Richard Branson: Master of the Vivid Message

Richard Branson delivering another Vivid Message

Last week my wife attended a party hosted by Richard Branson. He is a genius at getting the media to come to him so he can deliver messages about his business.

In this case, the party was to launch new flights between Australia and South Africa.

And Sir Richard doesn’t disappoint the media. By taking his shirt off and dressing ‘African’, he guaranteed to get his picture in the paper.

But what he really wants is the paper to print his message, preferably as the headline.

Let’s see how he did.


  1. ‘Branson in Australia to promote new V Australia Johannesburg services.’
  2. ‘Branson’s Safari party to Launch VA’s Africa flights.’
  3. ‘Richard Branson says his Melbourne experience just like The Hangover movie.’

Oh well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. The Herald Sun decided to lead with his comment about how drunk he was at last year’s Grand Prix.

The message about Home Loans

He had great success with a transferable message a few years ago. When he launched Virgin Home Loans, he received a huge amount of FREE publicity by appearing on shows like Rove Live. In between stories about space flights and balloon records, he persuasively sold his new business. His two vivid messages and one engaging example were;

Vivid Message one: “Well, we’re launching this business because you told us you felt the banks were ripping you off with fees.” Followed by more chatter with the show’s host. Then;

Engaging example: “When I fly into Melbourne and Sydney I notice that all the big buildings are owned by the banks.” — Implying they are making too much money from you.

Vivid Message two: “A Virgin mortgage can save the average homeowner $30,000.”

If he starts a conversation with the business name (Virgin Home Loans), he can communicate his messages to anyone in just a few seconds. His flexibility shows that his preparation involves getting real clarity about the simple, transferable messages; not trying to script an entire conversation.

I also heard people repeating these messages (virtually word for word) the following week. They found the ideas so compelling they passed it on during general conversation! This is Word-of-Mouth Marketing and is the most powerful of all forms of marketing. This will never happen if your message is too long!

Are you developing vivid messages that are so engaging your audience will repeat them?


If you’d like to develop master the Vivid Message, consider:

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