Lessons in brand strategy: Virgin Radio and The O2

For brands to move with the times, they need to know what makes them timeless, says David Campbell, the founding CEO of both businesses.

by Staff

When Virgin Radio was launched in 1993 it quickly gained a reputation for pushing boundaries. It was the first station to make a listener a millionaire and the first to go live on the internet. It managed to project a ‘pirate’ vibe in those early Smashie and Nicey days of naff national commercial radio.     

Seven years later, its founding CEO, David Campbell, who worked for Richard Branson for over a decade and with Chris Evans at his Ginger Media Group, masterminded the station’s sale for £225m.

Fast forward to 2005 and Campbell found himself responsible for what had become a national laughing stock, the Millennium Dome. Rebranded as The O2, it would become the most popular music venue in the world within four years, breaking visitor and ticket-sale records, even toppling New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

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