Filed under: Business, marketing, mystery, passion, richard branson, spontaneous, virgin
Yes. Richard Branson.
I recently finished yet another book about the ways of this entrepreneur, adventurer, business man and family man. The first book I read was an autobiography called Losing My Virginity and I most recently finished Business The Richard Branson Way – a foray into his style of work.
One thing that really caught my attention was Branson’s ability to garner extremely large amounts of publicity, without spending money. That fact goes hand in hand with the idea that you don’t necessarily have to be the leader in any one category in order to rise through the ranks and gain attention. And you sure don’t have to have a multimillion dollar budget to achieve it.
Richard Branson’s forays into the world of adventure – his attempts to cross the Atlantic in a speedboat, circumnavigate the world in a balloon and fly into space have placed him on the map. And with it, his company. There are not very many CEOs in the world as recognizable – Gates, Jobs and maybe Welch being the select few. There are certainly not very many CEOs in the world recognized for their endeavors outside the business world. Could you even imagine Bill Gates suspended in a hot air balloon, or Jack Welch trying to sail across the Atlantic? Neither could I.
Now what effect has this had on the Virgin brand? Branson is known as the image of Virgin, and every time he goes out on one of his adventures, it is associated with the Virgin name. Instead of spending extremely large amounts of money on advertising against Coke and Pepsi in the US, he rolled out Virgin Cola by driving a tank into Times Square and firing at a Coke vending machine. For the price of renting a tank and setting up the scene, Virgin graced newspapers worldwide.
Through a well-developed P.R. strategy, taking extreme (but relatively calculated risks) and just being a die-hard child of the 60’s, Branson has single-handedly created one of the most successful and interesting conglomerates in the world.
Filed under: Business, kevin roberts, lindstrom, mystery, rapaille, saatchi
This has been a recurring theme in my life for the last two-three weeks. We recently held a summit for our top executives on the client side, and the speaker I helped coordinate was none other than Dr. Clotaire G. Rapaille. Speaking with a background in psychology, one of his strong points was the importance of the element of mystery in business. This was also mentioned by Martin Lindstrom, a marketing guru who emphasizes the use of sensory branding in the development of solid brands. He makes examples of Coca Cola and KFC, brands who keep their ingredients shrouded under a cloud of mystery. A more contemporary example is Apple, with their campaign for the recently released iPhone. To add to this plethora of people supporting this idea, Kevin Roberts recently mentioned that it was mystery which has made the Harry Potter series so intriguing.
I think all of these are true. Another great example of the intrigue in mystery comes from the music industry. I recently went to a Daft Punk concert here in New York and, after some research, realized that their “schtick” is very well constructed. Daft Punk is an electronic music duo that, according to the story, was transformed into robots. Their new identities are the leather suits and custom made helmets that they wear everywhere.
So who is Daft Punk? Their identities are kept very secret, which in turn attracts people to their style and music. Call it a “schtick” if you please, but I think that this concept was very intelligently created, and without it the group wouldn’t have been as successful as they have become.
What kinds of mysteries have attracted you?