Levi Jeans is the Comeback Kid of the Year
My favorite new pair of jeans happens to be my favorite comeback brand right now: Levi. I have always been fascinated with the staying power of Levi. I’ve seen so many jean brands come and go: As a kid it was Jordache and Guess. When I was in Junior High Marithé et François Girbaud jeans were all the rage. You simply couldn’t go to school wearing anything but Girbaud. Later it was 7 for all Mankind and Hudson Jeans. Most of these brands have been completely forgotten. And yet Levi has been around forever! (since 1853)
The Levi brand has always been iconically recognizable. In fact during the late 90’s it was as big as Nike. For most of my adult life Levi was out of the limelight. I would still see it in the rural areas, on men, and a never on women…until this last year. In 2017 Levi recorded record-breaking growth. And it is still climbing!
How is it doing it?
They’re diversifying – to include women. For years Levi focused most of its advertising on its male audience. That changed a couple of years ago: “Levi’s next priority was to identify products that had high potential but were underdeveloped. Tops and women’s clothing were two of the biggest opportunities. In 2015, Levi’s relaunched its women’s business, introducing more stretch options, to compete with the rise of athleisure.” (via Quartz at Work)
According to this article in BBC.com CEO “Mr Bergh invested in facilities, broadened the clothing range (especially womenswear), and expanded in relatively untapped markets such as Russia, China and India.
Levi has stood the test of time (maybe standing too quietly … like a shy boy in the corner of the room at a dance) but now it’s showing its flexibility. No longer is it just advertising to American working, rural men – it is focusing its energy on women and diversifying to other countries.
What’s my takeaway?
Companies that are recognizing the power of women, that are validating and capitalizing on female influencers WILL WIN. Levi is proving this by being the “it” brand that every fashion blogger worth her salt is sporting.
Styles come and go so quickly that if a company wants to stay popular, they have to be flexible. My theory is that flexibility + incorporating the power of influential women = success.
For a quick 3 minute overview of their advertising (which you’ll see is mostly male-focused) check out this Brand Evolution video: