One would be hard-pressed to find a consumer not familiar with the women’s apparel and lingerie empire that is Victoria’s Secret. The brand is more than just a clothing line; it has become a national phenomena. Every year, over 10 million viewers tune in to watch the Victoria’s Secret fashion show – an annual runaway show of the brand’s latest styles modeled by the beloved Angels (CBS News). In a day and age of severely fragmented television audiences, such a large viewership is more than just impressive. Few other brands can boast such saturation. After dominating the lingerie industry for over thirty years, the brand was looking for some expansion. Enter the PINK brand, a line of loungewear and lingerie aimed towards the gainful 18- to 30-year-old market. Unsurprisingly, Victoria’s Secret’s pet project thrived. Earning $1 billion annually, PINK is the top lingerie retailer amongst the teen market (Lepore). With this campaign, our team hopes to better understand the brand and help create an effective marketing and advertising plan for the next year (Neghina, 2009). Victoria’s Secret was established in 1997 in San Francisco, California, by Stanford alum Roy Raymond. The idea was simple; Raymond felt embarrassed every time he tried to buy lingerie for his wife in a regular department store. He took out an eighty thousand dollar loan and decided to open his first store at the Stanford Shopping center in Palo Alto. To supplement his store, Raymond began a mail-order catalog operation to capitalize on the “discretion of purchase” he felt was needed in the lingerie retail industry.
In 1882, Raymond decided to sell the company along with its six existing stores to Leslie Werner, creator of the Limited Stores Inc. of Columbus, Ohio. The business was sold for around one million dollars. After the new ownership of the business, Victoria’s Secret began to expand into countless U.S malls, and by the 1990s it had become the largest American lingerie retailer, topping just over one billion dollars. Throughout the 90s, the company began to use supermodels in their advertisements. They even turned down celebrity models and other endorsements to better preserve their classy, simple, yet prestigious brand image.
In July 2004, Victoria’s Secret product line PINK was founded. It received positive test results in 2003 and applied to around fifty test markets. The target group for PINK is between 18- to 30-year-old college co-eds that are hip and fashionable (Neghina, 2009). Their idea was simple, to create a product line that was playful, cute and fun. Their product lines encompasses loungewear, sleep wear and intimate clothing. The products are distributed through their shopping mall locations, the Victoria’s Secret website, and the store catalogues (Neghina, 2009). PINK varies from the tradition of the original Victoria’s Secret. The PINK line introduces new products about every three to four weeks. They use young Hollywood hip-hop artists and young celebrity personalities, as opposed to supermodel “Angels,” in their advertisements. Past endorsers include stars such as Ashlee Simpson, Fergie, JoJo, Ciara, and Lindsay Lohan. The PINK line even has its own mascot. A pink dog can be found branding all of the clothing and lingerie, as well as a separate commodity in itself, as PINK sells a stuffed line of the little dog. Massive public events are held annually in the name of PINK, such as the “World’s Largest Pajama Party.” These differences in attitude, presentation, and target market are what sets PINK as a strong product line for Victoria’s Secret. It has been reported that over 33 million teenagers purchase from PINK each year, bringing in $175 billion dollars annually (Neghina, 2009). Parents and other family members also bring in a whopping $170 billion dollars annually, and the profitable “tween” market brings in about $51 billion dollars annually...