Victoria’s Secret, the iconic lingerie retailer that made its name with high-fashion photographs of supermodels wearing skimpy underwear, has spent the last year trying to transform itself from a brand associated with the male gaze to a company representing female empowerment. But many customers are still confused about the changes.
In an attempt to make its products more body-inclusive, the company recently hired a transgender model and added size-inclusive lingerie startup Adore Me to its portfolio. The company is also partnering with fashion brands like Virgil Abloh and Rihanna on ad campaigns for body-positive and inclusive pieces, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Despite these positive efforts, Victoria’s Secret is facing new competition in the form of ad-free lingerie startups that offer more styles and sizes than the company’s catalogs do. And it’s losing market share as women look for more options.
But that’s not the only problem. The retailer has been criticized for failing to evolve with women’s changing attitudes towards beauty and diversity.
The lingerie retailer is a prime target for criticism because it has long marketed unrealistic standards of beauty and sexuality that have impacted how women see themselves. Its former CEO, Les Wexner, is the subject of Hulu’s three-part documentary series “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons.”
While the docuseries makes a convincing case for how Wexner and his sex offender Jeffrey Epstein caused widespread harm to the brand, it also reveals that the lingerie empire was a tangled mess of scandals before and after their rise. Wexner’s misogynistic behavior and ties to sexually abusive employees are the focal point of the series, which also investigates shareholder lawsuits against several high-ranking executives at L Brands.
One of the most controversial scandals occurred in 2010, when a former VS model filed a class action suit against the brand for its depiction of unrealistic body standards. The suit alleged that Victoria’s Secret had marketed its products to women in a way that distorted their perception of themselves and contributed to unhealthy behaviors like eating disorders and smoking.
That’s a problem because a brand’s marketing tactics should be designed to help people live healthier and happier lives. Not to mention, consumers want products that are a reflection of their own personalities and lifestyles.
But a company’s marketing is only as good as its products, which means the company must be constantly reevaluating its image and experimenting with different approaches. That’s why it’s so crucial to invest in a strong, experienced consumer insights team.
It’s not just about changing the brand’s image; it’s about improving its business model and building a reputation that’s sustainable for years to come. The lingerie giant needs to continue to innovate and improve its products so that it can stay relevant in the age of e-commerce and digital technology.
If you’re interested in shopping at Victoria’s Secret, then it’s best to use a credit card that rewards customers for spending on the brand’s merchandise. These cards typically earn between 2% and 5% in cash back or discounts on purchases. But you should consider your own preferences and what your financial goals are before committing to a particular credit card.