Branson’s marketing is like the difference between a violin and a fiddle

Last week’s column entitled “Does Branson need more big named stars or better promotion of what it has?” has generated some interest and comment. Its objective was to point out that Branson’s stages have an under recognized and underappreciated talent that, if recognized and marketed by the powers that control Branson’s marketing, could do for Branson well into its next 50 years what Shoji Tabuchi has done over the last 20 plus years.

It wasn’t intended to be about what we shouldn’t be doing or even an all inclusive piece about what we should be doing. It was a straight forward piece expressing one old man’s opinion about one thing we could be doing.

The comments on the “Ole Seagull Forum” under the “Living in Branson Forums” on were very interesting. They provide a varied perspective of peoples perception on the issue.

BransonBluesman said, “I’ve been here 22 years, and IMHO…Branson needs a few more “stars” to draw people here. Neal McCoy seems to have found a niche in Branson and will be appearing here on at least a semi-regular basis.” As to Neal McCoy and the other national stars that come to Branson, an Ole Seagull would say “Amen,” it adds to the breadth of the types of live shows Branson provides, has been taking place for at least the last two decades and doesn’t change the main point of the column.

Suselit said, “Branson has some young, ambitious Entertainers with their own Theaters who are working hard to get Audiences to come to Branson. The Duttons and The Haygoods are using TV to promote not only their shows but Branson as a tourist destination. It would seem logical for Branson to get behind their efforts and work as a team to accomplish the goal of Publicity for Branson.”
DalmationDad said, “Beyond about 600 miles or so, the marketing message is not effective IMO [In My Opinion]. People generally have heard of Branson, but misunderstand it terribly in the negative sense.” In referring to Suselit’s post, BransonBluesman said, “I think you are missing the point a bit. People who have never been to Branson have more than likely never heard of the The Duttons and The Haygoods.”

That was the major point of the column. Why haven’t people who have never been to Branson heard of these shows and Branson’s other under recognized and underappreciated shows who are performing day in and day out all during the season, not just for limited engagements or during the “plum part” of the season? Why are they not used as a marketing tool to help people make the decision to come to Branson because they are here?

BransonBluesman goes on to say, “Honestly – (and I’m not saying this is my opinion) most of the “family” acts in Branson are considered second rate when it comes to other entertainment areas like Vegas, etc.” All an Ole Seagull can say to that is “Honestly, Branson is a different type of entertainment “area,” than Las Vegas. “Areas like Vegas, etc.” don’t entertain, “entertainers” entertain and there is absolutely nothing “second rate” about the caliber of entertainment that family shows such as, but not limited to the Haygoods, Duttons, Six, the Hughes Brothers, Presleys’, Balknobbers and others provide Branson visitors. Weren’t the Dutton’s one of the top ten finalists on the nationally televised NBC hit show “America’s Got Talent” based on the votes of millions of Americans?

National stars, those on limited engagements, extended stays as well as those who chose to stay in Branson and become foundational shows are an important part of what Branson is today and will be in the future. What came first however, the national stars or the millions of visitors already coming to Branson to, among other things, be entertained by Branson’s foundational family acts such as the Baldknobbers, Braschlers, Plummers and Presleys?

At the end of the day marketing is like the difference between a violin and a fiddle. It’s all about how you play around with it that determines the result. From a marketing standpoint, why haven’t people who have never been to Branson heard about “The Duttons and The Haygoods” or Branson’s other under recognized and underappreciated shows?

Leave a Comment