How to launch a brand within a brand

"If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!" - Richard Branson

The thing about the Virgin brand is that it’s universally applicable whether you’re launching a beverage or an airline. You’re able to move confidently into uncharted waters knowing you’ve got an incredible toolkit of brand values to pull from and freedom to carve out a truly Virgin perspective no matter what your industry.

This toolkit was invaluable when we set out to launch and add an entirely new internet service to our existing mobile-only brand.

To paraphrase Richard, we said yes to a new opportunity and moved swiftly along to the “then learn how to do it” part with confidence, curiosity, and a totally fresh perspective.

Saying hi to home internet

We needed to stand out in a crowded market while creating excitement around a service that Canadians generally think of as a utility.

Canadian consumers are becoming more and more savvy about their internet. They choose their provider based on tech specs like download speeds and modem capabilities. We saw an opportunity to highlight our modem’s industry-leading technology in a way that felt human, surprising, and completely Virgin.

We put a friendly face on our internet, literally, by naming our modem Steve, and positioning him as a trusty surfing sidekick for all things online. 

Steve’s personality brought humour and a human touch into everything from mass advertising campaigns to instruction manuals and helped us connect with our Members every step of the way. Not only did Steve arrive with clear, friendly instructions, he also came with a sticker pack full of outfits so that Members could dress him up, or down, with hilarious clothes and accessories. Our ads humanized technology in a uniquely Virgin way by featuring Steve in real-world situations like busting a move in a living room dance party or passing the popcorn during a binge watching marathon.

Steve and his personality also helped Virgin Mobile employees from every department bring our internet product to life in ways that resonated with their audiences. From training in-store reps with fun Steve-themed lessons to swag items and events, Steve sparked inspiration and playfulness within the brand.

Brand and beyond

One of the privileges of working on a Virgin brand is the responsibility we have to change business for good. Launching a new product was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness for our Virgin Mobile RE*Generation initiative. We invited media and industry leaders to Steve’s House Party to join Richard and two youth who had completed one of our partner’s training programs and now had jobs, for food, drinks, and a panel discussion about breaking down barriers at-risk youth face to employment. 

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