Friday, May 14, 2010

A Legend in Marketing

Levi Strauss and Company: Critical Analysis of Marketing

Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&CO.) a top manufacturer of brand-name clothing globally, sells jeans and sportswear under the Levi's, Dockers, and Levi Strauss Signature names in more than 110 countries. It also markets men's and women's underwear and loungewear. The company has demonstrated considerable but not always consistent brilliance in marketing. Levi Strauss, the founder, established the ‘red tab’ and the leather patch on the back of the pants so that every pair of pants on every working man told another who made them. Over a hundred years later, the company is still going strong and the Levi’s name has strong brand equity because of iconic cultural associations and the excellent use of media advertising. The Levi’s name is memorable, meaningful to many, adaptable in new countries and to new demographic segments and quite likeable. Most of the attributes of the jeans are protectable through diligent protection of trademarks. The brand has struggled at times to be transferable to other products but it has a fair degree of transferability to other countries. Levi’s jeans have the brand equity that is necessary to elevate an easily reproducible product to the status of a legend.

Levi’s brand symbols are easily recognizable. The red tab, the 501 name, and the ‘leather’ patch on the back of the jeans are all ingrained into our minds (at least if you are a baby boomer like me). The Dockers brand has a recognizable symbol and its advertising was more successful in the past than it is at this time. The Signature brand is Levi’s lower end brand which is sold in retail chain stores. It too is recognizable to many but has never had the advertising support in North America that it is enjoying in India where it is far more recognizable.

I got very interested in Levi's and their advertising approach and so did a blog where I organized the information and the commericals in a roughly chronological order for my pleasure and yours. Please see:

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