Tag Archives: consumer behavior

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

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Food Trucks and the Pandemic

There is no doubt that the pandemic severely impacted restaurants and the food industry. Many restaurants shuttered their doors and thousands of employees were out of work. While some restaurants were able to pivot to providing take-out food rather than in-store dining, food trucks seemed designed to handle the pandemic.

Food trucks are rolling restaurants that can go where the demand is at and meet consumers where they live, work, and shop. They can follow the customers and move to a new location when demand at one location falls off. Food trucks are flexible, can be innovative with menus, and quickly became a sought after option for diners who missed restaurant food!

According to IBISWorld, there are 26,228 food truck businesses in the U.S. as of 2021. There has been a 6.8% growth in the number of trucks and 7.5% increase in business growth from 2016 to 2021. While food trucks are labor intensive, they are also flexible in operations and products, as well as cheaper to start than a fixed restaurant location. The food truck market size is now more than $1.2 billion in revenue annually.

However, even food trucks need promotion. Many trucks launched social media advertising campaigns, as well as added credit/debit card payment options. Uber Eats and Grub Hub also became delivery options for food truck diners. Trucks have also relocated from city centers and large festivals, to suburban locations and local street fairs. As food trucks move to better integrate social media and work to connect with customers, online menus and orders have become necessary.

Yum. Are you ready to order?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for promoting food trucks.
  2. There are videos available on YouTube about food trucks: https://youtu.be/gZgmmzw3-30
  3. As an example, show various websites for food trucks:
    1. Tacos el Jery: https://www.tacoseljerrywatsonville.com/
    1. Blue Sparrow: https://www.bluesparrowpgh.com/
    1. Shiso Crispy: https://www.shisocrispy.com/ 
  4. Show website a national listing of food trucks booking and ordering ahead – Best Food Trucks: https://www.bestfoodtrucks.com/
  5. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  6. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  7. For a food truck (their choice of food and geography), have each team select three different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.

Source:  IBISWorld; New York Times; other news sources

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Apple Advertises its Privacy Strength

Data privacy is undoubtedly an important issue of the times. With the proliferation of mobile devices, website tracking, location enabling, and the pervasiveness of social media, one can be pretty sure that one way or another we are being tracked on our devices.

Apple states “Privacy is a fundamental human right. At Apple, it’s also one of our core values.” Hmm… Even with that statement, it makes one wonder just what is happening with our activities and data. Who know what about us? What do they do with this information?

Enter powerful new advertisements from Apple that illustrates how we are being tracked. The videos show how crowded it gets when companies are tracking our movements and purchases. Great ads.

Apple’s new advertisements, “Tracked,” highlight how its app tracking transparency tool lets users opt out of letting apps track interactions. The company also has the support of privacy watchdog groups such as Privacy International. Users should get to choose for themselves which companies they will share information with about their actions.

The new tool is part of iOS 14.5. It’s simple to choose. When an app wants to follow our activities to share information with third parties, a window shows up on our device to ask for permission. If the answer is “No” the sharing stops. Good for consumers. Not so good for companies (such as Facebook and Google) that rely on tracking to see what we are shopping for in order to target its ads.

Privacy. Simple, powerful, and needed.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the topic of privacy and data tracking with students.
  2. What is their opinion? What is their level of concern?
  3. Show Apple’s website statements about privacy: https://www.apple.com/privacy/
  4. Show advertisements: https://youtu.be/8w4qPUSG17Y
  5. Another ad: https://youtu.be/rEWeA7qDV4k
  6. Divide students into teams. Have teams research competing phone manufacturers to see what those privacy policies state.

Source: Advertising Age; Apple; New York Times; other news sources

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