Global Brand in Action

02 Nov Global Brand in Action

“Every risk is worth taking as long as it’s for a good cause, and contributes to a good life.” ~Sir Richard Branson
[Photo courtesy of Virgin Hotels]


This week we’ll get a global, local and leader perspective on success as an entrepreneur. Sir Richard Branson as a globally recognized entrepreneur, who has even been knighted based on his entrepreneurship!


Richard founded Virgin Records and opened a record store on Oxford Street, London, in 1972. After building a recording studio, The Manor, the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded and released ‘Tubular Bells’. Virgin Records went on to sign household names from the Sex Pistols to The Rolling Stones, becoming the biggest independent label in the world.
Virgin is now one of the world’s most recognized and irresistible brands and has expanded into diverse sectors from travel to telecommunications, health to banking and music to leisure. There are now more than 60 Virgin companies worldwide, employing approximately 71,000 people in 35 countries. Richard become the only person to build eight billion dollar companies in eight different sectors, including Virgin Hotels.


“Virgin Hotels Chicago has fast become our readers’ favorite since it opened its doors in 2015.” ~Condé Nast Traveler


The first Virgin Hotel was built in downtown Chicago, just minutes from the Magnificent Mile. They have gone the extra mile to make their food, space and ambiance stand out, instead of just blending in as just another place to spend a night.


Congrats to the Virgin Hotels team, they are the top hotel in Chicago for the second year in a row! I am based in Chicago and I often take a staycation for inspiration as I’m writing my travel thriller series. I’m a member of Choose Chicago with Nando Milano as we participate in Restaurant Week, First Bites Bash and James Beard Week. Year-round I can be found at Miss Ricky’s for brunch or light diner bites.


We raised our glass to you with this toast: “It is a great honor to be named the #1 hotel in Chicago for the second year in a row by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler,” said Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels. “In a city with many outstanding hotels, it’s an honor to be recognized and we’re so proud of the hard work our team puts in everyday to make Virgin Hotels Chicago the inviting and lively gathering place it is today.”


Virgin Hotels Chicago Unveils a Renovated Restaurant with a New Chef.


Moosah Reaume is Carmelo Anthony’s ex-personal chef. He’s developed a la carte and prix-fixe menus at Commons Club to bring out the best of his eclectic culinary background.
The Commons Club is equal parts fancy hotel, beautiful people and local charm; it’s a bar-restaurant that sits on what was the floor of a former bank. I’m intrigued to try Chef Reaume’s new dishes in the next week!
And of course, Cerise Rooftop at Virgin Hotel is the cherry on top. I’m often at Cerise with friends for sunset, small plates and stellar photos. Thank you Abby Geha, Director of Marketing, and the Cerise team for hosting my photo shoot when I went Pro on in April! Cerise Rooftop has just closed for the season, but I’ll be back to celebrate the first sign of spring from my favorite perspective.


Location, location, location…
Are you deciding on the right place for your business?
In Sir Richard’s Entrepreneur blog he has this advice: “It can be more cost-effective and easier to build a new business online and market directly to your target audience through social media. Nowadays, when people are searching for a business, the first thing they do is turn to Google. So it’s important that your business has a strong online presence.
But, of course, there are some industries where a shop presence is still essential, and yours may be one.


The final piece of advice I would offer for opening a new location is to engage with the community. When we opened the first Virgin Hotel in Chicago in 2015, we put on a parade and supported the city’s NBA team, the Chicago Bulls. Show people you’re pleased to be there, and be willing to foster community spirit. The community will repay you with support, promotion, affection and kindness; and may become the best business advocates you have.”
Oh, not *just* a parade: Richard Branson recreated a scene from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, a Chicago classic, to celebrate the grand opening of the first Virgin Hotel in Chicago. Check it out:


The entrepreneur journey is on-going, so thank you for helping us celebrate success with Virgin Hotel and the Chicago community as we gather inspiration along the way. Odds are excellent that I’ll host an entrepreneur event at Virgin Hotel.


In the meantime, celebrate some of your success this week!
We welcome your comments below.


Cheers & fair winds,
Akasha Lin
Akasha Garnier for The Wishwall
Author, Brand Expert, Filmmaker
Read more from Future Entrepreneurs:

  • Anastasia
    Posted at 19:24h, 02 November Reply

    A brilliantly descriptive article about the Virgin Hotel in Chicago minutes from the magnificent mile by @Akashagarnier thank you for demonstrating why this is one of the best hotels to stay

  • Alexa
    Posted at 23:05h, 02 November Reply

    I’ve always wanted to go to Chicago and now I know that the place I’ll choose to stay definitely will be Virgin Hotel in Chicago!

  • Ashley Gilbert
    Posted at 04:40h, 12 November Reply

    This is really an amazing post about the Virgin Hotel in Chicago, I would be visiting Chicago next month, so it will be an opportunity to visit the Virgin Hotel

  • Zlatan Dickson
    Posted at 06:00h, 12 November Reply

    Nice post, Virgin has really gone a long way, I love the fact that Virgin is now one of the world’s most recognized and irresistible brands and has expanded into diverse sectors from travel to telecommunications, health to banking and music to leisure. Thanks for the enlightenment Akasha.

  • Ginny Alice
    Posted at 06:16h, 12 November Reply

    Thanks for the advice Akasha, I will make sure I follow all the advice given to be a successful entrepreneur.

  • Delly Rebecca
    Posted at 06:23h, 12 November Reply

    wow, Here comes another wonderful piece of advice from Akasha, I’m your biggest fan Akasha. All your advice have always helped me in one way or the other. Thanks so much

  • Abby Koller
    Posted at 06:31h, 12 November Reply

    Educative post, I’m so happy to know that Virgin Hostel in Chicago are the top hotel in Chicago for the second year in a row! Thanks for bringing this to my view

  • Akasha Garnier
    Posted at 16:20h, 05 January Reply

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read the blog and comment as well! I want to wish you all bright ideas and balance for 2018. I am finishing my manuscript for my #ShineThroughtheNoise sequel and covering the Golden Globes this weekend. I will be making time to reply to work with individuals as well. I’ll be honest that it is a lot to comment on Instagram, Twitter, the blog, Facebook and to get my 2 weekly blogs and 2 manuscripts perfect. I’ll be doing some consulting for those who are ready to do a deeper dive on brands and business. Thanks again and best wishes for your projects! Wherever you are on your journey, believe it’s worth the trip! 🙂

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