An interesting battle-royale… a classic David vs Goliath scenario is shaping up in the branding world.
In one corner, the flamboyant and charismatic Richard Branson, resident god of the Virgin Group which is into businesses that include airlines, telecoms, music stores, wines, gaming, vacations, among others.
In the underdog corner, an upstart indie denim label called “I Am Not A Virgin”.
Peter Heron, New Yorker owner of the label, asserts that he has owned the trademark on his brand name for three and a half years, during which time no one mistook I Am Not A Virgin for Richard Branson’s giant brand.
With firmness mixed with his legendary competitive spirit, Branson wants to exercise full control on the word “virgin”.
His beef? That people will assume I Am Not A Virgin is in some way connected to his Virgin megabrand, causing “confusion and dilution” of the brand.
Branson’s highly paid legal team has put into place several legal maneuvers to make Heron “mend his ways”.
But Heron is not one to give up a fight that easily.
He also does not buy Branson’s kind suggestions for alternative names, including I Am Not Chaste and I Am Not Pure. Heron responds, “How about I call it ‘I Am Not Made By Richard Branson’?”
(Personally, I think Richard is being a dick in this situation.)
Heron wants the whole world to hear him out.