Tag Archives: clothing

Victoria’s Secret Updates Brand Personality

Branding is a critical thing – while usually a strong marketing point, it can also be used to defeat you. Think about brands that need to be revised, even if they have a strong position.

Let’s try it. What is the first brand that comes to mind for the phrase “sexy women’s lingerie?” Go ahead, think. I’ll wait. (Yeah, right, I don’t need to wait more than a brief second.) You said “Victoria’s Secret,” right?

Now, picture the Victoria’s Secret’s advertisements and images. The images focus on bodies that would be at home in Playboy magazine; bodies encased in wings, feathers, bangles, and sparkles.  Sexy supermodels. Remember the Victoria’s Secret Angels and TV fashion show? Certainly glitzy and entertaining, but not really an honest portrait for or of the average woman, and certainly not an image that connotes strong, fearless, women and their accomplishments.

The brand has recognized that it needs a refresh for today’s culture, and to that end has garnered representation from female trailblazers and icons including: Megan Rapinoe (soccer), Eileen Gu (Chinese American skier), Paloma Elsesser (biracial model and size 14), and Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Indian actor and tech investor), Valentina Sampaio (Brazilian trans model), Adut Akech (South Sudanese refugee and model), and Amanda de Cadenet (photographer).  Not a supermodel in the bunch.

Victoria’s Secret new approach is to become a leading global “advocate” for female empowerment, focusing on women’s reality rather than male fantasy images. The stakes are high. With a market share of 21%, revenue of more than $7 billion, 1,400 stores, and 32,000 retail jobs the company has a lot on the line. Critics decry the company’s links to a misogynistic culture that honored sexism, sizeism, and ageism.

Looks like rebranding can be a good thing.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What brand comes to mind when you say “sexy female lingerie?”
  2. What images come to mind for Victoria’s Secret? What do the models look like? What is the focus of the advertising?
  3. Does this focus reflect today’s female culture?
  4. What do students think could be done to bring Victoria’s Secret branding to a more relevant place?
  5. Show a recent video: https://youtu.be/Pe3Nob7QM28
  6. Show the website: https://www.victoriassecret.com/us/
  7. What brands compete with Victoria’s Secret?
  8. What is their positioning?

Source:  New York Times; other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Nike: “Play New” and “Toughest Athletes”

Most of the time marketers target a specific group of consumers for their products and services. Marketers can target a consumer group using a number of factors including geography, demographics, lifestyle, attitudes, and behaviors. The key is to understand the consumer group for which the products are intended. The products have to show value and benefits; the company’s advertising has to show that the company understands the needs and desires of the consumer group.

Athletics is a very large consumer group. It can have professionals, amateurs, youth, mature, various sports, and more. Nike recently launched a new campaign to appeal to people who want to try new sports but fail at them, encouraging new athletes to not give up after a few fails. For this market, there are many existing products to sell, but the mindset is different. The “Play New” campaign showcases elite athletes and professionals trying a new sport that they don’t excel at – and shows them failing at it! The campaign will be paired with a full-body Snapchat augmented reality lens customized for yoga, dancing, surfing, and boxing. All are encouraging consumers to attempt something new and uncomfortable initially.

In addition to “Play New,” Nike also launched a new campaign (along with full athletic wear apparel) geared to pregnant women and new moms. New moms are of course cast as the “Toughest Athletes” and the commercial shows international moms-to-be and moms who are flexing their athletic and maternal abilities. Additionally, the campaign will contain four guided, motherhood workouts that will be part of the Nike Run Club app.

Nike seems to identify new markets and approaches at a high rate. What other approaches could it take?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are the target markets for Nike? (Did anyone mention pregnant women and new moms?)
  2. Show the Nike video for pregnant women: https://youtu.be/_-5MGkUwe6w
  3. Show the website for Nike Maternity wear: https://www.nike.com/maternity
  4. Video for “Play new” campaign: https://youtu.be/BUvEEVq4woU
  5. Why these two target markets?
  6. What else can Nike do to encourage buying from these consumers?
  7. What other new target markets could Nike sell to?

Source: Ad Week; other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

New “PJ Suit” for Working From Home

What are you wearing? Hmmm…that is rather a provocative question, and we’re not sure you should ask your co-workers. But, in these days of work-from-home attire, people around the world have been impacted and have adopted new types of ‘business’ attire. Some wear sweats, some wear suits, some wear pajamas, and then there are a unique set of people who want the combination of BOTH business and sweats.

Enter: the WFH Jammies, designed by Japanese firm Whatever.

The concept began with the recognition that Zoom calls and virtual meetings require workers to dress up for the video, but the rest of the day they wanted the comfort of pajamas. WFH Jammies is a unisex suite of a shirt-and-sweat combination that comes in white, pink, and polka-dot. It’s not the only solution; Aoki’s Pajamas suit is in a flexible knit fabric that looks dignified enough to stand-in for a suit jacket and turtleneck, and doesn’t wrinkle from your afternoon nap. Other fashion brands are following suit with their own comfy-but-formal-enough attire.

Wear these PJs and give a presentation online right after you get up, take a nap in comfort at lunch time, and still look professional for the evening Zoom wrap-up meeting.

So… what are you wearing?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss new product development. What are the steps that go into developing a new product or service?
  2. What are key considerations?
  3. Show the WFJ Jammies on Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/197719879/wfh-jammies
  4. WFH Jammies page: https://whatever.co/work/wfh-jammies/
  5. Show Whatever’s website: https://whatever.co/
  6. Video: https://youtu.be/ishqJgmy4Ao
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team list other work-from-home problems that need new solutions.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities