Virgin Group's brand manual says "Our people come first." Virgin realizes the importance of employees in the success of the company. They develop loyalty from their own employees in order to build their reputation.
Environmental and Organizational Strategic Issues
Virgin Group finds new ways to lead the airline industry on environmental issues. The airline's brand new fleet is one of the most fuel and carbon efficient fleets being operated in the world.
The Virgin Group has also plan to reinvest all profits from Virgin-transport related businesses to renewable fuels research and other "green" initiatives that combat climate change. Virgin's current environmental initiatives include: a fleet and flight path analysis program to collect and analyze fuel burn data; operational programs that reduce carbon emissions; employee-focused green incentive efforts; and use of green guidelines in various procurement and operations decisions.
On 9 February 2007, Richard Branson, the owner, announced a new Global science and technology prize-The Virgin Earth Challenge. This is done to encourage technological advancements that will promote sustainability and welfare of mankind.
The Virgin Earth Challenge will award $25 million to the individual or group who are able to demonstrate a commercially viable design which will result in the net removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases each year for at least ten years without countervailing harmful effects.
The basic condition is the removal must have long term effects and contribute materially to the stability of the Earth's climate. Virgin's environmental and organizational strategies maybe branded as 'maverick' a bit radical even weird at times but are effective.
Their thrust to take into consideration sustainability in their business decisions is truly noble and remarkable. The company should continue in their commitment to engage investors, environmental groups and employees efforts toward the protection and promotion of environment.
Strengths The Virgin Group's strength is a strong brand name. The main advantage for this group is that they are experienced in two different kinds of distribution - in stationary trade and in mail ordering. The group is far less integrated than other big groups which make them more flexible compared to others.
The Virgin Group has a strong brand name which is strongly associated with its billionaire-owner Richard Branson. Branson's experience is multiple particularly in introducing new products in a competitive marketing environment. It has high budget or investment which can pay for quality labor, services or products.
The irony is that Virgin's strong brand name is also its weakness. This is because Virgin's image used to be that of a rebel and always taking the consumer's side. With the introduction of Virgin Trains and Virgin Credit Card, the image seems diluted now. Consumers are confused as to its identification now. It was also known to be a brand for young people. But with the introduction of Virgin Cars and Virgin Atlantic, the image has changed now.
Virgin's expansion and mixture of different businesses seem to produce image problems to the company. With its services and products ranging from trans-Atlantic flights, records, cola, lingerie, electricity, trains, concerts, holidays and mobile phones, the brand message seems to grow confusing.
Opportunities exist for Virgin in new markets such as in Australia. The Virgin airline can still make headlines as it competes with other established airlines and creates impact in its lower pricing.
Virgin is not a leading brand in any of its business. In its flights, electricity, music, cola and other ventures Virgin was never the market leader. It maybe internationally recognized but some of its products are not.
Virgin doesn't introduce new innovations. What it usually does is create a product similar to an existing product and sell it at a lesser price or offer a variation to it. Virgin merely follows others but never blaze the trails so to speak. Virgin maybe a strong business but it is not a strong brand.
A strong brand is not brought about a strong business but by a strong name and identity or something which only the brand can offer. This is not so with Virgin Group.