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Virgin successes come from from two main drivers- from offering a good product (or service actually in most cases) and from offering a real competitive advantage or difference.

The brand part is represented by the way that these two things are combined and reflect the Virgin "personality", which is what provides the difference and the appeal and so on.

So where Virgin "works" is when it is an integrated holistic package consistent with the brand and offering a sought for point of difference vs competitors. So after 3 of your books they should be getting the point by now...

David Taylor (from Where'sTheSausage)

Dear Mr Gates,

What an honour to have such an important person commenting on WTS! Apologies for assuming mis-correctly that billionaires had no time for branding blogs


Bill Gates

Dear David

Please don't make too many assumptions concerning the wealth of your readers.

David Taylor (from Where'sTheSausage)

Rob, The more detailed Virgin story in the book suggests that Virgin has a "dual core". As you rightly point out, the whole thing started with record label (in fact, even before this, with a mail order record business...which got closed down as Branson was not paying VAT. He only avoided going to prison as his Grandad was a high court judge, apparently).
=> the music business have the brand its youthfullness, and irreverence

The 2nd bit of the core was then the airline..this is where the "Fighter for value and service" bit of the brand was born

Its this dual core that, in my book, created the platform for everything else.


I'd challenge this summary of their success. Surely Virgin's real success, and in fact the business that kicked started the whole Virgin Empire was the record label.

Without Mike Oldfield etc. Branson wouldn't have been able to sell it to EMI to allow him to start Virgin Atlantic.


David Taylor (from Where'sTheSausage)

Rebecca, You were lightening-quick out of the blocks with the correct answer...most of the succesful Virgin extensions are indeed service offers, and most of the flops products. Even Virgin Megastore (retail) is a service offer.

Seems it in service where the Virgin differentiation can shine through, with service innovation (sausage) inpired by the Branson spirit (sizzle).

Plse email your address, and a copy of brand stretch will be in the post!


The first thing that popped into my head was that they were all service driven (there isnt really any products involved), but then I think of Virgin Megastores.

Did you know they even have a small bridal store in Manchester?

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