How Victoria’s Secret Came To Dominate The Lingerie Market

Andrea Lee
Andrea Lee
March 2, 2016
2 min read
How Victoria’s Secret Came To Dominate The Lingerie Market

In this article

Victoria’s Secret dominates 35% of the lingerie market. Little girls dream of becoming Victoria’s Secret angels, and young women happily splurge on their Victoria’s Secret lingerie.

How did Victoria’s Secret capture the hearts of so many women (and men) around the world?

Here’s four ways Victoria’s Secret did it.

1. VS Angels - Brand ambassadors that customers relate and look up to

miranda kerr victorias secret angel

Countless young girls dream of becoming Victoria’s Secret angels.

The brand is known for launching the careers of many household names in the modelling industry. From Giselle Bundchen to Miranda Kerr, these top models wouldn’t be where they are today without their careers as Victoria’s Secret angels.

Even Kendall Jenner, of Kardashian-Jenner fame, dreamt of becoming a Victoria’s Secret angel.

So why does every little girl dream of one-day donning on those highly coveted angel wings?

Victoria’s Secret chooses rising models with humble lives and real personalities that the average women can relate to, and grooms them to become brand ambassadors.

VS angels are no doubt stunningly beautiful, but they always garner mass appeal by being able to strike a balance between sexy and approachable.

Women all over the world love both Adriana Lima and Miranda Kerr, not because they are drop-dead gorgeous, but also because they can relate to their roles as a mother and as a wife.

Word-of-mouth tip: Most successful international brands choose renowned celebrities as brand ambassadors, but not Victoria’s Secret. Victoria’s Secret launches the careers of fledging models, shooting them to international fame. Choosing brand ambassadors that the average consumer can relate to is a strategy that works well, because they love the fairytale story that comes along with their purchase.

Read next: 24+ examples of marketing through influencers

2. The Annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show - The most highly anticipated fashion show of the year


In November 2015, Victoria’s Secret held its 20th annual fashion show since 1995.

Months and weeks before the fashion show each year, tons of hype is generated surrounding the event from both the models and fans expressing their eager anticipation for the event.

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is not like any typical fashion show.

The show has a somewhat carnival-like atmosphere, featuring million dollar fantasy bras, intricate set-ups, the hottest models, and draws the biggest musical talents in the industry.

The VS fashion show is also strategically held during the holiday season, where everyone is in the mood for some major gift-giving. And where better to get gift ideas from than the VS fashion show itself?

While the fashion show is not open to the public and is by invite-only, millions still tune in to the telecast of the show, and talk about it all the same.

Word-of-mouth tip: Having that one epic event of the year that everyone associates the brand with and wants to be a part of is a great way for generating tons of publicity of the brand.

Read next: 30+ examples of marketing through events

3. Great in-store service makes shopping a luxurious experience

victoria secret in store experience

Shopping in a Victoria’s Secret store is a luxurious experience that is unparalleled by other lingerie brands.

Victoria’s Secret stores are furnished in a welcoming and plush Victorian style, with lots of pink and black.

Staff are well-trained, and extremely helpful and friendly. They’re approachable and always willing to give you fitting advice without being pushy. Fitting rooms are luxurious and inviting, providing you with the utmost comfort while trying on intimate lingerie.

In fact, 67% of customers make a purchase after using the fitting room.

Victoria’s Secret clearly puts a strong emphasis on creating a great in-store customer experience, making customers feel that every visit is a treat.

The luxurious in-store experience coupled with the sensual appeal of the brand puts Victoria’s Secret products in the affordable luxury category, bringing millions of customers coming back to their stores.

Word-of-mouth tip: Even in an era where most brands are going completely digital, it is important to maintain great in-store customer experiences. Attention to detail and making customers feel comfortable to give them a memorable experience, generating positive publicity for the brand via WOM.

4. Cognisant and adaptive to new markets

victorias secret liu wen

In 2014, Victoria’s Secret opened its first store in China, but way back in 2009, Chinese model Liu Wen was the first East Asian model to walk in a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

This move towards introducing more Asian models into catalogues and fashion shows was a strategic one that kickstarted the brand’s expansion into Asia.

The emerging middle class in Asia have high purchasing power, and the hype of international brands such as Victoria’s Secret have attracted their attention.

However, some Asian markets are still relatively conservative, and Asian culture still isn’t accustomed to such lavish lingerie shopping experiences.

Victoria’s Secret understands this and has taken a cautious approach toward expansion. When expanding into these Asian markets, more emphasis is placed on fragrances, beauty products, and other merchandise, rather than their signature lingerie line.

Word-of-mouth tip: International expansion is no easy task and intensive research is required to understand local culture and norms before the decision to expand is made. For products, such as lingerie, that could be deemed as too provocative in conservative countries, a tailored approach to easing the brand into the market must be adopted, in order to avoid negative publicity for the brand.

Recap: What did Victoria's Secret do to achieve its success?

  1. Hired models that became relatable and likable brand ambassadors
  2. Created an event that became one of the most anticipated fashion shows of the year
  3. Created a comfortable and luxurious in-store experience
  4. Was conscious, and adapted to new markets it expanded into


Hey there! Stay on topic, check out these 25 proven to work marketing strategies from the fashion industry.

Andrea Lee
Andrea Lee

Andrea is an undergraduate majoring in international relations and East Asian politics. She enjoys a good run in the city.

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