Virgins Secret Weapon Anna M September 7, 2012 Business tips, Inspiration This month, after a campaign that generated phenomenal public support, Richard Branson succeeded in delaying the governments decision to award its ‘West Coast’ rail franchise to rival operator First Group. How did he do it? The answer lies in the power of exceptional branding and crucial to Virgins branding – a powerful uniform. Under normal circumstances, the change of railway operators wouldn’t get more than a passing nod outside of specialist circumstances, but Virgin have done something quite special. They have created a brand around their train franchise that makes it feel unique and creates customer loyalty. They did this, in part, by creating a striking uniform. This form of brand building is easy to achieve but often surprisingly overlooked. The Virgin Trains Team Virgin uses its uniform to project its values and further market its brand. They harness the emotional effects of a vibrant red and in this context, red speaks to us of a dynamic, challenging company. The uniforms reflect the philosophy and personality of the brand thus making it exceptionally useful for branding purposes. They also use the same branding colour across all parts of the business and into their work wear. With a consistent colour, every interaction a member of staff has with the general public is an opportunity for exposure. Think about the last time you saw advertising from Virgin. Its likely you recognised the brand by the colours used, before you even took in the content. Virgin harness the uniforms of their staff to build brand recognition and emote feelings in their customers. Use your companies uniforms like you would a promotional marketing product – have them enhance your brand and solidify your corporate identify.