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Outline of the BrandThe history of Levi Strauss and Co. first traces back to 1850, when the eponymous owner, Levi Strauss first immigrated to San Francisco during the Gold Rush period, bringing in a handful of goods for workers who worked in the mine. It wasn’t until 1953, when Levi Strauss and his brother Jonas and Louis Strauss first produced a set of durable work gear made from tailors who created the garments out of tent canvas. From then on, the canvas was eventually replaced by denim, as it was a stronger fabric and could be prone to more wear and tear and still be durable and protective to the workers who were always out in the field. In 1934, Levi Strauss and Co. then expanded and introduced the first blue jeans for women- Lady Levi’s® when the brand recognized a need for the product (Unknown Author 2017 ‘How Levi’s® Put the Pants on the Women’s Movement’). At the time, pant jeans for women were considered ‘un-lady like’ and thus, the product for women was considered inappropriate and unacceptable during the 30’s (Unknown Author 2017 ‘How Levi’s® Put the Pants on the Women’s Movement’). In a way the jeans were worn as more than a fashion statement- they were also worn for political purposes as a way to implement gender equality (Unknown Author 2017 ‘How Levi’s® Put the Pants on the Women’s Movement’). Since the brand, Levi Strauss and Co. has taken off dramatically, expanding their label to other segments of the market and today is still one of the most sought out labels and one of the products that we consider timeless.
Product CategoriesThrough Levi Strauss’s brand extensions, we see how the brand has diversified their products to attract new consumers in different market segments to cater for a variety of individuals. With this, Levi Strauss has introduced new products as a way to strategize towards gaining new customers with different price categories. The following are the categories that Levi Strauss and Co. have implemented to broaden their market; - Dockers Introduced in 1986, Levi Strauss introduced a men’s range of khaki pants which then expanded to smart casual shirts and other styles of pants that are slim fitting for the male consumer. Dockers were created as a way to create a pair of garments that are work appropriate whilst also giving the pant it’s comfortable features with smart casual look - Denizen Launched in 2011, ‘Denizen’ was first created as a way for Levi’s to attract a more wider audience, with basic jean styles at affordable prices. The campaign of the brand was created to create high quality, trendy, casual jeans at a mid-price point and to attract a more family orientated audience. The brand introduced Denizen for ‘on-the-go’ families, catering jeans wear for women, men and kids and is only accessible at Target stores in the US. This indication shows the affordability of the product and its market segment it achieves to attract. - Signature Levi Strauss First launched in 2003, ‘Signature Levi Strauss’ is a similar campaign to Denizen but caters to a lower audience where garments are under the price of $25. This sub-brand offers high-quality jeans, again, to women, men and children to consumers who shop at Walmart at a low price point range. With these products and sub-categories of the brand, Levi Strauss and Co. has given their audience the ability to attract a wider radius of their market out to a variety of consumers.
Business strategies that are implemented by the Brand to Stay Viable in the Market PlaceIn the past, Levi Strauss have implemented a variety of cross branding and taken advantage of technology to create a whole new market of advance jeans to cater to a wider audience market as well as keeping their brand contemporary and interesting to keep their consumers interested. As well as creating small sub-categories with other businesses as mentions in question 2, collaborating with Target to attract a low end market segment, they have also introduced with other influenced such as celebrities and pop culture icons to really strengthen their market and create a more contemporary label.
CollaborationsLike most brands, Levi Strauss has collaborated with influences to increase their market and attract a different audience. Below will be a brief overview of their past collaborations and advancement of technology that has allowed them to further engage their audiences. - Levi’s X Justin Timberlake: Teaming up with musician, Justin Timberlake, Levi Strauss launched a mini Spring 2019 capsule inspired by the male singer’s music scene where he grew up in Levi’s ® and Justin Timberlake Launch Spring 2019). Nostalgic elements from his childhood were seen in classic Levi’s silhouettes of denim trucker jackets, hoodies and graphic tees Levi’s ® and Justin Timberlake Launch Spring 2019). - Levi’s X Stranger Things: In early 2019, Levi Strauss released a Fall/Winter range with inspirations from Netflix’s Stranger Things series (Levi’s® x ‘Stranger Things’ Brings ‘80s Styles to Life 2019). The collection incorporated influenced from the 80’s styled theme that is evident in the show (Levi’s® x ‘Stranger Things’ Brings ‘80s Styles to Life 2019). The collection explores these themes through silhouettes inspired by the 80’s, graphis tees and graphic denim jackets with themed patches all over (Levi’s® x ‘Stranger Things’ Brings ‘80s Styles to Life 2019). - Levi’s X Hello Kitty: Introduced earlier in 2019, the brand collaborated with Hello Kitty in celebration of Hello Kitty’s 45th anniversary with iconic imagery from the brand and Levi’s signature style (Meet Cute: Introducing Levi’s® x Hello Kitty® 2019). The capsule features a range of hoodies, denim pieces with Hello Kitty’s iconic characters printed all over (Meet Cute: Introducing Levi’s® x Hello Kitty® 2019). - Levi’s X Pride: Over the past few years, Levi Strauss has created collections with inspirations from the LGBQT community as a way to help spreaed awareness around the world through their pieces. In the past, the brand has launched their collections in 2015 with Stonewall (The Story Behind the Levi’s x Stonewall Pride Collection 2015 2015), 2017 (Worn With Pride: It’s the Levi’s® Pride 2017 Collection 2017), and as well as the Harvey Milk Foundation in 2016, which is a non-profit organization to empower individuals who re still marginalized by inequality http://milkfoundation.org. sd - Levi’s X Project Jacquard and Google: As one of the most advanced technological collaborations that the brand has produced, Project Jacquard and Levi’s collaborated together to create a ‘smart’ jacket designed to change the way commuters travel. Levi X Project Jacquard is a jacket designed with Levi’s iconic trucker styled denim jacket, with tiny electronics built into the cuff of the sleeve which allows the wearer to access simple phone actions through four pressure sensitive hand gestures on the cuff of their sleeve (The Verge 2017). The gestures are customizable to the wear’s preference and is connected via Bluetooth and Jacquard’s micro technology woven in (The Verge 2017). The pieces are priced at $350, for a mid high end market, and is only available at selected stores in the US (The Verge 2017). Levi Straus Customization: In a fast past era, Levi Strauss has incorporated new laser technology to change the way they manufacture the finishing touches onto their jeans. Project F.L.X (future-led execution), is a new way of automating the finishing process of jeans as a way to reduce the amount of chemicals, waste and worn out looks used in their jeans (Henderson 2018). By 2020, the company aim’s to complete phase out the any discharge of chemicals produced in their jeans by incorporating the new F.L.X. technology into their manufacturing process (Henderson 2018). As an example of this process, incorporate this technology has allowed Levi Strauss to digitalize the way they create ‘worn-out’ looks onto their jeans (Henderson 2018). By using laser engraving technology, the brand has been given the ability to create ripped jeans it’s effect with out the excessive amount of labour time (Henderson 2018). A simple laser engraved layout allows the jeans to give it it’s authentic worn look that they have established over the years. With this technology, the brand has also installed a marketing campaign that allows buyers to customize their jeans, with options that allow the consumer to change the tint colour on their jeans, length, design pattern and ‘worn’ look (Future Finish, A new Way to Customize Your Denim 2019). This marketing strategy has allowed the brand to become more fast forward with their pieces and create a pair of jeans where their buyers can create tailored pieces (Future Finish, A new Way to Customize Your Denim 2019). - Unknown Author, 2017, How Levi’s® Put Pants on the Women’s Movement, weblog, viewed 29th August 2019 <https://www.levistrauss.com/2017/03/08/levis-put-pants-womens-movement/> - Future Finish, A new Way to Customize Your Denim 2019, Levi Strauss and Co., viewed 31st August 2019 <https://www.levistrauss.com/2019/07/24/future-finish-a-new-way-to-customize-your-denim/> - Henderson, J.H 2018, Levi’s to transform its supply chain under new operating model, supply chain digital, viewed 31st August 2019, <https://www.supplychaindigital.com/scm/levis-transform-its-supply-chain-under-new-operating-model > - The Verge, 2017, Project Jacquard: Levi’s smart jacket first, online video, Youtube, viewed 31st August 2019 < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqimqTf6EP8> - Levi’s ® and Justin Timberlake Launch Spring 2019 Collection 2019, Levi Strauss and Co., viewed 31st August 2019, <https://www.levistrauss.com/2019/04/03/levis-and-justin-timberlake-launch-spring-2019-collection/> - Meet Cute: Introducing Levi’s® x Hello Kitty® 2019, Levi Strauss and Co., viewed 31st August 2019, < https://www.levistrauss.com/2019/08/01/meet-cute-introducing-levis-x-hello-kitty/> - The Story Behind the Levi’s x Stonewall Pride Collection 2015 2015, Levi Strauss and Co., viewed 31st August 2019 < https://www.levistrauss.com/2015/06/08/the-story-behind-the-levis-x-stonewall-pride-collection-2015/> - Worn With Pride: It’s the Levi’s® Pride 2017 Collection 2017, Levi Strauss and Co., viewed 31st August 2019, < https://www.levistrauss.com/2017/05/25/worn-with-pride/> - Levi’s® x ‘Stranger Things’ Brings ‘80s Styles to Life 2019, Levi Strauss and Co., viewed 31st August 2019, <https://www.levistrauss.com/2019/07/01/levis-x-stranger-things-bring-80s-styles-to-life/> https://www.facebook.com/pg/Denizen/about/?ref=page_internal https://www.facebook.com/pg/SignaturebyLeviStraussandCo/about/?ref=page_internal
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