Grad School – Discussion Post

I have decided to get my graduate degree in Integrated Marketing Communications.  I currently am enrolled in the West Virginia University online program.  Needless to say, all of my spare time is now spent reading and writing.  However, I promise that I will still dedicate time to this blog as much as I can.  So far week four is treating me well and the APA style book is my new best friend (It’s a love hate relationship).

So here is Discussion Week 3, I am very happy with how this piece came to be. As I was writing the piece it was revealed to me that PINK is a sorority of sorts. Please leave your feedback and let me know what you think!

Assignment: Marketers continue to increase their promotional efforts toward specific segments. Find a company that has clearly segmented its target market, either culturally, by gender, or in some other manner. Explain its segmentation strategy/strategies and provide at least two specific message examples where the brand is reaching out to a specific segment.

     Victoria’s Secret (VS) has many product lines that fall under its brand, there is bras, panties, sleepwear, lingerie, bathing suit, business attire, shoes and the line that I am going to focus on – PINK®.  The brand extension of PINK is targeted towards young women, specifically college students who want to wear hip, trendy clothes at reasonably low prices.  Middle school and high school girls also fall into this segmentation as they aspire to be like the older age group.  VS is smart in developing this product line and segmentation; by appealing to the younger audience and making them loyal customers, most likely they will stay loyal to the brand post PINK age.  As they become older, they can move through the various clothing lines that VS has to offer – a brilliant customer retention tactic. For the sake of this discussion, I am going to focus on the college students. 

     The PINK line offers: Bras and panties, yoga pants, sweatpants, sweatshirts, tees and accessories such as bags, back packs, and decor to “PINK your room”.  The line is very distinctive, think bright colors with the PINK logo written somewhere on the product.  PINK is often promoted in frequent direct mail catalogs sent to its customers and there are also PINK stores often found in shopping malls.

     VS has segmented its clothes based on the psychographic needs of this group, specifically their lifestyles as college students.  The line is clearly designed for the student who just rolled out of bed, needs to throw on some comfortable clothes and head to class.  Behavioristic segmentation can be found too as users tend to have a strong loyalty to the brand.  Most likely there is more than one item from the PINK product line in their closet.  VS provides product symbolism as consumers feel hip and trendy with a sense of belonging when wearing PINK clothes.  The price points are reasonable for this group as well; the prices aren’t as low as Target® however it is priced mid-range to establish a status for the brand.

Segmentation strategies

     It’s clear that one of PINK’s strategies is to create brand awareness to build a PINK following.  VS knows smart phones are practically another appendage for this target segment.  It isn’t shocking that its strategies are based around interactive and mobile apps. This group of consumers is heavily involved in texting, tweeting and taking photographs to share with others.  VS has established “PINK Nation®” to encompass all of its social media components and to appeal to this target market.  “PINK Nation gives our biggest fans exclusive access to the brand they love.  When you join, you’ll enter a world filled with games, goodies, special offers and A-list access to PINK events.  Members also get the chance to participate in exclusive contests and design challenges that will help inspire our brand” (Join PINK nation, 2012).

     It’s safe to say that PINK Nation is an online sorority for the female college student.  In order to participate you need to be a member, once you become a member you receive the benefits, of all that PINK Nation has to offer.  More importantly you become one of the “in” crowd. 

    The PINK Nation campaign includes: Mobile apps, text messages and email alerts, an interactive website with the latest news, games and contests.  The brand has a photo campaign encouraging users to take pictures and send via Twitter at #PinkHeartsLove with various topics such as: Love, Travel, Puppies, Models, Bling, PINK or Fashion Show.  Users are encouraged to “Tag your creations on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and WeHeartIt” (PINK hearts, 2012).  When users tag, tweet or post a photo, their friends are going to see it and now the brand awareness has spread. 

     @VSPINK also creates Twitter storms of sales and hashtags for community groups.  The latest group of tweets is currently focused on #Freshman.  As Rodriguez (2011) discusses how Latinos identify with Twitter in “Latinos in #Twitterlandia”, PINK also has developed a culture that “self-identifies, self-organizes and self-categorizes” with the social platform.

     An example of how PINK uses messages to create this awareness is through “Campus Talk’.  Loyal customers become brand ambassadors responsible for sharing PINK news with their social networks and schools.  There are 50 schools across the United States that help PINK share their news. (https://twitter.com/vspink).

     Another tactic is PINK Parties at store grand openings or on various college campuses. At these parties, DJs play music and free merchandise is handed out. The website allows users to RSVP and a post is immediately placed on Facebook wall so other friends can see (Party with PINK, 2012).   

     Various contests call for customer engagement; design a tote and design the holiday gift card were the latest contests.  Winners are announced in bold print on the VS website.

     Currently they are running a Tailgate tour promotion.  Users are asked to tweet to vote to have “The PINK Truck” to come to their school.  The interactive campaign allows the user to help pick where the truck stops. (PINK Nation tailgate tour, 2012).  If a user wants the truck bad enough, they are going to recruit their friends to vote as well.  All they need to do is share #TailgateWithPINK with their friends.

     To further promote the college feel, PINK has its own Exclusive Victoria’s Secret PINK Collegiate Collection™ clothes that promote popular university logos on their attire.  Yes, there is West Virginia University attire (Be true to your school, 2012).

     As Belch and Belch in chapter 7 discuss the positives and negatives attributes of measuring effective budgets, social media helps PINK immediately see if its brand awareness campaign is successful.  As of September 2, 2012 there are 4,298,823 Tweeps and 152,102 Facebook friends.  

     It’s clear VS PINK is targeting college students, by embedding itself in the college environment, mimicking sororities by throwing parties, tailgating at football games and providing a sense of exclusivity and well being.

     What do you think about VS’s PINK Nation and its awareness campaign?   

Resources

Belch, G. E., & Belch, M. A. (2009). Advertising & promotion: An integrated marketing communications perspective. (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Be true to your school. (2012). http://www.victoriassecret.com/pink Retrieved

September 2, 2012, from http://www.victoriassecret.com/pink/choose-your-school

Join PINK nation. (2012). http://www.victoriassecret.com/pink Retrieved

September 2, 2012, from http://pink.victoriassecret.com/about_pink_nation.jsp?cm_re=110920-_-nav-_-about_pink_nation_nav

Party with PINK. (2012). http://www.victoriassecret.com/pink Retrieved

September 2, 2012, from http://pink.victoriassecret.com/party_with_pink/index.jsp?cm_re=110906-_-nav-_-party_with_pink_nav

PINK hearts. (2012). http://www.victoriassecret.com/pink Retrieved September 2, 2012, from http://pink.victoriassecret.com/pink_hearts/index.jsp?cm_re=111021-_-nav-_-pink_hearts_nav

PINK Nation® tailgate tour fall 2012. (2012) http://www.victoriassecret.com/pink Retrieved September 2, 2012, from

http://pink.victoriassecret.com/tailgate_with_pink.jsp?cm_re=120815-_-nav-_-tailgate_tour_nav

Rodriguez, G. (2011) Latinos in #Twitterlandia. Clickz.com Retrieved January 25, 2011 from: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1939195/latinos-twitterlandia

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