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Richard Branson Wiki Insights


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A debriefing about Richard Branson and the Virgin brand values. Used originally for consulting. Partial information now available to the world.

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Richard Branson Wiki Insights

  1. 1. richard branson wiki INSIGHTS Favourite Presentation Judgement Favourite Subject Favourite Colour Cognitive Considerations Gaia Capitalism Customers Types of Businesses He Would Want to Get Into Designed By Software Used Time Richard Branson’s favourite presentation is Al Gore’s, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Richard Branson believes common sense and vision are more important than vast files and reports to know if something is a good idea. “Virgin works hard at developing its image, from its distinctive logo, to the way in which the businesses are presented... I truly believe that the presentations and image of one’s business should reflect the fun as well as the hard work behind it.” Branson is particularly fond of history, as he quotes ancient Egyptian sages. He has also said, if he went back to school, he would want to pursue a degree in history. His favourite colour may actually be blue, because the ocean and water have shaped key moments in his life. Cognitive considerations to keep in mind are Branson’s mild case of dyslexia and ADD. Any new business he gets into has to some extent deal with the environmental aspect of the venture. His views about climate change have changed the way he perceives his company’s footprint in this world. His customers “are the type of people who are bright and innovative.” Branson will get involved in a new business if thinks it will be fun, but it also has to pay its way. He believes the time to get into a new business is when the genre is abysmally run by other people, and when he feels that Virgin can provide a significantly better customer experience. Al Gore’s presentation and structure was developed by Duarte Design. Duarte Design used Apple’s Keynote. Branson makes up his mind about people and ideas in sixty seconds. BY: MICHAEL ASH - Sir Richard Branson
  2. 2. Connecting the dots Al Gore Steve Jobs Al Gore initially started his “slide show” project by contacting Apple for help. The company recommended Duarte Design for their mastery of storytelling and a presentation software called Keynote – the very same software Apple developed for Steve Jobs to give his presentations on. Nancy Duarte and the staff at Duarte Design worked closely with Al Gore to humanize his story about global warming and provided a visually rich alternative to PowerPoint, through the use of 3D transitions, embedded videos, pictures and animated charts/graphs. Al Gore’s presentation won him rave reviews around the world because the narrative relied less on written words and more on the delivery of the presenter. Key visuals such as Mount Kilimanjaro and melting glaciers were there to support Al Gore’s story and not the other way around. In addition, a humorous animation about the future was incorporated into the slideshow, bringing a little fun, into an already heavy subject. Richard Branson’s admiration of Steve Jobs goes as far back as 1997 when he was asked to be featured in an Apple commercial, which paid homage to the rebels of history. Several years later, Branson witnessed Steve Jobs turn one of his April Fools’ jokes into reality. Unofficially, Branson resents and admires Steve Jobs for turning the iPod into a reality. In one chapter within his latest book Richard Branson quotes Steve Jobs and reminds readers to always, ‘Think different.’ At first glance, Al Gore’s visually rich presentation may have been memorable for Richard Branson because of how dyslexia affects the internalization of information. At second glance, it may once again be about the way information was delivered. Al Gore learned the art of presenting from Duarte Design, while Duarte Design learned the art of presenting from Steve Jobs (Steve Job’s Keynote speeches at public gatherings to be more precise). Steve Jobs in turn gained a deeper understanding of story telling when he purchased Pixar Animation Studios in 1985. This Pixar connection is not so far fetched when you consider Richard Branson quotes Toy Story, while describing his investment into Virgin Galactic – “To infinity and beyond!” As you’ll read in the next page, Branson prefers universal concepts that don’t need much explaining. After all, isn’t that what memorable stories are all about? Richard Branson started his empire by dropping out of school and focusing on his Student magazine.
  3. 3. Final insights to Consider This Changes Everything... Having spoken about everything so far, it is important to remember Richard Branson doesn’t care for digital presentations. In a recent interview with Forbes Magazine Branson said he didn’t care much for PowerPoint presentations. According to Carmine Gallo, “He prefers eye contact and conversation. Branson doesn’t have patience for long, confusing presentations. He prefers short and simple pitches, even if they’re written on a beer mat.” This information is essential because, it once again emphasizes the importance of content delivery. If someone is not as exceptional in delivering a well-rehearsed speech on Keynote such as Al Gore or Steve Jobs, then an alternative to a digital presentation should also be considered. This can also prove to be a less nerve-racking and human way to sell an idea. Richard Branson mentions repeatedly in his books that he receives thousands of proposals every week and there are too many for him to look at. Instead his staff read them first and give him the best proposals. If a company or an individual can bypass the red tape, it’s worth examining how their idea can pass the Virgin “brand test.” Branson doesn’t mention what this “brand test” is; however, we can make a couple of educated guesses: Virgin has been able to diversify in many directions because the core of the brand promise has always revolved around superior customer service and people. When we analyze the collection of ventures Branson has invested into, a pattern emerges. The Virgin Group, which most recently ranges from a health club named, Virgin Active to a bank called Virgin Money are all part of a lifestyle. You see, at this point in time, Virgin is no longer a private company but a “lifestyle brand,” which emphasizes being young at heart and living for the overall experience. While Apple is considered a religion by several corporate anthropologists, Virgin may in fact be a “way of life.” As you can see, the founder of Virgin is a complicated individual. Learn everything you can about him in order to understand the “buyology” of his brand. At the end of the day your idea should be simple and aligned with the “way of life” his company advocates. This is a Creative Commons document. @AshIdeas // All multi-media in this document are the property of their respective owners and are intended for the purposes of fair use, for investigative purposes. Like A Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School | 2012 Screw It Lets Do It: Lessons in Life and Business | 2007 Forbes: Richard Branson | 2012 Piers Morgan Tonight: Richard Branson | 2011 Sources MICHAEL ASH helps businesses with their branding and follows Sir Richard Branson religiously.