By Amanda Williams and Brynley King

We were definitely in the right place at the right time! 

For us, the biggest highlight from the recent Traffic and Conversion Summit in San Diego, California, was sitting in a room with Sir Richard Branson.

For full disclosure, it was a very BIG room, a ballroom, with thousands of people but Branson would never let that get in the way of a good headline – and ours made you read on right?

We were in complete awe listening to Branson talk on stage about his past ventures & future plans for Virgin, his space company Virgin Galactic, Virgin Voyages cruise ships and plans to tackle drug addiction.

Branson is undeniably the most rebellious disruptor of modern times.

Here are a few of our key takeaways from Branson’s one-hour exclusive Q&A.

Naming Your Business: 

Virgin Australia is currently Australia’s second largest airline after Qantas. It’s a company that most of us are familiar with. But did you know it was going to be called Slip Disk Records (which would never have worked as an airline). Your business brand needs to be iconic and original. It should be easily distinguishable and unique.

At the time, 16-year-old Richard and his group of friends suggested the name because they were all, well, virgins. 

What was initially banter between friends soon caught on (despite the name Virgin being considered controversial at the time) and the name became synonymous with the brand’s identity. 

 

Maintaining a Good Reputation:

The core success of Branson’s billion-dollar empire can be attributed to his good reputation and staying true to himself. The Virgin holiday program was inspired by his daughters’ request to treat everyone equally and with fairness. 

His approach to his work and personal life is that if you treat your co-workers, clients and the public with a level of respect, they will perform better and want to do better. 

Virgin Australia also employs ex-cons and surprisingly, not one individual has re-offended as they are grateful for the opportunity and approached as equals.

 

Making it Personal:

According to Branson, the best approach to get interviews and the press interested is to share your personal story. Whether it’s an inspirational speech, or something radical that targets your audience, even polarising!

He recommends making a name for yourself first, and that corporate brand awareness comes thereafter.

 

Considering PR Stunts:

During the launch of Virgin Galactic, a sub-orbital space travel service, Branson’s PR stunt included dressing in an astronaut suit to market the travel service. It wasn’t the first time Branson dressed up for the cameras. He also once transformed himself into a female flight attendant for a rival airline as well as a blushing bride for a bridal business venture, all in the name of PR!

The publicity stunt is just one of the many strategies Branson has used to secure media attention; one could say he is the KING of PR Stunts.

Unpaid Media Coverage:

“A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” – Sir Richard Branson

Creating an image that people identify with is much easier through your personal charisma than ordinary advertising!

There’s no denying, Sir Richard Branson is the definition of EXTRA! 

According to the king of PR Stunts, we should not be afraid of going over the top to keep our personal image and brands relevant which is music to our ears!

We want our clients to stand out, but for the right reasons. 

If you’ve never had the benefits of personal branding explained to you in person, please let one of us know.

We love sharing the knowledge we acquire through our dedication to investing in ourselves to be at the forefront of the digital marketing world!

Amanda & Bryn! X