Couple of months back I read an article in the newspaper. It is about a guy interviewing Sir Richard Branson on how he did his marketing for his Virgin business empire. It caught my attention and I read that article to the end. The guy who interview Sir Richard Branson was also running businesses and wanted to get the word out. So he asked the business leader to give him some advice on marketing a fledging company.
As you know, I’m a nice guy and I always love to share something great and something which I think can help you in both your life and business. So below are some interesting and mind boggling responses from Richard Branson…
Put Your Business Into The Spotlight
To get your brand out there, you need to present your business differently than your competition does. My mentor, Sir Freddie Laker, the owner of Laker Airways gave me similar advice in Virgin’s early days, and this eventually defined our marketing strategy, helping to make Virgin brand internationally famous.
When we launched Virgin Atlantic, we were entering an industry rife with big players. “Make sure you appear on the front page and not the back pages,” Sir Freddie told me. “You are going to have to get out there and sell yourself. Make a fool of yourself, whatever it takes. Otherwise you won’t survive.”
I took Freddie’s advice to heart. We drew attention to Virgin Atlantic by creating spectacles – we floated an airship with a sign saying “BA can’t get it up” above the London Eye Ferris wheel and flew a “UFO” over London in the early hours of April Fool’s Day.
Over more than 40 years, the Virgin team has launched hundreds of companies worldwide, and I have done some outrageously fun and entertaining things in the name of marketing our products and services. I donned a wedding dress to launch Virgin Brides; drove a tank down Fifth Avenue in New York to launch Virgin Cola; jumped off the roof of the Palms Hotel and Casino to celebrate the first Virgin America flight to Las Vegas; maneuvered an amphibious car across the English Channel to mark Virgin Atlantic’s 20th anniversary; and drank champagne while rappelling down the side of a new Spaceport air hanger for Virgin Galactic.
Our team has donned countless costumes, thrown hundreds of parties and enlisted myriad people to help us along the way. While not everything has always gone according to plan – and I’ve definitely made a fool of myself – it has been worth it: we’ve put our products and services on the map.
So get thinking. Get yourself: why did you start your business? What is it that sets your products and services apart from the rest? What would you ultimately like to achieve?
Once you have that down on paper, brainstorm some fun and entertaining ways you can deliver your message. And don’t shy away from asking for help. If you run into naysayers, remind them that no matter how great your product or service is, no one will hear about it if you don’t attract attention – it’s that simple. So do something original. Do something your competitors have never thought of.
Very interesting idea for marketing your business isn’t it? You have to dare to do it and be creative to get the word out. If you are serious about making your business that everyone thinks about when they need it, you have to be different. Go for the front page. Make the headline and make it fun and entertaining.
Just like what Seth Godin’s book title suggest, Purple Cow. What would you do if you saw a normal cow? Nothing. An ordinary cow will never catch your attention and it is just plain, normal. However, the purple cow is different. It is something that you have never seen before and something that will definitely grab eyeballs and catch the attention of the market. This is exactly what you need to do.
By the way, do you know that Sir Richard Branson always keep a notebook and a pen by his side? So that he can write down whatever that comes into his mind about how to grow his business empire to the next level. Ideas will come to you at any moment, and that moment may struck you for just a few seconds. The moment you ignore the idea, it will be gone and you won’t be able to recall it again. This is why you need to write down the thoughts that can help you in building your business.