Blog - Strategy

What do Taylor Swift, Sting, Jay Z, Kanye West, and Andrea Bocelli all have in common?

Posted by Scott Newton on May 12, 2021 6:37:41 AM

Rita Ora

The Chainsmokers


Shawn Mendes


Arianna Grande

Justin Timberlake

Selena Gomez


The Black Eyed Peas

Spice Girls

Mary J Blige

Destiny's Child

Phil Collins


Ricky Martin


All of the above (yes, including Bocelli) headlined the Victoria's Secret fashion show. Only a few years back, Victoria's Secret was considered one of the most valuable and desirable brands crossing age groups and cultures around the globe. Fast Forward to 2020, and the Private Equity group Sycamore pulled out at the last minute from closing on their investment valuing the group at a mere $1.1 Billion USD.

What happened?

“For decades, Victoria’s Secret didn’t evolve,” said Bob Phibbs, CEO of the New York-based consultancy The Retail Doctor. “It was stuck in one time and it didn’t move on.”

The Strategic Assumptions, choices, and risk management mechanisms at the company all were stuck in time. Can the company be saved?

People all around the world love to look good, feel good about themselves, and at the same time be comfortable- and for many customers Victoria's Secret checks all the boxes.

A change in governance, key management, and marketing and merchandising approaches appears to be starting to work. On May 11th 2021, Victoria's Secret Parent company L Brands announced they were spinning off the company after net sales nearly doubled to $1.6bn in the first quarter of the year compared to 2020 ($893 Million.)

At your next board and management strategic review meetings- ask three questions:

1) What could make our brand irrelevant in the future?

2) What assumptions have we made that can propel us forward or risk our company become being labeled a dinosaur?

3) What would disrupt our business significantly and what can we do to minimize the impacts?

What will be your Victoria's Secret moment, and how can you prevent this?

Now with Raul Martinez, previously the creative director at Condé Nast, appointed as the new Victoria’s Secret’s creative director it looks like the company is making the difficult strategic choices to ensure their future success.