  • AI, branding, and content creation in the gaming industry. (19:30)

We host engaging conversations about naming, branding, and entrepreneurship, exploring everything from initial triumphs to the hurdles along the way. If you’ve got insights on innovative branding strategies, lessons learned from entrepreneurial ventures, or thoughts on the significance of a solid domain name strategy, and you’re keen to chat about them, we’d love to hear from you!

A premium domain name can make all the difference in building a successful brand. If you want to take your business to the next level, consider investing in a premium domain name. Contact us today for more information and assistance in finding the perfect domain for your brand.

Other resources

advisor branding brands domain name domains interview investor marketing naming Pivotal Zen podcast Rob Gallo