After taking on British Airways in a libel case which the billionaire described as part of a "challenging" period, Branson had the opportunity to explore new prospects for his brand. Since Virgin's inception in the 1970s, the group has seen a number of businesses emerge — many of which thrived.
Not every business idea lived to tell the tale today, however, with Branson citing Virgin Cars and Virgin Clothing as examples. Yet the billionaire admits that these "failures didn't put me off at all. They had all been fun to get stuck into, and we'd learned a lot of important lessons."
"If the odd business didn't work out, I was confident there would be another on the way," Branson wrote, adding that the brand wasn't derailed by smaller failures, as core firms remained robust.
"We were beginning to see which core areas we could expand the brand into, but it was still taking time for me to understand how flexible the Virgin brand was, the areas it could bend successfully, and the areas it would break."
"We were still a long way from creating the more structured strategy we have today, but it was one hell of a ride finding out what worked."