Branson and Branding: Five lessons from Virgin

Geoffrey Precourt

Virgin Group, under the direction of British entrepreneur Richard Branson, is known for its ability to enter multiple unrelated categories – from airlines to music to mobile networks. It thrives on being a challenger brand upsetting category norms. So what can other brands learn from the group?

Attempting to answer that question at the BRITE Conference on Branding, presented by Columbia University Business School's Center on Global Brand Leadership, was Julie Cottineau, founder of BrandTwist, a recently launched marketing consultancy set up to help entrepreneurs build market presences


Cottineau should have a good idea, having spent nearly five years as VP/brand at Virgin USA, in which capacity she saw Virgin's US brand awareness increase by 14%. Cottineau came to Virgin after eight years as Executive Director/consumer branding at Interbrand, where she also led an innovations and insight practice.