Victoria’s Secret plays the diversity card, but is it too little too late?

brand change, diversity

Lingerie giant celebrates major brand shift with plus sized and transgender models.

Victoria’s Secret has learnt the importance of ‘never say never’ as they attempt to reverse decades of criticisms of their stand on beauty means. The brand appears to finally understand that the world, and their audience has changed.

Last year, the brand was boasting that they would never feature transgender or plus-size models in its fashion show. Thier Marketing Manager, Ed Razek, said the brand was about fantasy, not being “politically correct”.

brand change

Now, Ed is now gone, along with CEO Jan Singer and it seems Victoria’s Secret is all about diversity – or is it?

With huge consumer backlash and falling sales, the brand had to change.

But after so long of preaching a very narrow view of beauty, does it have any credibility to now claim to stand-up for diversity?

Victoria's secret brand shift

Like so many brands who need to reset some of their beliefs, it isn’t as simple as launching a eye catching campaign.

Victoria’s Secret needs to deliver some powerful and genuine brand gestures that demonstrate how they have changed and are in touch with their audience today. The honest and inspiring interview series talking about body positivity is a great start.

It will also take time. Shifting brand perception is never easy, especially when they’ve dug their heels in so hard for so long.

The brand shift is all part of the fashion retailer’s efforts to turn around a fading star. This week they also announced plans to cut staff by 15%.

Michael Hughes

Michael is Managing Partner and Strategy Director at Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years’ experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in unlocking the strategic power of your brand to create a differentiated, compelling and authentic brand proposition that will engage all your audiences. Michael has extensive experience working across Australia and the Middle East working with leading Australian and International organisations across just about every sector.


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