Page 3: The brand management process
The first step in the brand management process was to carry out a situational analysis - i.e. a review of Levi’s standing in the market place. Detailed market research was carried out to obtain a clearer picture of market standing. This included internal areas such as whether there were too many layers of decision making in the company and whether the company was focused enough on its objective of meeting customer requirements. External factors that were examined included the range of new brands on the market, their impact on Levi’s competitiveness and also the effectiveness of retailers in promoting and selling Levi’s jeans.
The situational analysis revealed that fewer retail stores were stocking Levi’s. In addition, the market research showed that consumers’ awareness of the brand was declining. Comparisons of figures for Spring and Autumn of 1999 showed a reduction in the number of people in the UK who were able to identify the Levi’s brand. Also, fewer people named Levi’s as the most recent brand of jeans that they had purchased. This decline was very small, but it still needed to be stopped.
Creating a brand plan
The first step in creating a brand plan is to identify the key objective to be worked towards. This is referred to as the desired outcome. This can be set out in a few words or a sentence expressing what you want to achieve e.g. to improve the brand presence at retail outlets.
With this objective clearly defined, the key tasks needed to deliver must be identified. In other words, the brand manager needs to create a plan/strategy. In this case the strategy involved:
- carrying out the market research
- finding out in how many stores Levi’s were selling
- evaluating the current level of presence, i.e. was Levi’s happy about the existing profile in retail outlets - or was there room for improvement?
Having created a plan the next step was to measure success and to use this process to drive improvements in the organisation. This measurement process has given Levi’s a much clearer focus. For example, a senior brand manager working for Levi’s might have been given the objective of opening up 10 new stores in five key cities in Europe where there is a very strong retail sector.
This process gave staff a clear outline of accountability for what had to be delivered. The performance of brand implementers and brand managers could now be reviewed against expectations. Feedback can be given on how to improve performance and a review process enables the ongoing evaluation of the strategy. The net effect of these changes is the creation of a much more effective communication process within the Levi’s organisation. Levi’s employees know where they stand and where their responsibilities lie.