innovative growth strategies

How did the world's sexiest brand become a fallen angel?

If you've been an investor in L Brands since 2010, you’ve had quite a ride. A stock that once quintupled on the heels of the success of its Victoria’s Secret brand, has now fallen right back to earth.

Victoria’s Secret’s success lay in forging a deep bond with women. It, de facto, championed women’s right to be sexy and show it. With its Body by Victoria underwire bras and prime-time runway shows with models in racy lingerie, Victoria’s Secret made a new kind of sexiness a part of mainstream sensibilities.  

Somewhere along the way, Victoria’s Secret betrayed that trust. It went from being a champion of women's right to be and show sexy, to being the arbiter of who and what could be sexy. In a Vogue interview, it’s CMO dissed the idea of body positive women being on its runway show. It missed the trend from underwire bras to braletts, failing to redefine sexiness in a new mold.

Deep connections with customers do wonders for brands, but come with their own risks. Brands that betray that compact can find themselves worse off.

In my  book, Right Between The Ears, I show how marketers can design epic brands. If you need a speaker or workshop on branding, contact me.