Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 9th 2017 Contents FEBRUARY 9 • 2017 guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | BG13
Everyone loves a love story
I'm a sucker for romance, so your
question stood out from the crowd.
Whenever I see a sweet love story, I
can't help but share it with others---
and I'm not alone!
This bodes well for your desire to
increase marketing for your company. Why?
Because the key to great marketing is story-
telling. And as Hollywood, Bollywood and the
books and magazine industries demonstrate,
nothing sells better than a great love story.
You're wise to be careful about where you
spend your profits, but reinvesting in market-
ing---as long as it is done smartly---is vital to
the growth of any business. I see on your site
that you've correctly positioned yourselves as
a visible part of the business. I've always found
this to be the most effective form of marketing
for Virgin Atlantic.
In addition to your personal story, though,
draw upon the experiences of your customers.
Another angle to pursue is content mar-
keting, which is a term for sharing wonder-
ful stories that bring a smile to people's faces,
while also highlighting your brand values and
products. If you position a request correctly,
getting permission from your guests and in-
cluding lovely photographs from their trips on
your site might be a great opportunity. The
best marketing you could wish for is already
at your disposal: In this age of social media
overload, it's crucial to have a differentiator,
and for your business it's personal stories filled
with laughter and love.
You also might need to use some of your
budget to invest in paid social boosts to get
these stories in front of potential customers.
Using the targeting available on sites like Face-
book, more people who might be interested
will see your brand.
In turn, old-fashioned word-of-mouth
marketing can then come into play alongside
Another thing to consider is consolidating
your efforts to make one big splash, then cap-
italising on the back of it.
A great example of this recently came from
Naja, an ethical and eco-friendly lingerie, swim
and activewear brand. When launching a cam-
paign for a "nude" lingerie suitable for women
of all skin tones, I urged founder Catalina Girald
to invest in one eye-catching billboard, then tell
the news media that it was part of a nationwide
campaign. It's something we did successfully
with Virgin Atlantic, too, and it works well if
the initial billboard is clever enough.
Taking my advice, Catalina created a striking
visual poster campaign in one fashionable New
York subway station.
Social media picked it up instantly, and press
interest soon followed. It worked so well that
website traffic quadrupled, press coverage
exploded and sales soared. Now, that's clever
advertising and budget management!
Consider how a similar campaign could work
for you, and think creatively about how, when
and where to execute it.
Even more important than getting the mar-
keting right, though, is defining your purpose
and putting it at the heart of the business.
That's the most effective way to begin building
a long-term future for your company. Try to
delegate key tasks, so you have room to think
about the bigger picture (but keep your eye
on the detail, too).
And while it's great that you and your hus-
band are partners who can bounce ideas off
each other, consider recruiting people with
additional skillsets as your business grows.
I noticed on your website that you wrote:
"Our relationship began by chance and grew
into a friendship filled with the love and re-
spect that our marriage now thrives on." I can
identify with this a great deal. My relationship
with my wife, Joan is built on a foundation of
friendship, trust and mutual respect. They are
good qualities to have in any relationship and
that includes business partnerships.
Best of luck with your business. I look for-
ward to hearing how it progresses.
(Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin
Group and companies such as Virgin Atlantic,
Virgin America, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Active.
He maintains a blog at www.virgin.com/richard-
branson/blog. You can follow him on Twitter
at twitter.com/richardbranson. To learn more
about the Virgin Group: www.virgin.com.)
(Questions from readers will be answered in
future columns. Please send them to Richard.
Branson@nytimes.com. Please include your
name, country, email address and the name of
the website or publication where you read the
Q: My husband and I run RomanticGestures.co.nz,
which creates getaway packages to help couples add
more romance to their relationships. We have a lim-
ited budget for marketing and are very careful about
where we spend our profits, usually investing them
back into the business.
What advice do you have for small-business owners
who have little to no budget for marketing and want
to grow their clientele?
--- Natasha Oliver, New Zealand
The Heart of
When it comes to ensuring the long
term-future of your enterprise, keep
these two tips in mind:
--- Put purpose at the core: Offering
customers something new and making
the world a better place are much more
effective goals than just earning profit.
--- Delegate key responsibilities: Bring in
people you trust to take on important
roles in your business as it grows, that
way you can keep focused on the big
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