It’s great to see Virgin Voyages partnering up with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays – I think we’d call this a triple red (You book through Virgin Holidays, jump on a Virgin plane to Miami then board Virgin Voyages – seamless!). Really proud to hear that Virgin Holidays is not just the number one UK seller so far for Virgin Voyages, but globally.
It’s a perfect example of the power of partnerships and the strength of the Virgin family, something we are exploring further with Virgin Red. The fundamental driver of our success at Virgin has, and will always be, our people working together. Partnering with other businesses as a way to help both companies grow is a tactic we’ve used from the very start. When we launched Virgin Records we were unable to afford the rent on central London premises. Yet, we still managed to open our first shop in the capital’s most coveted retail spot - Oxford Street. This was because we were able to get a free space above a shoe shop by promising we’d help them sell a lot of Dr Martens to customers who came past to buy records from us.
We used this method again (minus the shoes!) when we first launched Virgin Atlantic. The airline industry was a greying institution run by faceless corporates. Then we came along with bright red uniforms, TVs on the back of seats and a limo chauffeur service for upper class customers. We were disrupting the industry and bigger brands wanted to align themselves with us to boost their image. This is how we were able to feature Virgin Atlantic in its first TV advert. We had no budget to pay for promotions, but on this occasion American Express had just launched its new Amex card and wanted it to be seen being used by people and brands with an edgier image.
As a start-up, partnering with a big business can be the difference between success and failure - something we’ve seen time and time again with Virgin StartUp supporting entrepreneurs in the UK in the past few years. It’s really wonderful to see Virgin Atlantic now playing the part of the big business and being able to help out another Virgin company that is just starting out. It’s also good to see Virgin Voyages disrupting the cruise industry in the same way that Virgin Atlantic disrupted the airline industry – by offering something new and different.
We have taken the time to think about every detail and craft an experience that brings the Virgin brand to life. This, paired up with Virgin Holidays’ and Virgin Atlantic’s existing customer base, trusted reputation, distribution network and unparalleled access to air and hotel product from the UK, is hard for others to compete with.