When I was a teenager, visiting the local Victoria’s Secret store was an extraordinary experience. All the pretty lights, the scent of the perfumes and sprays and let’s not forget the beautiful lingerie that I was looking forward to wearing one day… They all played a role in my desire to become a customer and purchase any undergarments I needed from their store.
But I’m not a teenager anymore. And times have changed. A lot. The concept of what is sexy and desirable is no longer limited to women over six feet with size zero waistlines.
The beautiful thing about today’s times is that the notion of what is beautiful or deemed sexy has changed to be more inclusive and relatable. This is where Victoria’s Secret is missing the mark.
It’s not that their models aren’t beautiful and sexy…it’s that their entire brand revolves around one idea of sexy that most women cannot identify with. Their “Angels” represent an almost impossible idea of beauty that women are often told to strive toward and female consumers are seeking brands who take pride in diverse forms of beauty. This is evident in the sales decline that VS is currently experiencing.
According to data from Victoria’s Secret parent company, L Brands, Victoria’s Secret experienced a dramatic drop in sales despite a longer-than-average semi-annual sale and price cuts. The brand has also seen a drop in traffic and a lower market share. Additionally a study found that the brand may be falling out of favor with consumers.
The survey says that 68% of respondents indicated that they like the brand less than they used to with over half of those same respondents expressing that the brand imagery seems forced or fake. Brand imagery and popularity is moving toward more natural looks and relatable beauty.
So how can Victoria’s Secret survive?…
We believe a full brand overhaul is needed. Given the longtime sexy image, a brand overhaul is going to be challenging for the company – but necessary to compete with lines growing in popularity like Nubian Skin, Neon Moon and Dear Kate.