Based on Levi Strauss & Co’s. most popular brand, Levi’s, I will elaborate on the brand’s promotional strategy.
Levi’s® – Promotional Strategy
Throughout Levi Strauss & Co’s. 167 years of history the company’s promotional strategy has developed significantly.
‘’ The Levi’s brand might have experienced some bumps along the way but being a brand with a strong recognition it should never go out of fashion (Rothman, L., 2020).’’
After having a few financially tough decades the company got a new CEO in 2011, Chip Berg, who managed to turn the company around by, amongst other things, spending more money on advertising (Chip Berg, 2018). Since then the company have adopted a cool and trendy promotional strategy for marketing their products (Bhasin, H., 2018).
In 2013 Levi’s® put their name on the San Francisco 49er stadium, which happened to host the Super Bowl in 2016 (Berg, C., 2018). In 2015 they relaunched their women’s collection and added a few new styles to the collection (Berg, C., 2018).
The business has also focused on becoming a leading omnichannel retailer by selling their apparel from their own physical stores, their own e-commerce website as well as selling their products via third party online retailers.
Levi’s® releases a new product line every six months to meet the market trends. In order to promote and create awareness of these new releases they leverage a number of strategies including: TV and digital advertising, innovative collection launch campaigns, creative pop-up stores, collaborative partnerships with other world famous brands, celebrities, social media influencers and bloggers.
The partnerships with celebrities and influencers often means them wearing the Levi’s® products and posting them across their social media accounts. Recent collaborations include the famous Kardashian family in 2017, Justin Timberlake in 2018, and the company have just launched a festival campaign in collaboration with Hailey Bieber and Jaden Smith (Mau, D., 2020). Recent Levi’s® collaborations with other big brands include Nike By Levi’s® in 2019, Google in 2018 and Disney’s Mickey Mouse in 2018 (Levistrauss.com, 2018).
Over the last decade Levi’s® have increased their focus on social commerce to increase brand awareness and to make it more simple for their customers not only to buy their products but to help them buy their products at the point of inspiration (Perez, S., 2020). Levi’s have so far partnered with social commerce platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and more recently have announced a partnership with TikTok in April 2020 (Perez, S., 2020).
Levi’s® – Promotional Success
It is clear that Levi’s ® promotional strategy over the last few years has been successful, as the company has shown steady growth and has managed to decrease company debt from $1.97B in 2011 to $1.08B in 2017 (Bergh, C., 2018).
One great example of their promotional success was the relaunch of their women’s collection in 2015 which included ramping up promotional women’s campaigns. As a result Levi’s® gained a much larger market share in women’s clothing as their women’s shirts and jeans became the fastest growing part of the business (Debter, L., 2019). After revamping its women’s line, the revenue from its tops grew 38% to $1.1B (Debter, L., 2019).
In an effort to become a leading omnichannel retailer Levi’s® reached out to the younger audience by following generational trends and by collaborating with what would be seen as cool celebrities. As a result Levi’s® costumers are now younger than ever (Bergh, C., 2018). Almost 60% of TikTok’s userbase is aged between 16-24 and the platform currently has approximately 800 active users per month (Perez, S., 2020).
Prior to Chip Bergh becoming CEO of Levi Strauss & Co’s. the business did not a strong promotional strategy. As Chip Bergh said, “The more I studied the company’s recent history, the more it looked like The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. I didn’t remember a single Levi’s advertisement. Its financial performance had been erratic for a decade.”
Levi Strauss & Co’s focus on becoming a leading omnichannel retailer along with their effective promotional strategy including monitoring and aligning themselves with trends proved to be very successful. Their campaigns were targeted at the audiences that they wanted to capture and turn into customers. They had a good ability to pick a gap in the market, develop a suitable promotional strategy and thereafter gain market share (Bergh, C., 2018).
Bergh, C., 2018. The CEO of Levi Strauss on Leading an Iconic Brand Back to Growth [Online]
Available at: https://hbr.org/2018/07/the-ceo-of-levi-strauss-on-leading-an-iconic-brand-back-to-growth [Accessed 28 April 2020]
Bhasin, H., 2018. Marketing Mix Of Levi’s. Marketing91.com. [Online] Available at:https://www.marketing91.com/marketing-mix-of-levis/ [Accessed 28 April 2020]
Britannica, 2020. Levi Strauss & Co. – American Company. [Online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Universities-of-Paris-I-XIII
Debter, L., 2019 .Levi Strauss, With A Fast-Growing Women’s Business, Makes A Triumphant Comeback As A Public Company. Forbes.com. [Online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes/2019/03/20/levi-strauss-with-a-fast-growing-womens-business-is-making-a-comeback-as-a-public-company/#28a0f1347580 [Accessed 28 April 2020]
Levi Strauss & Co., 2018. [Online] Available at: https://www.levistrauss.com/2018/10/03/levis-justin-timberlake-unveil-fall-2018-collaboration/ [Accessed 30 April 2020]
Levi Strauss & Co., 2014. [Online] Available at: How We Put the Levi’s in Levi’s Stadium https://www.levistrauss.com/2014/09/30/curtis-hanlon-profile/ [Accessed 30 April 2020]
Mau, D., 2020. Levi’s Pivots It’s Festival Campaign Starring Hailey Bieber And Jaden Smith Amid Pandemic. Fashionista.com. [Online] Available at: https://fashionista.com/2020/04/levis-hailey-bieber-jaden-smith-campaign [Accessed 30 April 2020]
Perez, S., 2020. Levi’s Partnered With TikTok On Social Commerce And Doubled It’s Product Views. Techcrunch.com. [Online] Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/techcrunch.com/2020/04/20/levis-partnered-with-tiktok-on-social-commerce-and-doubled-its-product-vies/amp/ [Accessed 28 April 2020]
Rothman, L., 2020. Levi Strauss: Strong Products Never Go Out Of Fashion. Fool.com. [Online] Available at: (https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/04/11/levi-strauss-strong-products-never-out-of-fashion.aspx) [Accessed 28 April 2020]