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This report illustrates the development and growth of Virgin Group since its inception. It outlines the profile of its renowned CEO, Richard Branson, and the entrepreneurial skills that he manifested into the organization. In addition, the report analyzes the various marketing strategies that Richard Branson used in the process of transforming the organization from small scale enterprise to a multi-national corporation. The various organizational cultures that shape and define the activities of the enterprise are highlighted with emphasis being on the aggressiveness of the workforce. Finally, employees' ways of motivation are highlighted. This report is written to Uday Nair for FC088 introduction to business assignment
2.1 Richard Branson's Profile
Richard Branson is a renowned entrepreneur who initiated the operations of Virgin Group to a world class level.According to Virgin ,Richard Branson was a London-based person born in 1950,when he was a school boy aged 16,he founded his first business a magazine called Student. Towards the end of 1970, he founded virgin records.After that ,the virgin atlantic airways,virgin cola,virgin mobile,virgin blue were appearing gradually.The following table shows the development and the range of virgin group.
a magazine named Student
Virgin Recording Studio
- Virgin Vision,Virgin Atlantic Airways,Virgin cargo , Virgin Holidays,Virgin Classics,Virgin Broadcasting
Virgin Books,Virgin Vodka,Virgin Cola,Virgin Express,Virgin Brides,Virgin Trains,Virgin Cosmetics,Virgin Mobile,Virgin Active
Virgin Health Bank,Virgin Media,Virgin Energy,Virgin Galactic
Virgin gaming,virgin produced
2.2 Entrepreneurial Skills
The expansion of virgin group has been attributed to the unique skills and dedication of Richard Branson. His entrepreneurial skills were manifested in every activity and operation he undertook.Following are the two pivotal skills of Mr Branson.
Firstly, challenging self and willing taking risks.Mr Branson not only take risks to enter a completely new business in his career but also challenge himself in life .In 1987, Branson became the first man who crossed the Atlantic Ocean by a hot-air balloon which was with 2.3million cubic feet.In addition, In1998, Branson and his two partners Per Lindstrand and Steve Fossett flew from Morocco to Hawaii by hot air ballon,which broke a record. Another example ,In 2004,Branson used the least time to cross the English Channel,which is also broke the world record.(Goldenberg,2007)
Secondly, the good skills of communicating, thinking and listening. Richard Bronson is keen on telling a story or using a metaphor instead of delivering theoretical knowledge. In addition, Mr Branson always keep his brain working and collect the idea and information from customers and staff (Sicinski). Certainly,only these two factors can not build the success of Branson, the skills of sales,leadership negotiation is also important.
3.0 Marketing Strategies
Peter,Olson, Grunert (P10) state,"A marketing strategy is a plan designed to influence exchanges to achieve organizational objectives."In other words ,marketing strategies is to increase the sales volume of the production by developing marketing mix,which contains four main elements price, place, product, promotion.
Firstly, using marketing mix-product. Product is regarded as the most vital one by many experts of marketing. Because they consider that products are the things which meets consumers'demands. (Surridge,Gillespie2011) The Virgin Group provides innovative products and quality services. The product of virgin is various which involve different domains. Such as lifestyle,media ,mobile,music travel money.(virgin).
Secondly,using marketing mix-price. Whether customers will buy the product or not price is a major point.(Surridge,Gillespie2011) Price strategy is made a good use in virgin group.Such as virgin airline,After doing some marketing research,they make a change of the price and the type of the air ticket which do not offer food but with cheap price(Australian Business Traveller ).
Thirdly, marketing mix-place.place is related to the ways to deliver and sell the goods to customers which need distribution channel.(Business Case Studies) People can not only buy virgin product in shop but also can buy online.
Finally, marketing mix-promotion. Which involves informing the existing and potential customers. Use advertisement ,media or personal selling to persuade customers.(Surridge,Gillespie2011) To virgin group,Advertising constitute a big part of promotion for the organization. It uses TV advertising campaigns in influencing customers to buy its products and services.Such as virgin Atlantic. Which TV advertisement is the first one across the word.(PRnewswire)
4.0 organzational culture
In most of the organizations across the globe, diversity and culture have shaped the operations of the organizations, and virgin Group is no exception. The success of Virgin Group is also attributed to their modern culture of undertaking operations.
First of all, the virgin is employee-centered. In virgin group,There is no doubt that the core of the company is staff. Richard Branson regarded that staff is first, customers are second and stockholder is the last. (Rifkin,1998). Employees in virgin group are allowed to e-mail the leader directly in order to collect employees a'ideas,advices and grievances. And then Mr Branson will read them before the work every morning. More importantly, Richard Branson will make respond and action about it.(Rifkin,1998) This culture not only arouse passion of the staff but also play an important role in developing the virgin.
Secondly, virgin group devoting themselves to taking risks and bold innovation. Finding a new gap and developing it .Such as virgin airline, they create some new type of air ticket and the new service.such as the innovation for VIP which provide delicious food and comfortable service.(Manning , Salter, Tuinzing ,2005) This culture enables the staff in virgin group to try new things and create new service or production which never apperred but was highly needed in customers.
Another culture is that the virgin group is a family rather than a company with hierarchy. Every member of the staff and their families were invited to his country home to enjoy parties in recently years.he also believe that most of our time is working ,so the comfort working environment and a good mood is essential.(Rifkin,1998)
the success of the organization is not only been achieved through the CEO's leadership and marketing strategies, but also through motivating employees in the workplace.Motivation is a method to motivate and encourage employees in the firm.(Cherry) According to Surridge and Gillespie, There are two main methods, one is financial motivation,the other is non-monetary motivation.the first one is motivated by paying.such as Taylor which supports that employees should be closely monitored and paid piece-rate.in addition,the theory of Maslow and Herzbery highlights the importance of meeting the psychological needs. The second one is focus on employees'work.they are allowed to do things which is full of interest and challenge. The virgin group use both methods to motivate the staff. They assign right tasks to right employee and let them challenge themselves.In addition,Virgin Group ensured that all the employees were provided with relevant and adequate information on the reward process in order to satisfy them. Finally, the CEO allowed lower-level employees to set their goals that they may perceive to be attainable. Employees are motivated when they realize that they are moving towards achieving the set goals and objective sin the organization.
The success of the virgin group is owe to four main part. The unique leadership and the entrepreneurial skills of Richard Branson, the marketing strategy which the virgin group use,and the organzational culture that influence every parts of the firm. Meanwhile,motivation is also an important point which can encourage the staff. It is believed that, in the next 3 decades, Virgin Group will be the leading non-profit making organization in the world.