Virgin Air founder Richard Branson recently shared his secrets on creating marketing buzz with a shoestring budget.
He’s also helped breathe new life into the travel and tourism industry with his novel efforts at branding and promotions.
Business Day recently published a column by Branson that highlighted some of those novel marketing efforts:
- When they launched Virgin Atlantic, Branson created free publicity for the airlines by taking part in a series of extreme challenges like a speed boat crossing of the Atlantic and several around the world balloon trips.
- When Virgin Atlantic did buy advertising for the airlines, they made sure their ads were cheeky, topical and newsworthy. Which often got them press in addition to the media space they paid for.
- Expanding air service to other countries helped transport the Virgin brand name to countries which did not have their record stores.
- This created awareness and trust for the broader Virgin brand name and allowed Branson to export Virgin mobile phone service, financial services and health clubs to those countries.
- When they launched Virgin Air in emerging countries in Latin America and Asia, there was virtually no recognition of the Virgin brand name.
- So Branson’s team used a three-pronged approach featuring adventure, film and social media. This strategy has attracted a younger, more media-savvy audience to the brand in those countries.
- Virgin’s space program, Virgin Galactic has given them lots of free worldwide media coverage. And reinforced that the brand is associated with groundbreaking adventure.
- Virgin’s film production company Virgin Produced has successfully introduced several popular movies, including Limitless and Immortals.
- This has helped reinforce that the Virgin brand name is associated with cutting edge ideas and the best of pop culture.
- Above all, Virgin uses Twitter, Facebook, the company’s blogs and Google+ to build a stronger following for the Virgin brand, especially in markets where they do not have a physical presence.
- They do this by broadcasting Virgin news, opinions, image and causes to millions of people across the world.
How are you using your brand’s strategy, products, or your destination’s leading personality to bring media attention to your travel and tourism brand? Share your ideas with our readers.
Here’s a video of Virgin Galactic’s launch of their new “spaceport.”