Tag Archives: merchandising

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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A Retail Chain for Covid-19 Essential Products

Covid-19 has drastically impacted virtually every part of our lives from school to shopping. It has had a devastating impact on businesses, particularly retailers. The coronavirus outbreak caused the majority of retail businesses across the nation (and world) to temporarily close for several months. It has also caused the bankruptcy filings of 27 retailers so far in 2020, including big brands such as Lord & Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Lucky Brand, GNC, J. Crew, and J.C. Penney. Thousands of retail stores have already shut down, with many more to come later in 2020.

But for one new retail chain, the coronavirus caused them to open a new business – selling Covid-19 essential products in malls and downtowns. The store is actually called “Covid-19 Essentials” so there is no doubt as to its business focus and clientele. The chain has several locations in Denver, Miami, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, and has plans to open in smoke-thick California.

The stores sell face shields, personalized masks, portable UV lights, air purifiers, cellphone sterilizers, thermal facial recognition devices, and even a hygienic toilet seat. To enter the store, customers check their temperature with a digital forehead scanner. A sink near the entrance allows customers to wash their hands before handling products.

Now this sounds like a safe place to shop.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the impacts of Covid-19 on retail.
  2. Have students list all the businesses that have had to adapt in some way and businesses that closed.
  3. How have retail stores adjusted to Covid-19 in their midst?
  4. Show video of Covid-19 Essentials store: https://youtu.be/5idLkCNaB6o
  5. Show the web site for the New York store: https://www.cv19essential.com/
  6. Divide students into groups. Have each group review the website, products, and prices.
  7. Discuss the long-term viability of this store.

Source:  New York Times; Retail Dive

 

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Target Launches New Athleisure Clothing Line

It’s a new year and a new time to set some resolutions, right? Target thinks so and has come up with a set of resolutions about the joy of movement, being inclusive and accessible. These resolutions are a lead-in to a new Target brand of athleisure apparel.

Athleisure apparel sales in the U.S. have grown 140% in the last decade and is expected to reach $83 billion. Athleisure is a crowded market however, with loyal followers of brands such as Lululemon and Athleta. What will Target need to do to create value for customers of its new “All in Motion” line of active wear and sporting goods?

The company did extensive research for the new line. Target gathered data from more than 15,000 men, women, and kids, from all areas of the country, to gain insights into what customers want from their sporting apparel. The result is a new brand of sports apparel that was developed for the entire family, at all stages of fitness, and in diverse sizes.

All in Motion also uses sustainably-sourced materials, and includes features such as water-resistant, UPF50+ sun protection. Designs include secure zippered pockets, thumbholes in sleeves, and is a broad range of sizes. But the best part is that prices will be mostly under $40.

Ready to move?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the components of a situation analysis: company, general industry, trends, key competitors, technology, legal, etc.
  2. Review Target’s new line of athleisure clothing: https://www.target.com/b/all-in-motion/-/N-4apdi?lnk=Madeforeverymov
  3. Ask students what data they would need in order to make a marketing decision to start this product line.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team do secondary research to answer the questions such as industry overview, size, growth, competitors, social trends, new technologies, environmental impact, etc.
  5. Debrief the exercise by compiling information on the white board. Does this give a good picture of how Target arrived at its decision?

Source:  Ad Week; Minneapolis Star Tribune; other news sources

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