Some people call it Little Las Vegas.
There’s a strip, bright lights, loads of entertainment, and lots of ways to get you to part with your money. But there the Nevada comparison ends.
Branson, Missouri has no gambling or “gaming” as the casinos prefer to call it (that play on semantics by the way is one of the great PR strategies ever. It helped get the halls of slots machines into dozens of cities throughout America).
The City is also located snack dab in the middle of the so called “Bible Belt” so there are no shows featuring adult entertainment or even suggestive slogans such as “What happens in Branson stays in Branson.”
In fact people are extremely friendly and polite. So much so in fact I was looking for signs that said “No cursing allowed”.
For most of us, Branson doesn’t lack a thing. It is a fun and exciting place full of things to do for people of all ages.
Like any type of resort or tourist destination there are also plenty of folks anxious to get you to part with your hard earned dollars.
In fact, the marketing “touches” begin on the road well before you even get to the Branson city limits.
Many places along the way offer coupons and discount books to shows and restaurants.
Driving to your hotel you notice all the billboards and neon marquees inviting you to their respective shows and eateries.
Dolly Parton and her Dixie Stampede seem to be advertised everywhere. Even our hotel room key cards had Dolly’s photo on them.
Need driving directions? The hotel has a map for you with plenty of ads and discounts.
Want to see what’s going on in town? You can watch a local vacation channel with constant tips on where to go and what to do.
What to save money on a show ticket? Discounts are everywhere provided you want to take a tour of a time share (since when did this practice become de rigueur at every
Silver Dollar City, the 1890’s type theme park, also expects you to leave a donation.
SDC charges $50 per adult to get into the place. Pass through the entrance and you see restaurants and shops on both sides of the walk way.
Of course, your entry fee covers a good deal of entertainment such as watching a variety of local singers and dancers and/or spinning around on a multitude of roller coaster type rides. But they realize you’re there not only to play but also to enjoy some old time country cooking.
Once you think you’ve done it all, and are seemingly out of breath and out of money,waiting in the wings is the exit path. It guides you through a tunnel full of souvenir shops, memorabilia for sale, and yes a few food stands.
As someone once said, “They get you coming and going.”
But it’s done in a good way.
It leads a PR professional to think how most businesses fail to grasp and engage the customer with their marketing strategy.
Where’s the road map that leads them to do business with your company of firm?
Once aboard, what happens then?
Can you provide the right type of products and services to keep them coming back for more?
Is your customer service on track to keep the client involved and excited about your offerings?
At the end of the day, will his or her experience be a memorable one or one they would rather forget about it?
Finally, would they recommend your destination (firm) to a friend or business associate?
The answer, like a trip to Branson, should be a resounding… yes!