Reclaiming the identity of a brand
A Levi's case study

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...
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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...
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Page 3: The brand management process

Situational analysis 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...
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Page 4: Creating a new brand mission and strategy

Given a downturn in the perception of the brand, brand managers at Levi’s came up with a new brand mission and the need to communicate this clearly to the target customer. The brand mission was: ‘to be the coolest and most profitable jeans brand’. In order to succeed in this mission it is first necessary to reclaim leadership in the denim category with young people. Clear...
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Page 5: Implementing decisions

Once brand managers have created objectives and developed the plan, the next step is to implement their decisions, i.e. to put the plan into action. Levi’s objective is to reclaim the brand.  This has involved developing product innovations to excite the relevant target market - empowered young people. A recent product of this process has been the new concept of Levi’s ®...
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Page 6: Conclusion

This case study has shown how Levi’s has used effective brand management planning to reclaim the brand and to turn around the fortunes of the company. This is a logical, step-by-step process which has been implemented by brand managers. The final stage in the process involves the analysis and evaluation of results. To date, company research reveals that the strategy is delivering equity...
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