Victoria’s Secret: Seducing Consumers
May 30, 2014
Victoria’s Secret categorizes me as a, “Forever Angel,” which really means that I spend way too much money on their merchandise. But why wouldn’t I? They are marketing to me the products that I feel good wearing and don’t feel bad buying because they are of great quality (as I’m writing this I’ve added another item to my online basket–thanks!).
We watch their Superbowl ads over and over again like the infamous 2008 commercial featuring Adriana Lima–the most watched single tv spot when it aired (according to the Victoria’s Secret Facebook), we drool over the gorgeous and creative clothing being worn on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show wishing that we were stomping on that runway wearing those massive glittering wings too, and we create a frenzy each time the Semi-Annual Sale opens its doors to welcome us. Let’s admit it, we’ve got it bad for Victoria’s Secret and they know it.
Victoria’s Secret made media headlines early last year for a reason other than their alluring Angels. People believed that the brand was beginning to target tweens with a line called, “Bright Young Things,” which the company has denied—insisting it was a slogan for one of their PINK campaigns (Murray, 2013). Here we are a year later, and nobody is concerned with the scantily clad merchandise for young women anymore. Rather, the brand seems to be focusing a big part of their effort on engaging college bound young women. There’s currently a contest set up where female students are able to declare which school they will be attending in the fall for a chance to win prizes not only for themselves but for their school. I’d like to point out that our baby Gators have the University of Florida in first place—way to go girls! Beyond the contest, the PINK collection also has an exclusive Instagram account to interact with the young women. Victoria’s Secret PINK actually responds to consumers on their account–social media doesn’t seem to be just a numbers game to them.
A recent study of forty-five retail brands entitled 2014 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI) conducted by Brand Keys found that Victoria’s Secret meets the expectations of eighty-one percent of consumers which correlates highly through brand engagement, purchase, loyalty and sales. Other top brands included Macy’s, Nike and Whole Foods (Retail Customer Experience).
So how exactly does a brand achieve this type of recognition?
Interaction. Excitement. Engagement. These are all marketing techniques that Victoria’s Secret employs to reach their target audience. If you happen to watch their annual Fashion Show, you will notice that the brand has built in engaging features that allow for viewers to tweet along using special hashtags and interact on the brand’s Facebook page. “…the hashtag for the famous Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show , #VSFashionShow, had a reach of 24.8 million. There were 69,100 tweets, 51,700 contributors and 43,100 impressions,” (Durby, 2013). With the exception of YouTube, Victoria’s Secret stays remarkably up to date with all of their social media accounts, keeping their loyal following hooked and locked in.
The brand has even figured out ways to include additional social opportunities to the mix. During the Fashion Shows there are segments that feature different models that talk about their workout regime. To coincide with the athletic stories, and the hope to attract viewers to their VSX sports brand, Victoria’s Secret created a playlist on Spotify. The playlist is filled with forty tracks to help keep the at-home Angels motivated during workouts.
Victoria’s Secret does a great job with luring us consumers into their den. Aggressive email campaigns fill my inbox, but these emails offer exclusive opportunities to check out new products before other shoppers, cool incentives to receive GWPs (gifts with purchase), and even the opportunity for early entry into the Semi-Annual Sale–that’s a big deal to beat the crowds! The photo below is nowhere near the amount of emails that I receive from the brand because many have been deleted, but this will give you a good taste of what it’s like to be a member of the mailing list and a card holder.
Not only does Victoria’s Secret have an aggressive e-mail campaign, but every time I turn around I am receiving new coupons in the mail for free panties, $10 off a bra and the latest catalog. Okay, honestly, they may go a little overboard with the catalogs because without exaggeration, I probably get one a week in the mail. To the retailer’s credit, the images on the front of the catalog are always different and feature another must-have piece or unbelievable deal. Pictured below are the catalogs that I’ve received in about one month’s time.
The sheer amount of catalogs may be frightening to some people, but the brand is reaching me. As mentioned in our week three lecture, it takes seven touches for someone to take notice or act upon a call to action. These touches happen at a quick pace with Victoria’s Secret because we are exposed to commercials, print ads, digital ads, email marketing, direct mailings and more. Victoria’s Secret utilizes a mixture of media tactics, which as we have also learned, is very important in Brand Media Strategy and IMC.
Victoria’s Secret on the web:
Website: VictoriasSecret.com, PINKNation.com
Twitter: @VictoriasSecret, @VSPink
Facebook: Victoria’s Secret, Victoria’s Secret PINK
Instagram: VictoriasSecret, VSPink,
Pinterest: Victoria’s Secret, Victoria’s Secret PINK
YouTube: Victoria’s Secret, PINK
Durby, T. (2013). Hashtag analytics 101: tweets vs. impressions. Retrieved from http://www.hashtags.org/research/statistics/hashtag-analytics-101-tweets-vs-impressions/
Murray, R. (2013). Victoria’s Secret faces backlash over ‘Bright Young Things’ ad campaign, denies ‘tween’ line . Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/fashion/moms-mad-victoria-secret-tween-ads-article-1.1300282
Retail Customer Experience. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.retailcustomerexperience.com/articles/victorias-secret-nike-top-retail-brand-engagement-index/