Thursday, 9 April 2015
A Bit of Branding from Richard Bran(d)son
Richard Branson of Virgin fame has some ads out on the Tube. The sales pitch?
Your sales pitch.
The idea is that you, the reader, pitch ideas for businesses – you #PitchToRich.
Think about it. It’s a pitch for business ideas. They are advertising cash prizes for great business ideas. Richard Branson of course is a famously successful businessman, so it lends credibility.
But more to the point, this is a no-lose campaign for Branson. At best, he gets great ideas for businesses, at a relatively cheap price and with the chance to snap up entrepreneurs who may have the ability to implement them. These things cannot be taken lightly – but Virgin has the chance to win them at a low cost.
And what is the negative side? What’s the worst case scenario?
At worst, they get no good ideas. They perhaps lose a little money. But they build the Branson, Virgin brand for cheap. Because the basis for so much of Richard Branson’s success is not so much his business acumen in a literal sense, but his business acumen in the sense that he knows how to use the fact that people think he has business acumen.
I know - that’s a little confused.
But the point is that Richard Branson is famous for being an innovator, a great businessman – but most importantly as a man who takes risks and believes strongly in trying out new ideas. And even if it were not true, the fact that people believe it is in of itself a business advantage. It makes competitors afraid, and investors bullish.
And this campaign, whether it yields great ideas or not, is building and maintaining that reputation – and building and maintaining the business case for Richard Branson and Virgin for years to come.