A Concise Guide To Virgin Galactic’s Sales Strategy

This article provides an overview of the Virgin Galactic sales strategy. The analysis is based upon SEC filings, sales collateral, media interviews, and other publicly available information.

Company Mission Statement

We are the world’s first commercial spaceline, and our purpose is to connect people across the globe to the love, wonder and awe created by space travel.

Value Proposition

A high-end luxury suborbital spaceflight experience which is:

  • Personally fulfilling,
  • Transformative, and
  • Exclusive.

Product Offer

Source: Virgin Galactic
Source: Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spaceflight experience includes:

  • Flight in Virgin Galactic’s unique spaceflight system to suborbital space.
  • A view of the Earth from a high altitude that allows customers to see the curvature of the Earth and the blackness of space.
  • A period of zero gravity.
  • The opportunity to refer to themself as an astronaut, e.g. social differentiation, status symbol.
  • Membership in the Future Astronaut (customers with reservations) and Astronaut Alumni community (customers who have flown in space).

The prices start at $450,000 per person. Exclusive luxury experiences and product offers, are available at additional cost for the Future Astronaut and Astronaut Alumni.

Virgin Galactic’s flights launch out of Spaceport America in New Mexico. Spaceport America is the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.

For an overview of Virgin Galactic’s spaceflight system, please see this article TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW OF SPACE TOURISM LAUNCH SERVICE PROVIDERS.

Customer Experience

Source: Virgin Galactic

Preflight activities include exclusive networking events, and media events.

The flight experience consists of 4 days as follows –

Day 1 Welcome Day

  • Tour of Spaceport America
  • Flight suit and gear fitting
  • Introduction to the flight profile
  • High G training

Day 2 Cabin Day

  • High G training
  • Spaceship trainer reveal
  • Seat-fitting
  • Microgravity preparation

Day 3 Rehearsal Day

  • Spaceship trainer familiarization
  • Full dress rehearsal
  • Preflight readiness review

Day 4 Flight Day

  • Fly to space
  • Wings presentation
  • Celebratory party

The customers’ experience continues post-flight with membership in Virgin Galactic’s Astronaut Alumni community.

For more information on space tourism preflight experiences please read this article AN INTRO TO PRIVATE ASTRONAUT PREFLIGHT TRAINING IN UNDER 5 MINUTES!

Total Addressable Market

The $450,000 ticket price limits Virgin Galactic’s total addressable market to Ultra High Net Worth Individuals. This represents approximately 200,900 potentially viable customers.

Note that Virgin Galactic’s original total addressable market, before the ticket price was increased from $250,000 to $450,000, was approximately 2 million Ultra and Very High Net Worth Individuals.

For information on how Virgin Galactic will make money please read this article HOW WILL VIRGIN GALACTIC MAKE MONEY?

A SWOT analysis is available in this article VIRGIN GALACTIC’S STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, AND THREATS (SWOT).

For a more detailed analysis on the space tourism market size and customer adoption challenges please take a look at this article SPACE TOURISM MARKET ANALYSIS.

Customer Personas

  • The Space Enthusiast who’s lifelong dream has been to go into space
  • The Adventurer who views space as the ultimate adventure
  • The Virgin Brand Lover
  • The Entrepreneur who wants to be a space pioneer

Marketing Strategy

  • Leverage relationships
    • Virgin Group brand, and brand reputation for exceptional customer experiences.
    • Spaceport America visuals and reputation as the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.
    • Land Rover luxury brand reputation and exclusive offers, e.g. Range Rover Astronaut Edition SUV which is only available to registered Future Astronauts.
  • Publicity stunts to increase global brand awareness while keeping advertising spend low.
  • Digital marketing
    • Social media updates on what is happening at Virgin Galactic to maintain a strong brand presence. Social media is also a means to interact and engage with the media, potential customers and fans.
    • Inspirational website to generate leads and to provide information to the media, investors, potential employees, potential customers and fans.
    • Digital brochure
    • Video marketing on YouTube and other video sharing websites.
    • Publicity distribution using online marketing services to increase the reach of digital content.
  • Earned media by generating newsworthy stories.
  • Charity activities to promote the brand and brand values.

Customer Engagement Strategy

  • Communications
    • Regular updates on progress and community events
    • Multi-channel delivery
  • CRM
    • Salesforce based
    • Store all customer data including records of communications and engagement
    • Provides three dimensional view of the customer, i.e. business, human, and hidden dimensions
  • Community activation
    • Events and activities around the world
    • Allows Future Astronauts to engage with Virgin Galactic and each other
    • Retain Virgin Galactic Alumni interest after flight
  • Style of service
    • Build relationships
    • Personalized to each Future Astronaut
    • Honesty, transparency and openness

Sales Strategy

  • Experienced team specialized in reaching global ultra high net worth individuals
  • Leverage larger Virgin Group and their association with unique experiences
  • Dual channel sales strategy
    • Direct sales
      • Full-time sales professionals
      • Initial contact largely inbound through Virgin Galactic website
      • Referrals from Virgin Galactic/Virgin contacts and Richard Branson
      • Referrals from Astronauts, Future Astronauts, and repeat customers
    • Accredited Space Agents
      • Agents around the world each with an existing high-end customer base
      • Strong relationships with global networks specializing in luxury and experiential travel
  • Sales funnel management –
Source: Virgin Galactic

Sales Results

Source: Virgin Galactic

The results of Virgin Galactic’s sales efforts up to 2021 are documented in this article Space Tourism Market Analysis.