By Jukka Aminoff
Virgin is an iconic brand. My first touch with the brand happened during the 1980s by Virgin Records, back then I was a little kid living in Denmark. Genesis, The Human League, Sex Pistols, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Lenny Kravitz, Spice Girls, Neneh Cherry, and many other great artists. After the reading, the book, Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way (1998) by founder, entrepreneur Richard Branson, the whole brand sucked me in because it was brand, which made boring industries fun, and it was able to exceed consumer expectations by making serious issues entertaining. This is the secret of Virgin by making serious stuff entertaining is not so easy as it sounds because a brand must be able to lure customers and to be profitable.
Virgin's record shop was founded in 1976 and its first location was on Oxford Street in London. In the shop, people could listen to music before they made their purchases, and people were allowed to hang out and chill on sofas while listening to their favourite songs or searching for new classics. During the 1970s the concept was revolutionary by its informal way of doing business but England had already changed because Virgin understood the rising, new culture way better than anyone else, and customers were extremely delighted.
Virgin Atlantic's history is also a great example of how the brand managed to shape the whole aviation industry. Before Virgin's entry, aviation companies were standing still with progress. Virgin innovated a new way of flying, which made the planes almost like flying discos. Everything from customer service to lightning, from seats to salt and pepper and salt pots have been carefully thought through by creating remarkable customer experiences. Virgin has gained luxury class experiences from the aviation industry by giving the first-class service. It also has its luxury brand, Virgin Limited Edition, which offers stunning retreats. Customers can enjoy luxurious experiences in amazing locations.
What can luxury brands learn from Virgin? Always try something new, and be on the waves of rising, new cultures. Stay modern and change along the way. Customers must feel that luxury brands are shaping our environments for the better and not just carefully following what other brands are already doing. Keep it fun and entertaining!