Levi Strauss Japan’s marketing strategy in 1993 had served the company well to gain market share up to this point in time. LSJ focused on the young male consumers of Japan. The company portrayed the jeans as fashion-forward American wear through TV commercials and men’s magazines. The distribution channels were also increasing, including urban specialty jean shops and suburban national chain stores. LSJ also sold vintage American jeans as well as currently trending fashion jeans. The fit of the jeans in Japan were designed specifically to fit Japanese body types.
LSJ Product The product that LSJ offers are Americanized blue jeans. LSJ has capitalized on the want of young Japanese men to emulate American men by making blue jeans an emblem of American men through advertising. While it is important that LSJ maintain its share of the young male market, there is also significant opportunity to meet the needs and demands of the women’s fashion market. LSJ Price LSJ has set the price of their jeans to demonstrate the quality and exclusivity of its brand name; they sell for the highest price in the Japanese market.
This price aligns well to other aspects of LSJ’s marketing mix, demonstrating that its jean is in high demand that its high quality deserve a high price. LSJ Place LSJ has selected distinct distribution up to this point in time. Expanding from solely urban specialty shops, LEVIS are now sold in some national chain stores located in the suburbs. However, the amount of consumer base that LSJ interacts with through its distribution channels is still less than that of its competitors in recent years. LSJ Promotion LSJ has relied heavily on promotional activities to increase its demand throughout the years.
The company has been spending more on advertising its products than its competitors. Through mostly TV and print advertising, LSJ has focused on increasing awareness of its brand, understanding of its products, and the willingness of its target market, young men, to purchase jeans. Holistic Marketing Mix LSJ realized that in order to succeed in Japan, the company must integrate the views of the LEVIS product between suppliers, distributors and customers. LSJ has worked to achieve this by compensating their 500 employees by type of work performed. They have gained loyalty by providing additional education to each of their employees as well.
The training programs that employees went through supported the mission of LSJ to deliver quality and high-end product to its customers. LSJ Strengths and Weaknesses LSJ has succeeded by advertising in their target market group, creating demand for American blue jeans. They have also released new product lines to the market consistently throughout the years. LSJ has developed strong relationships with its suppliers, contractors, wholesalers, and retailers. This is imperative for the success of the LEVIS brand. LSJ may be weak in catering to the women’s market, although, until now, this market segment has not been its target market.
LSJ has also not come out with a low-cost option for its products, and may be late to market to do so behind other competitors. LSJ Opportunities and Threats LSJ should pay attention to the new fashion trends of today’s Japanese youth. Developing and/or catering to that demand will help LSJ to maintain market share in that segment. However, LSJ must also focus on female demand and the apparently unsaturated market that exists there. They should also stay aware of what the aging population demands, as they are the largest market segment, and LSJ certainly doesn’t want to lose customers from that group.
LSJ competitors may be looking to further penetrate the Japanese market by locating their supply chain there and creating subsidiaries in Japan (Wrangler, LEEs). Recommend Strategy to Move Forward Levi Strauss Japan appears to have saturated their target market of young males. It is recommended that LSJ begin to draw demand from the female market segment. While this puts LSJ in further direct competition with its competitors, the company has significant clout behind it to draw the female consumers.
LSJ should also investigate if the “Americanized” jean is still n demand. The company may need to develop a new icon that will stimulate demand for LEVIS beyond the now old American actors. LSJ should be slightly concerned that their competitors are reaching more of the population that LSJ currently is. This should drive LSJ to increase their distribution channels. In the 1990s, Internet was still not that efficient, so it is recommended that LSJ increase their footprint by selling my mail order catalog. LSJ should continue to sell in urban shops, as well as suburban national chains.
As price is priority to LSJ, the company should investigate releasing a low-price leader demand to enter the less-exclusive market segment. If LSJ develops a second product line, they may be the first of their competitors to enter the low-price jeans market. The company should be aware that while sales of LEVIs may decrease due to new demand of the low-cost brand, LSJ market share in whole should increase. The company should put in place implementation controls for this new brand to track consumer acceptance and profitability.
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