Video Transcript

00:12 Eric Schurenberg: There are other holding companies besides Virgin that own many different brands, and they have made the choice to keep those brands separate, keep their identities separate. You wouldn't even know, in many cases, who the holding company is. But you've applied the Virgin name towards a incredible range of different companies, what does that add? What is the secret sauce of the Virgin brand that applies across so many different kinds of businesses?

00:38 Richard Branson: Well, there are positives in doing it the way we're doing it and there are potentially negatives as well. I think the positive thing is that because the Virgin brand is, you know, is well-trusted globally, that if we set up a new venture and we put the Virgin brand to it, it gives it a leg up and it speeds up the process towards it's success. The negatives is, because the brand is so well-respected, that unlike say venture capitalists who will invest in a whole lot of businesses, some will succeed some will fail, you know, the ones that fail will most likely just let go into Chapter 11 or let them go bankrupt, we could never do that. I mean, we have to stand behind all our companies because we never want to... We'll never let a Virgin company go bust, we would never want to see a Virgin company going bust. And so, it can be... It costs us a lot more. But having said all that, your reputation is all you got in life and I think it's worth spending that money. I'll give you one good example. When music retailing was on it's knees, you know, in order to bow out gracefully, you know it cost us tens of millions of pounds, whereas our rival companies were not putting their hands in their pockets and then paying that sort of money out.

02:16 Schurenberg: What does the Virgin brand stand for? Across all those companies?

02:21 Branson: Well, I think the Virgin brand is synonymous with a number of different things, depending on what kind of company it is. But I mean, I think, people see the Virgin brand as not taking itself too seriously. It's a fun brand, an adventurous brand. It generally offers great quality at great value. It's a people brand and... So I think you know, you know I think that... It's a challenger brand. I mean, we take on organizations much bigger than ourselves, and so we like to play the David versus Goliath role, and it's a lot more fun being David than Goliath. Sometimes we end up flat on your faces as a result because the Goliath has very, very big feet, especially in the case of someone like Coca-Cola [chuckle] On other occasions, we manage to succeed.