Jan 21, 2011

Person in Focus: Richard Branson

Lets start with Richard Branson- a person who barely needs any introduction. This Post is on his mantra of doing business- HAVING FUN.
Following are a few of his statements exemplifying how Virgin uses advertising as a tool to make the most out of current events and how one integrates fun as an element in business.

-"The four P's -- people, product, price and promotion -- are often
cited as the keys to a successful business. Yet this list omits a vital ingredient that has characterized Virgin companies throughout our 40 years: Fun, with a capital F."

-Talking about the launch of Virgin Atlantic: "We also started to run some funny, pretty direct and usually highly topical advertisements to grab the public's attention. Such "in your face" ads were largely unknown in the stodgy world of airlines, so our approach quickly gained us notoriety, press coverage and, above all, visibility. The humor stood out against our moribund competitors, and soon Virgin Atlantic itself -- not just the ads --became synonymous with a cheeky and upstart personality and, more importantly, a fresh, different
approach to commercial aviation."

-"Marketing teams in London and New York frequently reacted quickly to the day's news and, within 24 hours, placed tactical-response
advertisements in key markets. The day after John Sununu, then White House chief of staff, was castigated for using public money for a
limousine to take him on personal trips, Virgin ran a one-off ad saying if only he had booked Virgin Atlantic, he would have gotten the limo for free!"

-"When Gen. Manuel Noriega, the former leader of Panama, was extradited to Miami for trial, we ran a big picture of him, with the caption, "Only one person has flown to Miami cheaper than on Virgin Atlantic!""

-"This sense of humor and risk-taking has infused many of our other businesses. Virgin Mobile Canada produced a series of memorable advertisements poking fun at famous people. When Elliot Spitzer, the
former governor of New York, resigned over a sex scandal, where he was identified as "client No. 9," our ads that week showed a picture of Spitzer with a thought bubble proclaiming: "I'm tired of being treated
like a number. "The ads were all about Virgin Mobile's personalized service. They went on to say: "At Virgin Mobile, you're more than just a number. When you call us, we'll treat you like a person, not a client. Whether you're No. 9 or No. 900, you'll get hooked up with
somebody who'll finally treat you just how you want to be treated.""

-"Another ad in the series showed Hillary Clinton with a thought
bubble saying, "I wish my bill wasn't so out of control.""

-"All of it has definitely made an impression and infused that "Virgin
feeling" into new ventures. While it is not enough just to be the
joker in the pack, if your service and product excel, then making
people smile will help you establish a place in their hearts as well
as their minds. Try taking yourself and your business less seriously.
You may be surprised that many others will take you more seriously."

Just one word for Branson's ideology "Immortal". He certainly has made an indelible impact on the way we look at companies today.

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