1 Executive summary
"Virgin" is currently the third most recognized brand in Britain and it is commonly associated with the identity of its founder Richard Branson. Branson is not your typical corporate businessman but rather a risk-taking entrepreneur that emphasizes the fun in every activity he is driving the Virgin group into. Virgin's best known operations are probably air travel (the Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Express airlines) and music stores (Virgin Megastores), but they are also involved in trains, finance, internet services, soft drinks, mobile phones, cars, wines, publishing, and bridal wear to name but a few. Although Virgin has successfully developed a differentiation strategy in each of these sectors, some of the group's companies are currently experiencing financial difficulties.
Through a SWOT analysis, we identified four main strategic issues that will determine Virgin's future success:
*Leadership - how to foster a new Branson that will be able to lead Virgin trough its new challenges?
*Globalisation - how to leverage the Virgin brand recognition in the UK to an international one?
*Reorganization - how to organize such a large number of different companies with different business focus?
*Financial structure - how to structure the company's capital for an optimal return on investment?
Following a through analysis, using tools such as "the BCG matrix", leadership model analysis and Internet analysis, we concluded that in order to survive, the Virgin brand has to become global.
We believe that building a leading worldwide Internet portal, giving access to all Virgin's business, is critical both for globalizing the brand and for managing the different business trough one platform. Furthermore, we believe that Virgin should finance its expansion to the electronic commerce by raising money in the capital markets trough an initial public offering of its shares.
"Virgin" is the third most...