One of the most popular undergarment companies in the world, Victoria’s Secret, recently announced it would be abandoning one of its most popular promotional strategies. After being on the receiving end of public criticism for several years, the company finally decided to completely reinvent its brand image.
With this new change, instead of working with some of the world's most popular models, the company will now be working with other inspirational women, such as entrepreneurs and activists. This change is intended to signal the brand’s refreshed and reinvented public image.
Previously, some of the world's most famous models were both the face and the voice of the lingerie brand. That strategy was first implemented in the 1990s and has been used for about three decades. Some of the models who collaborated with the brand included Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum and numerous others, who worked with Victoria’s Secret on annual runway shows as well as various marketing campaigns. Additionally, the company announced a few years ago it would be ending those runway shows as part of its road to reinvention.
According to the brand’s CEO, this change is being introduced because models are no longer viewed as culturally relevant, with many members of the public criticizing the brand’s image as being outdated. In the first two decades of this promotional strategy, as well as with the runway shows, the company functioned as one of the biggest global voices regarding what was deemed attractive. This was especially highlighted with the annual runway show that featured various new products and was often executed in collaboration with other celebrity musicians.
The marketing chief of Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands, Ed Razek, was considered to be one of the most influential people in the modeling industry of the 2000s. He’d been working in that position for several decades and helped jumpstart the careers of a number of famous models before finally stepping down from the role in 2019.
Although this reinvention was recently announced—and hasn’t been implemented yet—it remains to be seen how receptive the public is going to be to these new promotional strategies. The response to the announcement has been relatively positive from a number of people, which shows the brand is still able to potentially remain relevant and not be seen as outdated during this time.
There's no doubt this new reinvention will be highly scrutinized moving forward by members of the public. For companies looking to implement a similar reinvention strategy, it’s best to do so carefully and to prepare thoroughly before the launch.