Victoria’s Secret vs Bath & Body Works – All You Need To Know

The two companies were once sister brands. Read this Victoria Secret vs Bath & Body Works for all you need to know about the brands.

L Brands once owned Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. Both are known to focus on the body and bath collection. They also utilize similar packaging for their products, but that’s where the similarities end. These brands are unique in their own ways.

In fact, very few people don’t know Victoria’s Secret. This brand is one of the most talked-about brands, and Bath & Body Works quickly catches up.

These two brands have reached global status and define the beauty industry. This Victoria Secret vs Bath & Body Works comparison will explore the brands’ marketing strategies and history.

Without further ado, let’s dive into an exploration of these top brands.

Victoria Secret vs Bath & Body Works – The Beginning of Victoria’s Secret

Roy Raymond is the brain behind Victoria’s Secret. His inspiration for the brand was the negative experiences he had at department stores. He was discouraged by the frumpy undergarment that commoditized underwear brands had produced, and therefore, he opted to make a change.

He felt strongly about making a difference in the industry, and he continuously researched the lingerie market for eight years. Finally, Victoria’s Secret was born, and it started out as a niche brand in the undergarment business.

The stores’ decor was Victorian with wood panel walls and friendly staff. Rather than simply hanging panties and bras on sterile racks, these items were paired together in different sizes and put on frames. The stores were quite detailed and inviting for gentlemen who wanted to purchase lingerie. Men held the buying power at this time, and not many companies competed in this market. The Victoria’s Secret brand was new and suggestive and as a result, it enjoyed great success.

However, the brand only thrived for so long before the market became unresponsive. With times changing, Victoria’s secret knew they had to do something to stay on top of the market. It was clear that the brand’s image needed a boost.

Elevating Victoria Secret with a New Focus

In 1983, Victoria’s Secret revamped its image and brand. The brand image now focused more on women than it previously did on men. Women were beginning to possess more buying power and desired to be glamorous and independent. Their new branding and ads exuded allure, luxury, and envy. Victoria’s Secret’s mission was to reflect these new social values and focus on what women found appealing.

Additionally, the brand is a prime example of the impact strategic marketing has on sales. The brand took the same products and made them appealing to a new target audience. This strategic move led to massive growth in sales. Soon, the brand became one of the most recognized brands in the fashion industry.

Victoria Secret Vs Bath & Body Works – The Beginnings of Bath & Body Works

Bath & Body Works is a prominent specialty retail beauty brand. It is the number one brand for body lotions, hand sanitizers, fragrance mist, spa, and aromatherapy in the US.

However, this brand started at Express Clothing Stores before opening its own Boston store. The brand markets itself as earth-friendly as it is focusing on becoming a more environmentally-conscious and sustainable company.

The brand has a unique story as it was founded by a mythical woman named Kate. To strengthen their image initially, Bath & Body Works executives created a fictional character, Kate, to strengthen their image initially. She embodied everything the brand was trying to establish. She grew up on a farm and loved to make her beauty products using natural ingredients. 

The fictional character Kate also went to college and majored in Biology to learn more about the properties of natural ingredients. On graduation, she opened her store to sell homemade, natural beauty products, and that’s how Bath & Body Works was born. The stores were decorated to resemble Kate’s house and reflect the story. During the “Kate era”, the employees were told to constantly ask themselves what Kate would do in everything they did.

How Bath & Body Works Rose From Its Ashes

After several disappointing holiday seasons, the brand went through a makeover, coming up with new product packaging and store designs. They reduced the signature line of the brand’s products, and the brand retained only five product lines: aromatherapy, skincare, lip care, home fragrance products, and True Blood Spa. The brand also reformulated its lotions, body washes, shower gels, and soaps over the years. They understood that only sophistication and quality could set them apart, so they got to work.

Victoria Secret Vs Bath & Body Works – Secret Behind Victoria Secret’s Success

Most people wonder how Victoria’s Secret became so successful and recognizable in the fashion industry. Below are some of the secrets of the brand’s success.

Brand Evolution

Victoria’s Secret continues to transform over the years and continually molds itself along with its customer’s expectations. When Roy Raymond felt that the women’s undergarment products weren’t receiving adequate focus, he researched and established a brand with a new vision. Although the brand focused on making men comfortable buying lingerie, this changed when the buying power changed. In 1983 women became financially independent and desired to express their independence while still feeling glamorous. Therefore, the brand evolved to fit the change in society. They revamped the brand and focused ads on luxury and sensual appeal.

Victoria’s Secret was one of those top brands that utilized impressive marketing strategies to sell the same products to opposite genders by portraying them through different lenses. Once the brand started targeting female customers, they recognized the opportunity of expanding their product range. Therefore, in addition to lingerie and everyday undergarments, Victoria’s Secret began selling sleepwear, clothing, shoes, beauty, swimwear, and a PINK line of products. This diverse product range helped expand the brand’s market and catapulted them to the top of the lingerie market. Whether you wanted something to wear to bed or something to wear to the beach, Victoria’s Secret had you covered.

Marketing Strategy

The Victoria Secret Vs Bath & Body Works comparison isn’t complete without exploring Victoria’s Secret’s marketing strategy. Victoria’s Secret possesses a refined marketing strategy that ensures women can relate to their models. An example is Alessandra Ambrosio’s image of a wife and mother. It gives her a realistic image as a Victoria’s Angel. Additionally, the brand’s PINK line of clothing solely targeted teenage girls, and it was another clear example of the appeal of the US brand. The brand doesn’t pick famous movie stars and models as ambassadors. Instead, it usually launches successful modeling careers for most of its Angels.

The aspiration factor works excellently for Victoria’s Secret as most women love owning its products. One thing is clear; women don’t prefer this brand for their affordable goods. Instead, their appeal lies in providing users with a luxurious experience. The wallpapers, appealing fitting rooms, friendly and experienced staff, plus the innovative range of products are what lures their customers. It is also what makes the brand resilient to economic fluctuations.

World Famous Fashion Show

The Victoria Secret Fashion Show is now an American tradition. It is a must-watch for most young women around the world. With over 9 million viewers, the Victoria Secret Fashion Show is one of the most successful international fashion shows. It is a glamorous infomercial about the various brands under the brand. One of the reasons many people love the brand is its use of celebrities like Taylor Swift and Justin Beiber. The show is designed with relatable, charming, and down-to-earth models like the average female audience. It’s, therefore, no coincidence that Victoria’s Secret is one of the most successful brands globally. It is through a clear understanding of their target audience.

A Clear Synchronization Between Store and Digital Experience

Although Victoria Secret started with catalog sales, the brand introduced buying products online into its medium. The brand also allows customers to return products they bought online to a store. This strategy would help to improve customer engagement while reducing user attrition. Mobile channels make up over 25% of Victoria’s Secrets sales.

Victoria Secret Vs Bath & Body Works – Bath & Body Works Secret to Success

A couple of top factors have contributed to the brand’s success over the years; below are some.

Emotional Connection

One of the leading reasons why Bath & Body Works is so famous is that the brand connects each product to an emotion. There are select scents the company releases seasonally, like during Thanksgiving or Christmas. These scents come with strange names and sell excellently because of their seasonal appeal. The brand understands its target audience and creates old scents customers connect with emotionally. They also provide new fragrances that users can experiment with. Unlike Victoria Secret, Bath & Body Works doesn’t undertake traditional advertisement. The company believes in personal connection and sends promotional offer releases through email addresses to its users.

The Pocket-Friendly Product Appeal

Although Bath and Body Works targets shoppers who love sophisticated products, they would still prefer them to be pocket-friendly. This is an appealing factor about this brand. While it doesn’t compete with premium brands, it doesn’t also sell low-priced mass products. The brand isn’t also seeking celebrity endorsement. Instead, it focuses on the homegrown aspect, which is why most American customers love identifying with its domestic appeal.

Promotions

The Victoria Secret Vs Bath & Body Works comparison isn’t complete without an insight into promotional methods. A striking feature of this brand is its promotional method. The brand isn’t interested in traditional ways and prefers to focus on customers who have already visited the shop. The company collects customers’ contact information at checkout and then sends them promotions and advertisements. They zero in on their target customers and utilize effective methods to keep them coming back to the store.

Focus on the Domestic Market

Although this brand is arguably America’s foremost brand for lotions, aromatherapy, and gel, it is pretty cautious for international expansion. It wasn’t till 2014 before Bath & Body Works expanded into Latin America and Asia. Therefore, the brand is entirely America-focused and doesn’t focus on appealing to its international customers. In the long run, the B&BW company hopes to develop fragrances and flavors unique to different locations as it expands.

Final Thoughts

With several marketing and adaptability strategies, Victoria’s Secret is sure to continue winning women’s hearts in the years to come. Although the brand has competitors in its different product lines, it might take a while before any company can displace Victoria’s Secret from its position in the lingerie department. Additionally, in this Victoria’s Secret Vs Bath & Body Works comparison, we explore how the two companies evolved in the face of challenges to become leading brands in America. Like Victoria Secret, Bath & Body Works continues to mold itself into an iconic brand in its customers’ minds. It achieves this through its adaptability and ability to make customers feel at home.

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