Sir Richard Branson Demonstrates His ‘Dramatic Difference’!


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Richard Branson“Anyone can buy an airplane and we all buy planes from the same manufacturers, Boeing or Airbus, but there the difference stops. If you fly on a Virgin plane…you know you’re going to have a completely different experience.”

That’s a quote from Richard Branson in an interview when he was launching Virgin America’s new route from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

It’s a great example that highlights the principles of 3D Thinking (once you’ve got over the bit about ‘anyone can buy a plane’!!!):The ‘core offer’ is the same as their competitors, namely the planes, but it’s the customer experience that is Dramatically and Demonstrably Different!

In fact we’re so impressed, it’s our latest example in our search for 100 Examples of 3D Thinking (I’m sure Sir Richard will be ‘delighted’ he’s on the list!).

The whole ethos of Virgin America is about providing an outstanding customer experience and as the video interview with Carmine Gallo below shows, it starts at the top:

Some of the key ingredients of 3D Businesses that Virgin America demonstrate include….

3D Characteristic #1 Get That Vision Thing! It’s all about leadership and the drive to be Dramatically and Demonstrably Different clearly comes from the top!

3D Characteristic #2 Think in 3D! They clearly recognise that their ‘Dramatic Difference‘ is the experience and their people are encouraged to ‘Demonstrate‘ that at every opportunity

3D Characteristic #3 Create Delighted and Devoted Customers! They aim to exceed their customers’ expectations and then clearly strive to do it consistently – it’s built in to the way do things

3D Characteristic #5 Build An UBER Culture! It’s all about the people, and this is clearly demonstrated in their recruitment policy that looks for the Virgin Attitude before technical skills and the ethos of encouraging staff to just sort things out “it’s easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission’ highlights this.

So, what does it mean for you if you’re not one of those people who can buy a plane?

Well, you could start with our definition of a Dramatic Difference which is an “unmatchable ‘bundle’ of products, services, skills, methods and practices that differentiate a business from its competitors”. It’s a combination of things that your competitors aren’t doing that your customers want!


  • What’s yours?
  • Do your people know it?
  • Can your customers (and prospective customers) see it?

(This idea is number #23 in our 3D Challenge search for 100 ideas!)

(3D Characteristics #1 Get That Vision Thing!, #2 Think in 3D!, #3 Create Delighted And Devoted Customers and #5 Build An UBER Culture!)

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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