Page 1: Introduction
Levi’s is the best known jeans name on the planet. The business was founded by the Strauss family in 1875 and produced jeans for miners out of tent fabric and canvas. It then went on to make jeans from denim which is a coarse, heavy twill fabric. The jeans became popular with miners during the California goldrush and were famous for the twin rivets on the pockets. The business went from strength to strength to become one of the twentieth century’s best known global brands. During the 1980s the company branched out into a range of garments including suits, before refocusing on one of its heritage products Levi 501s in the early 1990s. A TV commercial showing Nick Kamen stripping down to his boxer shorts in a launderette boosted the sales of all jeans, not just of Levi 501s and thousands of men switched to wearing boxer shorts. The Levi Company has always had a reputation for innovation, bright ideas, excitement and enthusiasm. However, it has not always been so successful in maintaining the detailed processes necessary to ensure continued product success - hence the need for effective brand management. Brand management involves having the technical skills to create a successful brand management plan, as well as good ideas.
Page 2: Weaknesses in the late 1990s
By the late 1990s it was all too apparent that the brand was slipping and needed to be put back on track. Since the 1960s, success had been based on the brand’s association with youth culture. During the 1990s this association began to lose some of its vitality. While sales of the brand continued to grow, it began to suffer from declining equity. By this we mean that the perception of the brand in terms of the desired position was beginning to slip. While in the 1980s Levi’s were seen as ‘cool, youthful, innovative and sexy’, market research revealed that this was no longer the case by the late 1990’s. Brand managers at Levi’s realised that they needed to revitalise the perception of...
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