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SWOT analysis on the Virgin Group.

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Introduction

VIRGIN GROUP SWOT ANALYSIS ON THE VIRGIN GROUP (Refer to appendix 1) "The SWOT process involves a critical assessment of the company's strengths and weaknesses in relation to the markets, which it seeks to serve, and in comparison with the known strengths and weaknesses of competitors". (Strategic Leadership Making corporate plans work by Adrian Davies 1st edition 1991. Woodhead-Faulkner p17) STRENGTHS > The Virgin group has the advantage that they are experienced in two different kinds of distribution. Firstly in stationary trade and secondly in mail ordering. The group is far less integrated than other big groups. This gives Virgin the advantage of higher flexibility. This effect is even more extreme since Virgin has very small strategic Business Units. > The Virgin Group has a strong brand name incorporated by Richard Branson and is experienced in introducing new products in a competitive marketing environment. The strength of the Virgin brand comes from the relationship that customers have with the idea of Virgin as a maverick, irreverent company built on youthful, entrepreneurial principles. > Virgin have very few operational relationships between it's diverse businesses, but all can benefit from the group's corporate flair at brand marketing and entrepreneurial decision making. Virgin's corporate relationships could be worth more. > Branson's leadership style is a unique combination of energy, originality and shrewdness. While providing leadership to his organisation leaves most of the decision making to his professional managers. He has created an environment, which brings out the best in the organisation's people by motivating them and giving them overall sense of direction. The involvement of his employees is very important to Branson. By making his business appear fun he encourages their ability to be creative "If the staff are happy the business will prosper...You should never really criticise your staff. You should always be praising. If you praise somebody they are going to blossom". (Richard Branson and the Virgin Group) ...read more.

Middle

Since its start up as Virgin Records, the Virgin Group has retained its original culture and values. Distinctly entrepreneurial, the organisation has no headquarters yet has presided over and managed a period of massive growth and continued profitability. Although the Virgin group had no corporate structure, Branson, senior executives and his advisers did, in effect, form a team that guided strategy, new business development, and overall financial control. A key aspect of this informal integration and control was the Virgin culture. This was defined almost entirely by Branson's own values and management style. It reflected his eccentricity, sense of fun, disrespect for hierarchy and formal authority, commitment to employees and consumers, and belief of hard work and individual responsibility. The group provided the environment in which talented, ambitious people were motivated to do their best and strive for a higher level of performance. While the working environment was informal, anti-corporate, and defined by the pop culture of it's era, expectations were high. Branson expected a high level of commitment, the acceptance of personal responsibility, and long hours when needed. Although seemingly chaotic, with an absence of formal structure and control systems, the business acumen of the Virgin group should not be underestimated for example British Airways made that error. The Virgin group possessed considerable financial and managerial talent, and what Virgin lacked in formal structure was made up for by a strong culture and close personal ties. The Virgin structure was virtually flat, offering short lines of communication and flexible response capability. Employees were given a great deal of responsibility and freedom in order to stimulate ideas generation, initiative, commitment, and fun. The lack of a corporate headquarters and the small size of most of the Virgin operating companies were intended to foster teamwork and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Branson's approach to his business relationships was that work should be fun and his employees should gain both pleasure and sense of fulfilment from their role in creating enterprises. ...read more.

Conclusion

It helps with business to business transactions. Pop up Ads and access to technology: Due to the wide spread access to the web at work, school and at home Virgin has taken this as a advantage for their marketing approach for example they have used a pop up ads to advertise their diverse products all around the world when and in what form they want. Customers can use the net to book their holidays on line. ENVIRONMENTAL Recycling: In order to be environmentally friendly Virgin can make recyclable bottles and cans which will help them improve their corporate image and improve further their public relations campaigns. Pollution control: The need to become environmentally friendly and cut all forms of pollution have been driven by consumers and pressure groups for example it will be suitable for Virgin to follow this if they don't it can have damaging affect on sales and if they don't accept this change Virgin run the risk of damaging their image and reputation this could have adverse affect on sales. In the Airline business the noise and pollution levels will be checked by the pressure groups. LEGAL Legislation: In the majority of the countries that Virgin operate in there are laws against price fixing amongst businesses there are also different consumer acts in different countries that Virgin will have to follow. In addition there are different regulating authorities for different rules and regulations and Virgin have to be aware of theses otherwise they run the risk of being force out of the market (country) by the government an hence this will affect their core competence which is their brand in terms of bad a reputation and image, this in the long run effect global sales. CULTURAL WEB FOR VIRGIN GROUP "The cultural web is a representation of the taken for granted assumptions, or paradigm, of an organisation and the physical manifestations of the organisation culture". 8 1 ...read more.

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