Sunday, December 7, 2014

Virgin Sets Sail with a Cruise Line Marketing Plan

Virgin Group--the UK-based company which has its brand on all kinds of products, from airlines to trains to financial services and more--has a long-term strategic plan for entering the cruise industry.

Virgin's brand is internationally recognized for its youthful energy, value, entertainment, and (watch out, competitors) industry disruption.

Because of the lead time in planning and building cruise ships to meet Virgin's specifications, the new venture won't be introduced until the end of this decade. The new line will be headquartered in Florida.

But as always, Virgin's marketing plan calls for disruption. Sir Richard Branson, founder, says:
"We plan to shake up the cruise industry and deliver a holiday that customers will absolutely love. They’ll be sailing on the latest ships offering a great quality, a real sense of fun and many exciting activities all delivered with the famed Virgin service."
Given widespread consumer perceptions of cruising as a vacation for older people, and perhaps a passive holiday at that, Virgin's marketing plan is likely to focus on younger target markets, highlighting the "sense of fun" for which Virgin is well known. 

Meanwhile, the three major cruise companies--Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line--are prepping their own marketing plans to attract Millennials and defend market share. In 5 or 6 years, the cruise industry will be making marketing waves with many more choices and price points for consumers of all ages and interests.

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