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Pursuing a big idea against the odds

“Screw business as usual.”
— Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman, Virgin Group

Visionary brands help people to imagine a world which does not yet exist, and then bring together all the necessary resources in order to make that vision a reality.

To be a visionary brand, you have to have the courage to ask difficult questions, to challenge the conventional wisdom of the day, and to see problems as opportunities for innovation and change.

There is a big difference between leading brands and brands that lead. Having the biggest market share often brings with it a defensive posture, protecting what they have at all costs. Leading brands have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. In contrast however, a brand that leads is able to think beyond the status quo, and has the vision to see possibility in the face of conventional wisdom.

Visionary brands like Virgin have this innate ability to enter entirely new markets and industries they have no experience in, and turn it upside down. How? They have this insatiable desire to challenge the status quo, the vision to re-imagine the world from a fresh perspective, and the necessary resources to take a revolutionary idea and make it a reality.

It’s not just about giving people what they want, but having the foresight to see it before they do. Steve Jobs once said “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

Big ideas change the world. Big ideas invent entirely new industries, or take ageing industries and move them forward. And if someone tells you it can’t be done, you may just be onto something very special. Vision therefore, is the relentless pursuit of a big idea in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.