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LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.

[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

“The mystical value of commodities does not originate in


their values”

-KARL MARX

1. INTRODUCTION: BRAND AUDIT: Brand audit is concerned with the


‘behavioral & psychological’ nature of brand equity, not the financial dimension,
and it will be discussed in terms of the strength of a brand’s equity and its
nature. In the management of a brand, the building, strengthening, and
nurturing of its equity will lead to a more positive contribution to market value
for the company. But from a strategic brand management standpoint, one is
concerned with measures that will help better manage that equity. If successful,
the financial value of a brand name will take care of itself.
The real benefit of conducting a brand audit is that it helps provide a look at the
current state of knowledge about a brand’s equity as well as providing a fresh
understanding of the brand. It will also provide a better understanding of what
role advertising and other marketing communication has played and can play in
maintaining a brand. But, the most important question which comes to our mind
is what should be reviewed? In a word, everything. At least everything that is
reasonably available and likely to be relevant to the brand. Obviously, this will
include any recent research that has been conducted for the brand, but also
studies of general market trends and other information about the category,
distribution channels, competitive activity etc.

2. BRAND AUDIT: LEVI STRAUSS & CO. LIMITED: The brand which we
have taken for audit is Levi’s Strauss. It is one of the premium players in the
apparel segment operating, globally. The point which is intriguing to a researcher
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

is how Levi’s has maintained its equity worldwide. A mix of standardization &
localization in Levi’s products has enabled the company to become a renowned
brand worldwide.

2.1. LEVI STRAUSS & CO.: A BRIEF HISTORY: Levi Strauss & Co.
(LS&CO) is a privately held clothing company known worldwide for its Levi's
brand of denim jeans. It was founded in 1853 when Levi Strauss came from
Buttenheim, Franconia, (Kingdom of Bavaria) to San Francisco, California to open a
west coast branch of his brothers' New York dry goods business. Although the
company began producing denim overalls in the 1870s, modern jeans were not
produced until the 1920s. The company briefly experimented (in the 1970s) with
employee ownership and a public stock listing, but remains owned and controlled
by descendants and relatives of Levi Strauss' four nephews.

Modern jeans began to appear in the 1920s, but sales were largely confined to
the working people of the western United States, such as cowboys, lumberjacks,
and railroad workers. Levi’s jeans apparently were first introduced to the East
during the craze of the 1930’s, when vacationing Easterners returned home with
tales (and usually examples) of the hard-wearing pants with rivets. Another boost
came in World War II, when blue jeans were declared an essential commodity and
were sold only to people engaged in defense work. From a company with fifteen
salespeople, two plants, and almost no business east of the Mississippi in 1946,
the organization grew in thirty years to include a sales force of more than 22,000,
with 50 plants and offices in 35 countries.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Levi's jeans became popular among a wide range of
youth subcultures. Levi's popular shrink-to-fit 501s were sold in a unique sizing
arrangement; the indicated size was related to the size of the jeans prior to
shrinking, and the shrinkage was substantial. The company still produces these
UN shrunk, uniquely sized jeans, and they still sell very well although popular
remains the original design.
2.2. THE LEVI’S BRAND: BRAND FACTSHEET:
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

On May 20, 1873 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office grants Levi Strauss & Jacob
Davis a patent on the process of riveting pants. This heralds the invention of the blue
jean.

Levi Strauss was ahead of his time creating famous branding elements on his jeans
that
Are still in use, and often copied, today.
• In 1886 the Two Horse ® brand leather patch, a symbol of the pants'
Strength is first used on his jeans.
• The Levi's® brand eye-catching Red Tab Device was added to the jeans in
1936. Placed onto the right back pocket with the word "Levi’s®" stitched
in
White capital letters, it differentiates Levi's® jeans from competitors.
• Levi’s® jeans famous arched back pocket stitching is called the “accurate.”

This iconic stitching can be seen on back pockets throughout the world. Today, Levi’s®
jeans are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide. Levi’s® Jeans are single most-
often copied apparel item in the history of apparel. The Levi’s® brand several
collections around the world to meet the needs, and wants, of denim-wearers
everywhere. These include:

Levi’s® Vintage Clothing – Inspired directly from the Levi’s® brand archives
and
Available worldwide.

Levi’s® Capital E™ – The most premium, finely crafted, luxurious expression of


The Levi’s® brand is sold in select Levi’s® Stores and premium stores in the United
States.

Levi’s® RED – A sexy and modern expression of the Levi’s® brand is sold in
Chains, department stores and Levi’s® Stores in the United States and Levi’s® Stores
and specialty retailers in Europe.
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

Levi’s® Blue – A European collection of jeans for men and women in premium
denim finishes that are appropriate for day or night.

Levi’s® Lady Style – A range of premium jeans for women available across Asia,
designed for more sophisticated wearing occasions.

Levi’s® Red Tab – The authentic core of the Levi’s® brand offers a wide range of
Fits and finishes in true Levi’s® style.

Table 1.0 depicts the products offering the brand represents, Owner Corporation and
other related details.
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

Table 1. LEVI STRAUSS (GENERAL INFORMATION)

FOUNDED SAN FRANSISCO,CALIFORNIA,1853


FOUNDER LEVI STRAUSS
HEADQUATERS SAN FRANSISCO,CALIFORNIA,USA
AREA SERVED WORLDWIDE
KEY PEOPLE T.GARY ROGERS(BOARD
CHAIRMAN),JOHN ANDERSON (CEO)
INDUSTRY APPAREL
PRODUCTS JEANS(MALE & FEMALE WEAR)
OWNERS DESCENDENTS OF LEVI STRAUSS
EMPLOYEES 10,000+
DATA SOURCE:
WWW.LEVIS.COM
DIVISIONS LEVI’S,DOCKERS,SIGNATURE
WEBSITE WWW.LEVIS.COM
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

Along with the general information about the brand and the owner company details,
it is very important to realize the brand portfolio & product portfolio of the company
as it is very important in defining the purview of the audit report. Table 2.0
describes the levi strauss partial product & brand portfolio grid.

Table 2.0. Levi-Strauss partial product & brand portfolio grid

B PRODUCT PORTFOLIO
R
A
N
D

P
O DENIM PANTS NON-DENIM PANTS
SHIRTS JACKETS OTHER
R Levi’s Dockers Dockers Levi’s Strauss
T
Signature
F
O Levi’s 501 Levi’s Strauss Levi’s Strauss
L Signature Signature
Levi’s Engineered
Jeans
Other

2.3. VISION STATEMENT : LEVI’S STRAUSS: Four core values


are at the heart of Levi Strauss & Co.: Empathy, Originality, Integrity and
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

Courage. These four values are linked. As we look at our history, we see a
story of how our core values work together and are the source of our success.
• EMPATHY – WALKING IN OTHER PEOPLE’S SHOES
• ORIGINALITY- BEING AUTHENTIC & INNOVATIVE
• INTEGRITY- DOING THE RIGHT THING
• COURAGE – STANDING UP FOR WHAT LEVI’S BELIEVES IN

“People love our clothes and trust our company.


We will market and distribute the most appealing and widely worn
apparel brands.
Our products define quality, style and function.
We will clothe the world.”

2.4. MISSION STATEMENT: LEVI STRAUSS & CO. Ltd.:


“To sustain responsible commercial success as a global marketing company of
branded apparel. They must balance goals of superior profitability and return on
investment, leadership market positions and superior products and services. They
will conduct their business ethically and demonstrate leadership in satisfying their
responsibilities to their communities and to the society. Their work environment will
be safe and productive and characterized by fair treatment, teamwork, open
communications, personal accountability and opportunities for growth and
development.

1. EXTERNAL MARKETING ENVIRONMENT: External marketing


environment plays a very important role in success/failure of a brand. This also
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[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

depends on how well a brand manager monitors the changes in the external
marketing environment surrounding the brand. To be precise external marketing
environment comprises of demographic, social, economic, political and legal, &
competitive factors which directly influence the brand’s performance.

3.1 THE DEMOGRAPHIC ENVIRONMENT: There’s little excuse for being


surprised by demographic developments. The main demographic
force that marketers monitor is population, because people make up markets.
Marketers are keenly interested in the size and growth rate of population in cities,
regions, and country; age distribution and ethnic mix; educational levels; household
patterns; regional characteristics and movements.

The company makes clothes foe men, women, children & teens. So everyone is a
potential customer for LEVI’S. LEVI’S generally appeals to more mature generations
not necessarily looking to make fashion statement. LEVI’S makes an effort to appeal
to all customers in one way or another, which has been a key to their success over
the years. Assuming that the world population is growing LEVI’S can infer that the
market for jeans is also growing. However this growth is characterized by slow rate
of growth. Graph 1. Describes the rate of growth of the target market

GRAPH 1.0. TARGET MARKET OF LEVI


STRAUSS

3.2. THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT: Society shapes the beliefs, values, and
norms that largely define consumer tastes and preferences. People absorb, almost
unconsciously, a world view that defines their relationships to themselves, to
others, to organizations, to society, to nature.

DATA SOURCE:
WWW.LEVIS.COM
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

India is a land of diversities, which is reflected not just in the topography but also in
the languages, cultures as well as religious beliefs.

A survey conducted by research international in 2008, indicates significant regional


differences in values, attitudes, and preferences of customers and classified Indian
states into five clusters. Table 3.0 describes the classification of customers.

Table 3.0 Classification of customers

LIBERATED YOUNGSTERS (13%)

MODERN CUSTOMERS (18%

BEHIND THE TIMES


(20%)
REBELLIOUS YOUNGSTERS
(22%)
ORTHODOX CUSTOMERSS
(27%)

The study further indicates that there is a progression from traditionalism and self-
sacrifice to westernization and individualism as one move from the lower socio-
economic classes to the higher socio-economic classes.
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

3.3. THE POLITICAL-LEGAL ENVIRONMENT: The political & legal


environment consists of laws, government agencies, and pressure groups that
influence and limit various organizations and individuals. Sometimes these laws also
create new opportunities for business. Two major trends in the political & legal
environment are the increase in business legislation and the growth of the special
interest groups.

3.4. THE TECHNOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT: One of the most dramatic


forces shaping a brand’s life is technology. Marketers should monitor the following
four trends in technology:

• Accelerating pace of change


• Unlimited opportunities for innovation
• Focus on the research & development
• Increased regulation of technological change

Technology is changing product, price, place, promotion. Thus, for instance


products such as, jeans in USA have a wider fifth pocket to hold a pager device;
transfer pants have contract stitching and side pockets big enough to hold a CD
player. Promotion is facing new approaches through internet advertising.
Distribution is enhancing using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Levi’s value
delivery network that connects itself with its suppliers and retailers allow it to order
more fabric for the next day out of its purchases of its major retailers.
Communication and coordination activities, and therefore commercial relationships
with the licensees, improve as a result of better technologies.

Global business requires decentralizing some of the activities to respond to the local
needs and to centralize others so as to cope with global scope efficiency. This can
be reflected on the organizational structure of the company.

In the 1960s, LEVI’S jeans were a part of the unifoffil associated


with the sixties generation. Now the sixties generation has grown up. As a result the
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LEVI’S “LOOK” has come to be identified with the establishment in the U.S, as jeans
today are the clothing of the middle aged, parents.

4.0 SITUATION ANALYSIS: Levi Strauss & co. is approaching to the saturation of
the jeans market. The fast changes in the consumer tastes, competition in both the
lower end and higher end brands, fast development in the modern distribution and
sales technology has brought about a continuing lose of the market share.

A new series of engineered jeans has been developed and launched as a part of a
program intending to meet the needs of their major target market, in order to regain
their lost market share and to maintain their position in the industry. Their expertise in
jeans and casual dress industry will be fully exploited at a world basis.

This year, they intend to strengthen the promotion of this new brand. Certain
resources will be allocated to their existing brands, to maintain market share of 501.
Communication with customers is also important for LEVIS. It is very important to
maintain good relations with them, and track the change in their taste and need of
their main target market. Information system will also be improved to enhance their
ability to adapt the market change.

4.1. FIVE FORCES ANALYSIS: (COMPETITOR ANALYSIS): LEVI’S


competitors include Bugle Boy, Calvin Klein, and Fruit of the Loom, Guess, J.C Penny,
Nike, J.Crew, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, Oxford Industries, Polo, GAP, Tommy Hilfiger, VF, &
Warnaco Group.

Recently the company (in terms of sales) has been victimized by increasing
competition from the GAP’s private label jeans, resurgent LEE & WRANGLER brands
and other trendier brands. These brands offer the same basic product: jeans for a
cheaper price. For success, LEVI’S needs consumers to recognize the higher quality
and better reputation that is associated with their product as compared to that of
these new competitors.
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

– POWER OF SUPPLIERS: (LOW)

COMPETITION STRUCTURE & LOW


CONCENTRATION
SWITCH OUT COSTS LOW
PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS LOW
DEPENDENCE OF BUYERS LOW
FORWARD INTEGRATION LOW

– THREAT OF POTENTIAL ENTRANTS : (HIGH)

Entrants access to capital HIGH


Entrants access to technology HIGH
Entrants access to materials HIGH
Entrants access to distribution HIGH
channels
Competition industry HIGH
Economies of scale HIGH
Govt. encouraging new entrants HIGH
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

– POWER OF BUYERS: (LOW)

Amount of purchases low


Product features low
Product sensibility low
Purchase power low
Product importance to the buyer low

– THREATS FROM SUBSTITUTES: (HIGH)

Substitutes from brand HIGH


Substitutes from formal dress & sports HIGH
suits

– INTENSITY OF INDUSTRY RIVALRY: (HIGH)

Competitors number HIGH


LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
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Market growth HIGH


Exit barriers HIGH
Production capacity HIGH

From the analysis it is shown that, in general, the influence of the five competitive
forces is for LEVI’S. Therefore, the generic strategy to be chosen is differentiation. In
addition, and according to McDonalds’, if the company chooses differentiation with
relative low costs it will be able to reap outstanding success.

4.2 CONSUMER GOODS CLASSIFICATION: LEVI STRAUSS & CO.


Ltd
We classify the vast array of goods consumers buy on the basis of shopping habits.
We distinguish among convenience, shopping, specialty, and unsought goods.
As, Levi Strauss deals with apparel/clothing it can be categorized as shopping
good as consumer characteristically compares on such bases as suitability,
quality, price, and style.

4.3. PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE: LEVI STRAUSS & CO.


LTD
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[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

The previous graphic shows that LEVI Strauss is in the decline phase of the product
life cycle curve.

In order to overcome this problem, a further analysis is required.

MARKET PENETRATION PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

MARKET DEVELOPMENT DATA SOURCE:


DIVERSIFICATION
WWW.LEVIS.COM

PRODUCT

M PRESENT NEW

A
R
K
E
T
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[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

From the ANSOFF’S MATRIX analysis, it is shown that in order to capture the
sales objective LEVI’S must choose the following growth strategies:

(1) Introducing existing products in new markets: in order to


extend the product life cycles of different product lines i.e. Russia, and
central Europe. In order to do that they have to identify the potential
users and to seek correct distribution channels in that location in
accordance with other variables of the marketing mix.
(2) Developing new products for the existing markets: such
as development of big pockets for the CD players or the creation of new
engineered jeans.

McKinsey’s matrix suggests that LEVI’S having relative medium market


attractiveness (big potential market but at the same time several competitors
and low entry barriers) and high relative business strength’s based on the
LEVI’S brand and expertise, should invest and grow.
According to M.McDonald, first, LEVI’S has to identify and exploit
growth segments as it is shown with Dockers. Second, it has to emphasize
product quality in order to avoid “commodity” competition. And finally, it has
to systematically improve productivity and profitability by situating the
production facilities in the most cost efficient place. Invest heavily in the most
attractive markets.
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

5.0 PLACE: LEVI STRAUSS & CO. Ltd: Successful value creation
needs successful value delivery. Holistic marketers are increasingly taking a
value network view of their businesses. Instead of limiting their focus to their
immediate suppliers, distributors, and consumers, they are examining the
whole supply chain that links raw materials, components, and manufactured
goods and shows how they move toward the final consumers. LEVI’S looks at
customer segments and considers a wide range of different possible means to
sell, distribute, and service their offerings.

5.1. RETAIL OUTLETS: Marketing channels are sets of independent


organizations involved in the process of making a product or service available
for use or consumption.

LEVI’S STRAUSS, one of the most respected apparel/clothing companies of the


world, has opened around 500 outlets at prime locations in India. (Source:
Levi’s retail outlet, Bhubaneswar). Aesthetically designed, the LEVI’S store
offers wardrobe solutions to the “INDEPENDENT MAN” through popular brands
like LEVI’S RED, LEVI’S RED TAB, LEVI’S SIGNATURE, & DOCKERS. Occupying a
space of more than 1 million square feet, the retail chain network offers over
3,000 shades and designs of LEVI’S fabric. The stores also sell the LEVI’S range
of accessories including Footwear, Eye Gears, Caps, Belts, Leather Wallets,
Carry Bags. The stores present world-class experience to discerning customers
through well- designed and well-maintained interiors, attractive displays,
superb assortments, spacious movements, and well trained sales persons.

5.2. MARKETING CHANNELS: LEVI’S overall distribution strategy is to


“sell relevant products at the right price in the places where people shop.”
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
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LEVI’S has expanded its distribution channels and product ranges in order to
reach more consumer segments. LEVI’S has revitalized its retail relationships.
Indeed the company has turned its retail customer’s relationships into strong
and mutually beneficial ones. Actually LEVI’S and the retail accounts have
worked to get forth its re-segmented market by delivering a specific product
for every consumer segments. The segments identified were:

- Trend Initiators

- Trend Influencers

- Early- Adopters

- Traditional

- Value-Driven

Levi’s teams are also looking at the different segments within the youth
market to find out their expectations from the brand.

5.3. DISTRIBUTION OBJECTIVES: LEVI STRAUSS & CO. Ltd:


LEVI’S follows the following as its distribution objectives:

- To equalize the demand & supply of products at all places.

- To provide desired products at proper place.

- To fulfil the requirements of every locality according to the taste of the


people.

- To increase the brand equity by reaching every corner of the world.

LEVI’S strategy for choosing channels is according to the product, mostly


LEVI’S is limited to its wholesalers, because the unit value is high & cost
related issues occur.
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

LEVI’S is using selective but intensive distribution level for the distribution of
its products.

5.4. ANALYSIS OF THE DISTRIBUTION MODEL OF LEVI


STRAUSS: Distribution model of LEVI’S in India varies by the number of
layers in the channel, the intermediaries used, and the number of channel
partners. LEVI’S makes a trade-off between the degree of control and the
reach. The goal is to find a balanced mix of approaches that confers a unique
advantage depending on the sophistication of the market. The figure depicts
the distribution model of LEVI’S in India.

FIGURE 1.Distribution Model: LEVI


STRAUSS & CO. Ltd

LEVI’S plans to have more than one distribution model for different segments
or regions. It uses a distributer to serve small outlets but manages large ones
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

directly through a small group at the centre. It has also begun to open its own
franchised retail shops to carry its own brand exclusively.

6.0. PRICING: LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO. Ltd: price is the one element
of the marketing mix that produces revenue; the other elements produce
costs. Prices are perhaps the easiest element of the marketing program to
adjust; product features, channels, and even communications take more time.
Price also communicates to the market the company’s intended value
positioning of its product or brand.

6.1. PRICING OBJECTIVE: LEVI’S (India) objective as far as price is


concerned is sales oriented as LEVI’S has penetration plans in India. This can
be supported by the following facts:

-15 exclusive stores every year to be opened in India

-Eyeing metro malls and state capitals

-To enhance capacity from existing 32 vendors across India

-Expand offerings at low price points of Rs 999-1099

LEVI’S is accelerating its focus on low-priced street wear product initiative-


LEVI’S SYKES, which is expected to drive overall volumes and also penetration
in non-metro markets. LEVI’S wishes to maintain a revenue growth of around
25-30 percent

The concept of a low-priced street wear sub-brand Sykes’ is a India-only


strategy for the denim MNC Levi Strauss. Sykes aim: to tap the youth in the
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
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age group of 15-19 who have a preference for fast fashion, fads, and
experimentation and higher receptivity to value for money proposition.

6.2. PRICING STRATEGY : LEVI’S STRAUSS: As Levi’s has different


products ranges for different segments the pricing strategy of LEVI’S can be
called as both penetrative as well as market growth pricing. Figure2. Provides
us an idea how LEVI’S has segmented the Indian consumer market.

FIGURE 2.0: INDIAN SEGMENTATION MODEL


(JEANSWEAR)

LE
VI
BR TREND RS 8,000
AN
D
SIG DATA SOURCE: ANNUAL REPORT OF LEVI’S
NA STRAUSS & C0.
TREND RS 5,500 – RS
TU
RE

EARLY RS 3,000 – RS

TRA
VALUE RS. UNDER
1500 – RS.
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
[BRAND AUDIT] Ltd.

6.3. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: PRICING (LEVI’S STRAUSS &


CO Ltd): in order to succeed its plans in India, LEVI’S has been making a
number of efforts/developments. Some of the important
changes/developments made by LEVI’S in the recent past are as follows:

- Levi’s India plans to vacate the middle price segment and plans to
concentrate on the lower and the higher end- which is the value offering-
will see a further fall in price and start at Rs.900instead of Rs. 1,000.

- On the other hand the premium segment will see an increase of about
15% in average pricing and increase to about Rs.4, 400.

- Reason behind LEVI’S vacating the mid price segment attributes to the
minimum growth in the segment & share being taken up by local brands
that are more acceptable to the local conditions (SPYKAR, KILLER etc.)

7.0. PROMOTION: LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO. Ltd: although there has
been an enormous increase in the use of personal communications by
marketers in recent years, due to the rapid penetration of the internet and
other factors, the fact remains that mass media, if used correctly, can still
dramatically improve the fortunes of a brand or company. The power of
marketing communications is equally important in influencing attitudes and
behaviour with respect to socially relevant themes.
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
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7.1. ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS: LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO. Ltd:


declining sales forced Levi’s into a major re-think culminating in a new
strategy in which both product and advertising innovation are now challenging
creative boundaries and evolving hand-in-hand. Even LEVI’S advertising, much
of which over the previous years had been widely regarded as iconic, seemed
tired. As consumer tastes shifted away from denim in favour of combat gear
and cargo pants. LEVI’S had something to do to stem falling sales, and fast.
The Company made a brave decision. It decided there was little point in doing
things by halves and that structural change was needed to drive through any
shift in product or communications strategy.

7.2. THE “TWIST” CAMPAIGN: LEVI’S created a mould breaking


campaign led by a 60-second TV commercial in which young people are seen
to be twisted to fit the jeans with a twisted seam. The idea seamlessly for the
product.The execution was striking. The creative theme was used throughout
the campaign which also included print and poster executions, shop window
and point of display materials, and a web site. The unashamed aim was to
create advertising to become ‘famous’.

The ‘Twist’ campaign helped raise sales of LEJ in line with those of rival jeans
brand Diesel.

7.3. THE “ODYSSEY” CAMPAIGN: In this campaign, a young couple


escapes from the restrictive confines of a series of rooms within a building,
burst through the outside wall and scale a giant tree before leaping into
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
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nothingness and freedom. Again, this theme was integrated across brand
communications using a variety of other media.
Advertising has firmly consolidated Levi Engineered Jeans’ market position,
resulting in widespread acclaim and numerous industry awards.

While the sales of LEVI’S 501 are still in a decline, sales of LEVI’S engineered
jeans are rising steadily and the line now accounts for 9-10% of the total sales
by volume for the LEVI’S brand.

7.4. PUBLIC RELATIONS: LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO. Ltd: LEVI’S


Strauss & CO. Ltd has long been a corporate responsibility leader in the truest
sense of the word; by doing things long before others do. Today, the company
is doing that tradition in new ways, showing how product innovation on the eco
line is central to a sustainable future. Levi’s Strauss & CO. Ltd is tackling
complex challenges, like ensuring that worker’s rights are respected and
combating climate change, by collaborating with industry peers and through
other systemic solutions.

7.5. CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: LEVI’S STRAUSS


& CO. Ltd: THE LEVI’S STRAUSS FOUNDATION: The LS&CO.
business mantra, “adopt, adapt, invent,” also is important in our approach to
its work in HIV/AIDS. LEVI’S works to share important learning when it can and
adapt the good work of our trusted stakeholders wherever possible to advance
its objectives. Below is a sampling of our efforts to influence social and policy
change by sharing with and learning from United Nations (UN) agencies,
business roundtables and thought leaders.
LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO.
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– The role of health insurance in improving access to HIV/AIDS services


worldwide.
– Approaches to accessing employee needs regarding HIV/AIDS
services in India.
– LS&CO. has sustained a leadership position by addressing HIV/AIDS
from a variety of angles—what it does as a business for our
employees and with consumers, how we engage with policy makers
and leaders, shaping and promoting best practices, and partnering
with community organizations and suppliers.

– More than 25 years after LEVI’S first touched HIV/AIDS, ITS leadership
continues and it resolves to win against this disease remains
unabated.

8.0. SWOT ANALYSIS: LEVI’S STRAUSS & CO. Ltd: based on


LEVI’S STRAUSS unique resources and capabilities and one of the top ten
recognized Indian brand. LEVI’S has to continue developing new products (as
the jacket with MP3) and looking after new markets, this will allow to adapt to
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the fast consumers taste changes and to move away from the saturation of the
jeans market.

8.1. STRENGTHS:

– History
– Brand name
– Finance and access to international capital
– Management
– Expertise in the jeans industry (R&D)
– Distribution channels & global sourcing

8.2. WEAKNESSES:

– High costs of brand protection


– Lack of control over quality (licencing)
– Lack of control over distribution decisions (retailers pressure to stop
selling on the web)

8.3. OPPORTUNITIES:

– Arising of new market segments


– Technological development lower production and coordination
activities
– Low manufacturing and production costs in international markets
– Development in other industries such as electronic (MP3 PLAYER)
could pose new opportunities for complementing new LEVI’S products
– Total market for casual wear is growing
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8.4. THREATS:

– Saturation of the jeans market


– Competition from products of the higher end of the market
– Economic downturns in some countries
– Fast changes in the consumer tastes
– Local regulations on the advertisements in countries like India, china
– Lack of protection of property rights
– Increase in the local competition
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9.0. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: In this review of available


information about a brand, the primary objective is to generate hypothesis
concerning the key ‘assets’ of the brand that are likely to mediate its equity.
These hypotheses will help guide and frame the measures of brand equity that
should be used in any research that is conducted. Also, depending upon the
brand’s marketing strategy; a researcher may also want to consider the
information under review in light of other potentially related issues, for
example: possible line or brand extension.

Up to this point the discussion has centered on those things it is necessary to


understand before actually measuring brand equity. Now it is time to choose
appropriate measures of brand equity. First, a number of techniques should be
used to gain an understanding of its nature.

9.1. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES: The research concentrates on five major


areas which are discussed as follows:

(i) Accessing the strength of the brand equity: The most


common measures of brand equity involve measuring its strength. A
researcher needs to know about awareness and preference, who is
buying the brand, and the effects of price. These are the practical
measures that “describe” a brand and its users, and where it stands
in the market relative to its competitors. But, this does not tell a
researcher why, or what can be done to positive effect brand equity.
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(ii) CORE LOYALTY: Traditionally, researchers look at purchase


behavior and infer loyalty. Brand loyalty is a function of people’s
attitude toward both brands and the category, and measures must
take this into account.

While it is important to identify and understand these loyal users, in


reality there will be more ‘switchers’, those users who buy the brand
but also buy competitors brands as well. Strategically these brand
switchers are more important because that is where the brand’s
growth is most likely to come from.

(iii) Profiling brand users: Determining the profile of brand users is


perhaps the most common use of the quantitative research. Profile
measures are useful to researchers because they provide an idea of
which it is that uses their brand. The most common measures for
profiling brand users reflect general level characteristics of a market:
demographics (age, income etc), lifestyle and psychographics
(outgoing, conservative). Like all the assessments of brand equity,
profile measures reflect the results of brand equity. Some brands are
seen as ‘young’, some as ‘old’, ‘cutting edge’ etc.

(iv) Brand image ownership: Benefits, are either attributes,


subjective considerations, or emotions, that are associated with a
brand. In positioning a brand, benefits are selected that are important
to the brand’s target market and that they feel the brand can deliver.
The type of benefit selected will suggest the orientation of the benefit
claim, which may looked at in terms of rational, emotional, relational,
or value consideration.
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(v) Brand attitude: Brand equity is a result of brand attitude, and


this is what provides the key to its understanding. It is this
understanding that ensures an effective positioning, and the ability to
adjust that positioning, and the ability to adjust that positioning over
time as needed to continue building and sustaining positive brand
equity.
What we are looking to include in measuring brand attitude are those
benefits associated with the category and the benefit claims for the
brand in it that define the positioning of the brand.

9.2. BACKGROUND: To fulfill the aforesaid objectives a structured


questionnaire survey was done. Along with it, we also visited two of the LEVI’S
stores at Bhubaneswar. Other than questionnaire, structured interviews and in
situ observations were also been done. A total of 100 respondents gave their
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feedbacks to the survey. Majority of the respondents were enthusiastic in


giving their feedbacks as well as about the LEVI’S BRAND. Bhubaneswar, being
the capital of ORISSA has a developed consumer market with all the segments
having their importance for a brand i.e. lower end, middle, high end segment.
Thus, analyzing the equity of a brand in such a market becomes intriguing
from a researcher’s point of view. Although, other brands both, local &
international exist in the market (for ex: PePe Jeans, Killer, Allen Solly, SpyKar
etc.).

9.3. STUDY RESULTS: The results of the study were quite surprising &
interesting for us. For each of the questions we got surprising results which
clearly indicate the importance of conducting a brand audit. There was a clear
enthusiasm in the respondents while giving their feedbacks which proved to
ease our work. Brand awareness level among the respondents was also quite
high which shows efficient marketing communications by all the leading
brands as well as the competition among the brands.

9.4. DESCRIBING SURVEY RESPONDENTS: Profiling of the survey


respondents becomes the most intriguing part for the researcher as one need
to know who the people are buying the brands, their general level
characteristics i.e. their demographic, psychographic, and the income class.
The results of the survey respondents are depicted in the table 4.0

Table 4.0: Describing Survey Respondents

AVERAGE AGE 24.29

OCCUPATION
STUDENT 57 (%)
JOB 35 (%)
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OWNED BUSINESS 8 (%)

USER TYPE
OUTGOING 50 (%)
CONSERVATIVE 23.52 (%)
CUTTING EDGE 38.23 (%)

AVERAGE INCOME 21,308.83

The result clearly indicates that a majority of the respondents are ‘young’ as
the average age is nearly 25 years. If we look at the occupation of the
respondents we can easily figure out the lifestyle status of the respondents as
a majority (57%) are students. Income class of the respondents indicates that,
the respondents clearly belong to the middle & higher end consumer class.
Analyzing the responses of these respondents would easily signify the equity
of any well know brand.

9.5. BRAND AWARENESS & SALIENCE: To measure brand salience


we asked the respondents, sample of a brand’s target market for ‘all the
brands that come to mind’ in the category, and then recorded the order in
which they were mentioned. Then, we took these responses and plotted the
number of first mentions for each brand VS. Total number of mentions. The
results are depicted in the following figure 3.0

Figure 3.0 Relationships between Top-of-Mind Recall and


Total Brand Awareness
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The above graphic clearly shows that Levi’s has a better brand salience and
awareness than other brands as the number of the top of mind recalls and the
total awareness levels of the respondents were the highest for Levi’s(TOMR-
38) which was followed by SpyKar (TOMR-26), and Wrangler (TOMR-20).

We can infer from the responses that LEVI’S as a brand enjoys a high level of
brand awareness and brand salience as compared to other brands.

9.6. BRAND PREFERENCE: Brand preference, like brand salience, can


be an indicator of the strength of the brand equity. But, looking only at the
level of overall brand awareness will not provide a good understanding of the
strength of other brands. Looking at brand preference is useful, but it is
important to go beyond overall preference and examine likely switching
behavior.
To understand this fact questions were asked to the respondents. Results of
the responses are depicted in the table 5.0

Table 5.0 Brand Preference Behavior


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Which of the brands would % OF


be your preference if you RESPONDENTS
don’t find LEVI’S?
SPYKAR 62
WRANGLER 27
LEE 11

What the results show are the perceived alternatives to their preferred brand.
It is clear that people who say they prefer Levi’s see SpyKar, Wrangler, and lee
as good alternatives i.e. if a Levi’s user could not find their brand at the store
they would be happy to buy either of the three other brands.

9.7. PROFILING: To get a clear understanding of the user profiles


questions were asked to the survey respondents related to demographics
(age, income, geographic area), lifestyle, and psychographics.

As earlier stated the average age of the respondents is nearly 25 years and
the income levels are above Rs.20, 000, Levi’s as a brand can be considered
as a ‘young’ brand.
Nearly 50% of the survey respondents connoted the user type to be ‘outgoing’
so it can also be inferred that Levi’s can be considered as a brand of the
middle class who use a brand precisely because it is known to be the brand of
choice among the rich.

Another important aspect of profiling lets us understand of how Levi’s as a


brand is used. Table 6.0 depicts the results
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Table 6.0 How Levi’s as a Brand is


Used

When do you wear Levi’s % of


brand? Respondents
Always 8
Sometimes 46
On special occasions 39
Never 7

This clearly reflects that Levi’s as a brand is perceived by the customers as


clothing for special occasions. This supports the fact that Levi’s has a better
brand equity than its competitors.

9.8. PRICE ELASTICITY: another important indicator of the strength of a


brand’s equity is the price elasticity i.e. to what extent a consumer is willing to
accept a price increase without switching? One expects a brand’s core loyalty
segment to be less price sensitive than switchers.
There is a dual concept of price elasticity i.e. the upside and downside
price elasticity. Upside elasticity is measured by looking at how much sales go
up when the price is lowered, and downside elasticity by looking at how much
sales go down when prices are increased. Questions were asked to the
respondents in order to understand this dual concept of price elasticity. The
results of the responses are depicted in the table 7.0
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Table 7.0 Price Elasticity of Levi’s brand


(Upside Elasticity)

Would you buy Levi’s if you % of


come to know about a respondents
discount at Levi’s store?
Yes 72
No 28

Table 8.0 Price Elasticity of Levi’s brand


(Downside Elasticity)

Would you buy any other % of


brand rather than Levi’s if its respondents
price is increased?
Yes 38
No 62

From the above results it becomes clear that Levi’s as a brand possesses a
higher upside elasticity as compared to downside elasticity, it suggests
increased perceived value for the brand. As the difference between the upside
& downside elasticity (72-62=10) is a positive figure. It also makes us clear
sales of Levi’s do not fall off much when prices are increased.
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9.9. CHOICE AND BRAND EQUITY: People make direct trade-offs


among a set of product characteristics (e.g. brand name, design, price, fabric
quality/fit etc.) when choosing among apparel brands, and that the pattern of
these trade-offs will ‘predict’ their preference. The results of preferences of
respondents are shown in the following table 9.0.

Table 9.0 Brand Effect on


Apparel/Clothing Choice

Describe your purchase % of


decision criterion while respondents
buying an apparel/clothing?
Brand name 36.67
Design 22.82
Price 25.17
Fabric quality/fit 18.26

The result clearly indicates that brand name plays the most important role in
the buying decision criterion of the respondents which is followed by price and
design.
The result provides a summary of the importance of each variable studied to
choice, as well as the ‘part worth’ of each level within the variables studied.

10.0. BRAND IMAGE OWNERSHIP: an important key to understanding


brand equity is to identify those claims that ‘signal’ a brand’s image. These
‘signals’ are those aspects of the brand that are most likely to come to mind or
be associated with the brand. In measuring brand image , and more
particularly its image relative to competitors, one is looking for something that
might be thought of as ‘image ownership’. To understand the ‘image
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ownership’ of the Levi’s brand questions were asked to the respondents and
we were surprised to know the results. Table 10.0 depicts the results.

Table 10.0 Brand Image


Ownership

You associate with Levi’s % of


as : respondents
Trendy apparel brand 32.35
Good fabric quality/fit 35.29
Economical 5.88
High-end denim wear 29.411

These results were surprising to us as the majority of respondents considered


Levi’s as a brand which gives good fabric quality/fit rather than being a trendy
apparel brand and being a high end denim wear.

Based upon what is learnt from the respondents it is possible to paint a good
picture of how the market ‘sees’ or understands the image of Levi’s as a brand
in the apparel category.

This on the other hand would also help in the proper positioning of Levi’s as a
brand, as those benefits are selected which are important to the brand’s target
market and that that they feel a brand can deliver. These can be then
presented in marketing communication as a visual or verbal benefit claim. This
enables a fuller understanding of image ownership, which in turn leads to a
better understanding of the Levi’s brand equity.
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10.1 BRAND ATTITUDE: what is needed to really understand the nature


of brand equity is a measure of the components that lead to it, and this means
measures of how the market forms current attitudes towards the brand. To
really understand a brand’s equity, it is necessary to understand how it is
constructed. It is this understanding that ensures effective positioning, and the
ability to adjust that positioning over time as needed to continue building and
sustaining positive brand equity.

In our research survey of the target market, respondents were first asked how
important each of the benefits and the benefit claims are to them when
considering buying a apparel/denim wear. Importance is measured using a 3-
point scale where if the benefit is essential to them it is weighted as ‘3’, if the
benefit is desirable but not essential it is weighted as ‘2’, and if it is not all that
important it is weighted as ’1’.

Then for the brand under study i.e. LEVI’S and each of its major competitors
(SpyKar, Wrangler, Lee) respondents are asked how well that brand delivers
the benefit. Here again, a 3-point scale is used where if the brand is thought
to definitely deliver the benefit it is weighted as ‘3’, if it is thought to do only
an okay job in delivering the benefit it is weighted as ‘2’, and if it is not
perceived to deliver the benefit it is weighted as ‘1’.

After conducting the survey among the respondents the following results came
to picture.

Table 11.0 Importance of Benefits/ Benefit Claims to


Consumers (% of Respondents)

Benefits/benefit Essential Desirable Not required


claims
Brand name 52.94 44.11 5.88
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Design/style 47.058 44.11 11.76


Price 41.17 47.058 14.70
Product quality 61.76 35.29 5.88

The results clearly depict that product quality of the apparel/denim wear
remains the most important benefit to the consumers which is followed by the
brand name. the consumer psychology is also depicted by the results as the
brand name has more importance to the customers than the price/design of
the apparel. Interesting factor in the results is that price is not the essential
benefit factor in the minds of the consumers.

After these results it becomes very essential for us to determine a comparative


analysis is Levi’s and its competitors in satisfying the benefit claims of the
consumers. Table 12.0 indicates a comparative analysis of the brands in
satisfying the consumer benefit claims (i.e. brand name, design/style, price,
product quality)

Table 12.0 Comparative analysis of Levi’s and competitors


in satisfying benefits of brand name (% of
respondents)

Brands Delivers benefit Okay job Does not


deliver
Levi’s 50 29.41 20.58
SpyKar 47.05 41.17 14.70
Wrangler 26.47 50 26.47
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Lee 47.05 29.41 23.52

From the results it becomes clear that Levi’s is a leader in delivering the
benefit to the consumers. But, the point to be taken care of is that 20.58% of
the respondents feel Levi’s does not deliver the benefit at all, where as if we
look at SpyKar, though only 47.05% feel it delivers benefit completely but
41.17% feel that it does an okay job and only 14.70% feel it does not deliver
the benefit. We can infer from the results that SpyKar emerges out to be the
major competitor to Levi’s as far as brand name is concerned.

Table 13.0 Provides a comparative analysis of Levi’s and its


competitors in satisfying benefits of product design/style
(% of respondents)

Brands Delivers benefit Okay job Does not


deliver
Levi’s 61.76 14.70 26.47
SpyKar 23.52 52.94 26.47
Wrangler 32.35 44.11 20.58
Lee 32.35 32.35 38.23

From the above results it becomes that Levi’s again comes out be a leader as
far as satisfying the design benefits of the consumers. But, again in this part
Levi’s facing a tough competition with Wrangler (only 20.58% respondents say
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they are not at all satisfied), whereas 26.47% of respondents say they are not
at all satisfied by Levi’s designs.

Table 14.0 Comparative analysis of Levi’s and its


competitors in satisfying the benefits of price (% of
respondents)

Brands Delivers benefit Okay job Does not


deliver
Levi’s 47.05 29.41 23.52
SpyKar 41.17 38.23 20.58
Wrangler 26.47 41.17 32.35
Lee 29.41 32.35 41.17

Above table depicts the responses of the consumers of apparel as far as the
prices are concerned. Again, we see that Levi’s emerges to be the winner in
this category of benefit claim.

If we further analyze the results we find that Levi’s is facing competition in this
category also by SpyKar as only 20.58% of the consumers say that SpyKar
does deliver the benefit of price, whereas 23.52% of respondents say that
Levi’s does not deliver any benefit of price. These are the major areas of
concern to look upon by Levi’s as a brand.
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Table 15.0 Provides Us a Comparative Analysis of Levi’s and


its Competitors in Satisfying the Benefits of Product Quality
(% of respondents)

Brands Delivers benefit Okay job Does not


deliver
Levi’s 52.94 20.58 29.41
SpyKar 50 32.35 20.58
Wrangler 29.41 41.17 32.35
Lee 35.29 26.47 41.17

From the above table it again becomes clear that Levi’s is a leader in
delivering the benefit of product quality, but again faces sheer competition
from the SpyKar brand as only 20.58% of the respondents feel that SpyKar
does not deliver any value. Whereas, 29.41% of the consumers feel that Levi’s
does not provide any benefit of the product quality.
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Levi’s needs to look upon this segment of consumers who are not at all
satisfied by its products as these are ones who are the switchers of the brand.

11.0 CONCLUSION: After conducting the audit of Levi’s as a brand we get


to know a lot of information about the importance of conducting the audit of a
brand. If we summarize all the factors a researcher comes to know after
conducting this audit can be summarized as follows:

– A brief knowledge of the history & and the product , brand portfolio of
the brand
– Comprehensive analysis of the competitors
– Analysis of the product life cycle of the brand
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– Analysis of the pricing strategies & recent developments in the pricing


strategies
– Analysis of the distribution channel system of the brand
– Analysis of the marketing communication strategies adopted by the
brand
– Analyzing the consumer preferences and tastes of the consumer and
the entire brand building process
– Analysis of a number of variables while auditing a brand.

We can also conclude from the audit of Levi’s brand that to maintain
sustainable brand equity Levi’s must keep a keen eye on the change in the
consumer tastes and preferences and well as the movement of the
competitors.
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12.0 BIBILOGRAPHY:

Apple Michael, “Levi Strauss’ Signature: The birth or demise of a brand?


Retail Merchandiser, New York, May 2004, Vol. 44, Iss. 5, pg. 58.

Beck Ernest, “Levi’s takes an international approach with its new marketing
pitch in Europe”, Wall Street Journal, New York, Sep 5, 2000, pg. 1.

Hill Suzette, “Levi Strauss & Co.: Icon in revolution”, Apparel Industry
Magazine, Atlanta, Jan 1999, Vol.60, Is. 1, pg.66, 4pgs.

Hammerstein Linda, “Levi’s is hiking up its pants; but will the brand’s
revamped products and marketing play with turned-off teens?”, Business
Week, New York, Dec 1, 1997, Iss. 3555, pg. 70.

Jar dine Alexandra, “Life for denim in a combat era”, Marketing, London,
Mar 4, 1999, p. 19.

Lee Louise, “Why Levi’s still looks faded; CEO Martineau is reaching out to
new markets, but style-conscious rivals continue to steal sales”, Business
Week, New York, July 22,2002 Iss. 3792

Lehrer Jim, “Leaving Levi’s”, Online News Hour, Feb 23, 1999,
http://www.pbs.org.

Lockwood Thomas, “Integrating design into organizational culture”, Design


Management Review, spring 2004.

Nolan Kelly, “Levi’s tries out mass, and likes the way it fits”, DSN Retailing
Today, New York, Aug 22, 2005, Vol. 44, Iss. 16, pg. 1, 2 pgs.

Sardine Emily, “Wal-Mart tapped to host Levi’s coming out party”, DSN
Retailing Today, New York, Nov 11, 2002, Vol. 41, Iss. 21, pg. 5, 2 pgs.

Simms Jane, “When brands bounce back”, Marketing, London, Feb 15, 2001,
pg. 26, 2 pgs.
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Voight Joan, “Levi’s scraps line efforts for image”, Brand week, New York,
Apr 28, 1997, Vol. 38, Iss. 17, pg 6.

Vrontis Demetris, Vronti Peri, “Academic paper: Levi Strauss : an


international marketing investigation”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and
Management, Bradford, 2004, Vol. 8, Iss. 4, pg. 389.

Warner Fara, “Levi’s fashions a new strategy - A dynamic new team looks
to stamp innovation on an old brand”, Fast Company, Nov 2002, Iss. 64, p.
48.
Anonymous, “Levi’s antidote: Audience participation”, New Media Age,
London, Sep 8, 2005, pg. 19.

Anonymous, “How Levi Strauss rekindled the allure of brand America”,


World Trade, Troy, Mar 2005, Vol. 18, Iss. 3, pg 28.

Anonymous, “Brand Mot: Levi Strauss & Co”, Brand Strategy, London, Jun
2004, pg. 10.

Anonymous, “Levi’s expands distribution”, New York, Dec 2002, Vol.78, Iss.
12, pg. 43.

Anonymous, « Original depuis 150 ans: L’histoire de Levi Strauss & Co. »,
MesNouvelles.com, Communiqués, Mai 2003.

FINANCIAL REPORTS

Levi Strauss & Co., Annual Financial Report 2002.

Levi Strauss & Co., Annual Financial Report 2003.

Levi Strauss & Co., Annual Financial Report 2004.

WEB SITES

http://www.brandimpact-forums.com/casestudy.htm
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http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/jeans

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