1. Victoria’s Secret
A Brand Analysis
FTM 282 Summer Session 1
2. Table of Contents
Current Market Situation………………………………………………….....pg. 3
Marketing Strategy…………………………………………………………..pg. 7
Cotton Infusion………………………………………………………………pg. 13
3. Current Marketing Situation
Victoria’s Secret, the largest subsidiary of Limited Brands, Inc. and #1
retailer of women’s intimate apparel, is based out of Columbus Ohio and has
more than 1,000 stores throughout the United States and Canada. Victoria’s
Secret, creator of the Miracle Bra (1994), is known for its quality bras,
underwear, and lingerie. However, they have extended their brand into hosiery,
fragrance, apparel, and beauty products, such as lotion, makeup, and hair
products. Victoria’s Secret is known for their many bra and underwear ﬁts and
styles. Their products are available in appealing colors and patterns. The
Victoria’s Secret Pink line also contains less expensive bras, underwear, and
apparel aimed at a younger college-aged audience.
Limited Brands, Inc. is currently ranked #269 on the Fortune 500. They
employ over 92,000 people and reported revenues of over $8.6 billion in 2010.
While a large amount of revenue, it has been decreasing since 2008. In 2008,
reported revenues reached $10.1 billion, in 2009 they reached $9.0 billion, and
have since decreased to $8.6 billion. For this reason, market share information
was not available on many company reporting websites, such as Standard &
Poor’s and Hoover’s. 56% of the 2010 revenues were the result of Victoria’s
Secret store and Direct sales.
In addition to Victoria’s Secret 1,000+ brick and mortar stores, Limited
Brands also runs Victoria’s Secret Direct, which consists of their online store
and catalog that sell footwear, pajamas, lingerie, and apparel. The ability to
order from a catalog and online appeals to those who are not comfortable
buying lingerie in public and those of whom are looking for convenience.
Victoria’s Secret Direct is responsible for about $1.3 billion of sales. They mail
approximately 400 million catalogs every year. To further penetrate the market,
Victoria’s Secret Direct is looking to put out two more catalogs including the
Pink line and beauty products.
5. Victoria’s Secret faces many direct competitors, including Fruit of the
Loom, Hanes, Aerie by American Eagle, Frederick’s of Hollywood Group, J.C.
Penney, Jockey, Macy’s, Sephora (makeup and beauty products), Dillard’s,
Maidenform, GapBody, Vanity Fair, and many more. Indirectly, Victoria’s Secret
competes with almost every other clothing store. This is because of the price of
their products. With the current economic situation, many women are forced to
decide between a $50 bra with a $13 pair of panties and a new pair of jeans, or
a new top, where before the recession they would have purchased it all.
6. As previously discussed, Victoria’s Secret, along with Limited Brands as a
whole, has been affected by the recent recession. This has been the largest
macro environmental impact on the brand. Women are turning to cheaper
alternatives, such as Fruit of the Loom and Maidenform. There is little certainty
of when the economy will turn around, which also creates challenges for the
brand. Within the microenvironment, Victoria’s Secret continues to gain more
competitors. Many retail stores are beginning to add their own basic lingerie
lines. These are often less expensive than Victoria’s Secret and located in the
places where people are already clothes shopping, which gives it the
convenience factor. In addition, Limited Brands is looking to expand Victoria’s
Secret internationally. This could be potentially problematic in cultures that may
not be accepting of the “sexy” and sometimes racy image that Victoria’s Secret
tends to portray.
Within Victoria’s Secret, customers are the main power-holders. While
undergarments are necessities, products, speciﬁcally from Victoria’s Secret, are
not and there are deﬁnitely other less expensive options. While the mature
lingerie market has been falling recently (3% in 2009 - Warburton, 2010), a
recovery is expected soon. According to Simon Warburton for Just-Style, sales
are expected to begin to increase between 2010 and 2012. It is estimated that
this recovery will lead to a lingerie sector worth about $30 billion (Warburton,
7. Marketing Strategy
Victoria Secret is owned by Limited Brands Incorporated, whose portfolio
of businesses includes Victoria's Secret, Victoria's Secret PINK, Bath and Body
Works, C.O. Bigelow, White Barn Candle Co., La Senza and Henri Bendel. The
company continues to drive growth domestically through new sub-brands and
products while expanding internationally. Today, the company's products are
available in more than 3,000 specialty stores nationwide, through the Victoria's
8. Secret Catalogue and online. Their mission as Limited Brands is to commit to
build a family of the world's best fashion brands offering captivating customer
experiences that drive long-term loyalty and deliver sustained growth for our
shareholders. (LimitedBrands.com) The mission of Victoria Secret is to deliver a
best in class, captivating, branded customer experience that builds loyalty and
enables consistent sales and proﬁt growth. It is considered one of the most
powerful, sexy and glamorous stores in the world, thus holding true to it being
“best-in-class.” With the Supermodels it uses to advertise, it is more than
captivating, it is almost surreal. Because there are very few places you could
visit where no one would know the name “Victoria’s Secret”, it is by far,
successfully branded. In an article Victoria’s Real Secret by Steve Johnson
(2005), he discussed how his wife is an avid Victoria Secret shopper because
she is impressed by the customer service she receives when she orders by
phone from some of the ﬁve catalogues she received in a three week period. As
of January 30, 2010 the Victoria’s Secret Store made net sales of
$5,307,000,000 and Victoria’s Secret Direct (online and catalogue orders) made
$1,388,000,000 in net sales, which was actually a 9% increase from 2009.
Because they successfully follow their mission statement, our group perceives
the points listed in the statement to be the marketing objectives: to be/appear
to be best-in-class; to be captivating; to be a strong, lasting brand; to create
customer loyalty though superior customer service; and to have consistent
sales and proﬁt growth.
9. With our economy the way it is and has been in the past few years,
Victoria’s Secret’s biggest dilemma is pushing these aspirational products and
brand to a market that can do without splurging on lingerie and perfume.
According to the Vice President of Customer Marketing, Amy Stevenson’s
presentation at RAMA’s Retail Advertising Conference (RAC 2009), the solution
is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). She quoted Warren Buffet in
saying to “be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are
fearful.” According to her, Victoria’s Secret’s marketing strategy is to increase
their marketing budget. Through this, they are able to market more effectively
by increasing advertisements so their brand can stand out. She acknowledged
other companies that had done the same and have thus been successful in this
economy. She also quoted, “when a brand’s share of voice is greater than its
share of market it is likely to grow its market share in the coming year” by
Millward Brown, which provides qualitative, quantitative, and consulting
services with respect to brands, marketing communications, media and
marketing effectiveness. Then elaborates by saying the fewer messages in a
customer’s inbox or mailbox, the more their (Victoria’s Secret) message will
stand out. This makes sense for the fact that if a customer’s inbox or mailbox
is ﬁlled with advertisements from the same company, they will stop reading
them, delete them and most likely unsubscribe. But if they see an
advertisement from one company every so often, they’ll read that because to
them, they will have something to say. Also in her 10 Things Victoria’s Secret is
10. Doing Now to Optimize CRM and the Business During this Recession portion of
her presentation, she discussed three brilliant brand strategies. The ﬁrst is to
get more aggressive with offers, not necessarily bigger discounts, but a better
perceived value. Two examples she gave was to add more beauty samples to
some of their gifts with purchases or make the gift with purchases bags larger
without costing more to do so. Another strategy she gave was to feature
creative value messaging. Again, not focusing on the discounts but to bring
more attention to offers they already have, such as buying four items to get one
Bras Push-up Full Coverage Demi Cup Multi-way
Strapless Racerback Wireless T-shirt
Front Closure Nursing
Panties Bikinis Boyshorts Briefs Cheekies
Garters Hiphuggers Thongs V-strings
No Lines & Seamless Cotton
Sleep & Pajamas Sleepshirts & Nighties Tops
Shoes Robes & Slippers
Sandals Pumps Babydolls & Slips
& Heels Teddies & Bustiers
Clothes Tops Sweater Shorts Skirts
Pants Denim Jacket and coats
Suit separates Yoga & Loungewear
Swimwear Bikinis Tankinis
One-pieces & Monokinis
Cover-ups & Beach Dresses
Beauty Brand Fragrance
Body Care Make up
Skin Care Hair care
Self tanners and bronzer
free and putting more emphasis on the pricing of the beauty sets. The third
strategy she mentioned was to look for funding and partnerships in unusual
11. sources. This could be partnerships with hotel chains, banks, entertainment
Victoria’s Secrets biggest competitive advantage, which is also how they
have positioned themselves, is their sub-brands with the most popular being
Pink®, whose purpose is to target college aged woman from 18 to 22. (Bittar
and O’Loughlin 2004) Because the target market is in college they have
partnered with The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) and launched exclusive
assortments of collegiate co-branded merchandise featuring the logos,
mascots, colors, and names of select universities around the United States. (PR
Newswire 2008) Ever since Pink® was launched there has been a change in the
style of the other sub-brands of Victoria’s Secret that has helped with
positioning such as: Very Sexy®, Body by Victoria®, Angels by Victoria's
Secret®, BioFit®, Sexy Little Things®, Pout®, Second Skin Satin®, Victoria's
Secret Pink®, VSX Sport®, Ipex®. According to Sharon Turney, CEO of
Victoria’s Secret has lost its way in part by chasing after the Pink®
customer with all its other merchandise…[the] sub-brands ‘tried to
be young’ to imitate Pink®’s success when they should have
focused more on the quality and sophistication that appeals to
women in their mid-20s and older. (Rose 2008)
Victoria’s Secret is ultimately trying to get back to their original demographic
which are these women in their mid-20 and older. They did so by holding
extensive focus groups with 26 year olds and walking through malls with them.
And because the original premise of the secret of Victoria is of this manor-born
12. Londoner named Victoria, whose lacey undergarments were her little secret, it
is safe to assume their target economic class is aspirational. (Mui 2008)
Another way they have positioned themselves is the fact they sell
everything. Their product width includes bras, panties, sleep and loungewear,
shoes, clothes, swimwear, and beauty products. They carry brands such as
UGG® Australia, Colin Stuart®, Skechers®, Jessica Simpson®, Steve Madden,
FitFlop™, Two Lips®, Carlos™ by Carlos Santana, Rampage®, DKNY, GUESS,
Vix®, Becca®, etc. Below are charts demonstrating the extent of the width,
length, and depth of their product lines.
Victoria’s Secret Brands Naturally Victoria's Secret Parfums
Rapture® Secret Garden Collection Beach
Beauty Rush® Body by Victoria® Dream Angels™
Secret Moments™ Sexy Little Things® So Sexy™
Supermodel by Victoria's Secret™ Tease for Two™ Very
VS Makeup Victoria's Secret Pink® Non VS
The consistency of the line varies under different attributes. The products they
carry serve numerous functions, use different production requirements, but
come through the same distribution channel, thus further adding to the
exclusivity of the brand and keeping them successful. Unbelievably, the price of
13. the products range from $3.99 for Beauty Rush Lip Gloss to $3 million for a
diamond encrusted bra. Also in that range you can ﬁnd Pour la Victoire heels
for $290. All of these types of items can be found either in the catalogue or
online and shipped form Victoria’s Secret Direct or in the stores, often located
in malls and higher end shopping areas. Although they have such a wide
variety of products the brand drivers of Victoria’s Secret are the bras, panties,
beauty, and PINK brand.
It is evident that, of the 10Ps of marketing, positioning is at the top of the
list, but three other important ones for this brand are: placement (as discussed
earlier with their three distribution channels), promotion, and packaging.
Promotion was discussed earlier when reviewing Amy Stevenson’s presentation
but this is something else they are known for. The Semi-Annual Sale is
something that women all over look forward to. The prices are amazing and
most know it. They also send a “Free Undies” card to those who receive
catalogues and cardholders. With this card, one can just walk into the store
and pick out a pair of free underwear, of course with limitations, such as price
and brand constraints. This card is also a coupon to get $10 off certain bras or
Pink® items. Another promotion avenue they have is though the beneﬁts of
angel cardholders. Stevenson actually mentioned in her presentation that there
will be more beneﬁts for cardholders to improve their CRM.
Every time one purchases from Victoria’s Secret, you have received a gift,
or at least that is how they want you to feel when they put your purchase in
14. their brand labeled gift bag and ﬁll it with pink tissue paper. It is taking the
work away from the gift giver because they do this with everyone.
In 2007, Victoria’s Secret took the ﬁrst steps toward launching its e-
commerce business on a cross-channel on-demand platform from their partner
n2N Commerce, a company formed by a former Limited Brands employee,
Ruben Pinchanski. This system made them more agile, and able to provide a
holistic view of its brand to the consumer while offering her a greater degree of
personalization in its direct business. This processing tool replaced a 15-year-
old IBM mainframe and a string of proprietary solutions and allows Victoria's
Secret to interact in real-time with its customer. It enables a much higher level
of personalized selling, while creating greater consistency across the company's
three channels and providing a more efficient stream of information. (Speer
15. Cotton is deﬁned as “a soft, ﬂuffy staple ﬁber that grows in a boll around
the seed of the cotton plant “. (Wikipedia, 2010). Cotton is one of the most
used fabric as well as the best selling source in the American clothing industry.
It is in high demand everywhere and can be adapted, manufactured, and
produced to ﬁt the needs in the fashion/clothing industry, automotive industry,
home furnishings industry, and many more.
The cotton ﬁber has many characteristics that are beneﬁcial to the
industry, not only it is an environmental substance, it also has an environmental
and sustainability advantages over other ﬁbers. Because cotton cooperates with
the environment and uses sunlight in the making process, it is a natural and
renewable ﬁber. (Cotton Inc. 2010).
Cotton is used by all consumers’ ranges in ages and crosses many
generations. Currently there are multiple ways to use cotton ﬁber. We are also
expanding the growth and are developing new technologies and methods to
cotton factories and farms. There are ranges of cotton products. We now have
options of picking from 100% cotton ﬁbers, a cotton blend, recycled and the
rising in popularity, organic cotton.
For our extension line, XY by VS, we have decided on only producing our
products that are made from 100% cotton ﬁbers. Because 100% cotton brings
the most comfort and it’s the most natural, it is known for being light, cool,
comfortable and absorbent. XY by VS is a line that focuses on comfort and
16. conﬁdence. We want our target consumer to feel the quality and comfort when
wearing it out or going to bed.
Our line extension includes four types of products, the boxers, briefs,
boxers-briefs, and undershirts. These products have three groupings, basics,
fashion basics, and holiday. Our products are undergarments and therefore
going for 100% cotton is the best choice. For more detailed information, please
refer to the appendix.
Anonymous (06/16/2008). "Victoria's Secret PINK Introduces the EXCLUSIVE Collegiate
Bittar, C., & O'Loughlin, S. (2004). Victoria's Secret Thinks Pink. Brandweek, 45(6), 6.
Academic Search Premier database.
Burnett, S. (2009). Victoria’s Secret: CRM as the Primary Marketing Tactic in Down
Retrieved June 24, 2010, from Customer Insight Group, Inc. Web site: http://
Cotton. (June 23, 2010). Wikipedia Foundation.Retrieved June 21, 2010, from
Cotton Today. (2010). Cotton Inc. Retrieved June 23rd, 2010, from, http://
DISPATCH,Marla Matzer Rose, THE COLUMBUS. (2008, February 29). Victoria's secret
forsaking ' sexy' ; CEO wants classic quality to bring back older buyers. The
Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), pp. 10C.
Hoover’s Company Records. Limited Brands, Inc. (2010) Retrieved from http://
Johnson, S. (2005). Victoria's real secret. American Printer, 122(6), 92. Retrieved from
Computers & Applied Sciences Complete database.
Kapner, S. (2007, November 15). Victoria's secret could use a little lift. CNNMoney.com,
Limited brands > about. (2010). Retrieved from http:/www.limitedbrands.com/
Ltd - limited brands inc buy/hold/sell analysis - forbes.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Ltd: profile for limited brands, inc. - yahoo finance. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Mui, Y. Q., & Writer, W. P. S. (2008, February 29). Victoria's revelation ; brand is 'too
sexy ,' chief says.
The Washington Post, pp. D01.
Warburton, S. (2010, January 12). Global lingerie market sees uplifting
Retrieved from http://www.just-style.com/analysis/global-lingerie-market-
Chapter 9 Questions
Cotton Infusion: Victoria’s Secret Extension Line: XY by VS
1. Describe your product line as to (a) line length (i.e. number of groupings,
product classiﬁcation in groupings, themes, color ways, and fabrications for
Our extension line length has total number of four types of products such as
boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, and undershirts. Under these four types, each has
three different groupings. We offer the basics, fashion basics, and holiday.
2. Describe your product mix as to (a) line width, (b) line depth, and (c) line
The line extension will offer a line dept that goes along with each of our
products. Each grouping will have numerous color palettes, prints/patterns, and
19. styles. The undershirts will have two styles, the V and crew neck lines. For the
boxers, briefs, and boxer-briefs, we have chosen four colors and three prints,
such as grids, plaids, and stripes; we believe all of these will attract our target
market, the gentlemen.
Our products relate to each other in fact that they are all made to worn
underneath numerous attires. We believe that we have to keep the line
consistency the same to start because is it to an entirely new market. Also, our
consistent with the line is that it is an everyday product that we guaranteed that
the consumers will and are going to need.
3. Describe your speciﬁc product classiﬁcation or one SKU as to (a) core beneﬁt,
(b) actual product, (c) augmented product.
Core beneﬁt:"Reveal the seXY in you"; our core beneﬁt offers the
consumer the feeling of sexy and conﬁdent and upmost comfort in our line.
Actual product: Bringing the comfort and conﬁdence of undergarments to
the male consumers, ﬁtting to their needs and wants.
Augmented product: We pair our core product with other styles such as
briefs, boxer-briefs, and holiday.
4. Explain if your product is (a) convenience, (b) shopping, (c) specialty product,
or (d) unsought product.
Our product is a shopping and specialty product. Because a shopping
product is a product that are less-frequently-purchased and customers
carefully compare on the quality, price and style; and a specialty product offers
20. a unique characteristics or brand identiﬁcation; we ﬁnd these two the most
ﬁtting to our XY by VS extension line. Victoria’s Secret offers the quality, style,
value, and specialty products to a mass market; the shoppers of Victoria’s
Secret already know what to expect when they shop at the store. They know
that the products aren’t a convenience product such as soap, nor it is low-
priced. The shoppers go to Victoria’s Secret can expect to get a good, quality
product and ﬁt to their needs or even boost their esteem. One can buy a bra
that is $25 or even up to three million dollars.
5. List and describe the product attributes of (a) quality direct impact on
product or service performance, (b) features- addition to product, make it more
competitive, (c) style and design for your one SKU.
We understand that if we deliver a product that brings style and comfort
for the male gender, we can attract them and hopefully keep their loyalty.
Therefore, our products will be made from 100% cotton ﬁbers. We want to
promote with that our products are the latest in style and have the sex appeal
feature so that men can feel sexy wearing it underneath their suits and ties or
going to bed.
Our line extension with Victoria's Secret will let people know that we will
specialize to their needs. Victoria's Secret has always been a special, popular,
and competitive brand. When we speak of Victoria's Secret, consumers can
automatic think of our prink stripes logo and our popular Pink line.
21. We offer a range of colors that are going to be a big hit for the Fall 2011
with our boxers. We have three main colors for our Basics, four for Fashion
Basics, and three for our Holiday line. The colors palette includes the shades of
blues, greens, grays, and dark reds. We also offer the number of patterns and
prints such include plaids, grids, and lines. We believe that if you design
something that is already popular with the men, it won't be as hard to get them
to like our products. We promise that our boxers will ﬁt and conform to any
6. Describe the (a) brand symbolism of the product, and develop (b) the
packaging and (c) labeling for your product.
Our brand symbolism consists of just two letters, X and Y. We want to
package our products in a black bag labeling XY by VS outside. Like Victoria’s
Secret using pink tissue paper, we decide that blue would be a better choice for
packaging the men's products. For our bag color, we pick the color black. Since
black means bold and sexy, and also it is very opposite from the pink bags for
the women's products, we feel that many men prefer simplicity and straight to
the point; there won’t be a need to put strips on the bags. The label for our
product will be a small tag that will be in the color red and the letters will be
printed in black ink.
22. 7. Explain how you will position your new product within the existing brand by
addressing (a) product attributes- quality, features, and style and design, (b)
beneﬁts of product, and (c) beliefs & values.
We want to position our new products in that it is made in the best way.
We want to offer a well quality product with latest features, style, and design.
Our products offer the consistency in ﬁt, comfort, style.
The beneﬁts you receive when purchasing our products will be quality,
comfort, and durability.
We belief that men do too, want to feel sexy and important. We want our
products to deliver conﬁdence and that you can trust in XY by VS to provide
that feeling every time when wearing our products.
8. Describe how you named your innovative product.
The name of our product derived from the Brand SEXY and the symbols
that represent the male gender, XY. We wanted the name to be something that
isn't too feminine or drive the males away. As we all know, Victoria's Secret's
main and primary consumers are the female consumers; therefore, our brand
needed to be on a completely different dynamic that would attract the male
shoppers. Through asking our guy friends and research, we ﬁnd that males like
to feel sexy too. They like the products that would boost their self-esteem and
make them feel powerful, pride, and boost their ego. Our extension line XY by
VS will deliver those feeling.
23. 9. Describe how you developed your brand. Be speciﬁc as to (a) line extension,
(b) brand extension, (c) multi-brand, (d) new brand, or (e) co-branding.
We developed our brand by looking at the success of the other companies
and brands. We ﬁnd in our research what products that men are attractive to
and the products that they have been comfortable in using for number of years.
Because Victoria's Secret has already a brand extension, its Pink line, clothing,
swimwear and cosmetics, and many more, it doesn’t need another product that
attract the females. Victoria’s Secret has grown and attracted such a big
market, from ages 18 and up and still working to attract the younger
generation such as the tweens, it is still missing the other half, the men. That is
the one thing we found missing at Victoria’s Secret; and because of it, we then
developed our extension XY by VS especially for the men in this world.