Target, Trend, and Timing: How Victoria’s Secret Marketers Got It Right

I love when I see marketers knock it out of the park!

(It makes for funny TV watching conversation with my husband, when I force him to rewind the DVR back to the commercial so that I watch the nuance, and explain—over the actual show—what made that commercial so great… ha!)

So when I received the Victoria’s Secret PINK back-to-school catalog last week, I was in heaven.The VS marketers really demonstrate my top three marketing mandates:

  1. Know your target market
  2. Stay on trend
  3. Time it just right

VS PINK certainly knows their target market—millennial women. I won’t go into the fashion itself, but I will speak directly to the marketing techniques applied to this particular audience. And this audience is very particular—they know exactly what they want and they’re used to being able to get it with a tap of their fingers. But what really struck me as clever about the back-to-school catalog was the free gift with purchase.

I had just read this great article about millennial demographic preferences that specifically points out the fact that “Millennials love their headphones.” So this (branded) gift with purchase hits that sweet spot with the VS PINK audience and further reinforces the brand.

Love it!

The “on trend” aspect that grabbed me about the catalog was that the graphic designers had tweaked every design element “just so.”

Perfectly on target: flat design, simple graphics, circles, bright colors. The inside pages of the catalog look like you’re shopping on an iPad. And then they sealed the deal with a hashtag tagline on the back cover. All perfectly tuned into their audience.

The timing of this campaign was also seamlessly orchestrated:

  • Day 1 (Wednesday): The VS PINK BTS catalog arrives in the mail with a note that a new PINK store is opening in my area
  • Day 2 (Thursday): A VS PINK BTS email pops up in my inbox with consistent imagery and offers
  • Day 3 (Friday): A VS PINK new store email shows up, reinforcing the catalog mention of the new local store opening
  • Day 4 (Saturday): A VS PINK BTS email follows with consistent imagery to catalog, but different from the first BTS email

So not only did the catalog arrive at just the right time to hit the back-to-school shopper, but the sequence of online and offline marketing touches reinforced the message over time.

Well done, VS PINK marketing team!

Thanks for demonstrating how to execute marketing effectively. I certainly enjoyed it!