TURNING AROUND Levi’s ® JAPANMay 7, 2013
At the Leaders of Japan meeting held on February 28, 2013, Takashi Saito, President of Levi Strauss Japan K.K. was welcomed to provide a presentation entitled “TURNING AROUND Levi’s ® JAPAN” and speak about the strategies how to maintain brand value and regain fans amid intensifying price competition.
Based on his own experience, Mr. Saito engaged the audience with an interactive presentation asking “What would you do if you were the President of Levi’s ® JAPAN whose business had reached a turning point?”
When Mr. Saito was appointed in 2010, Levi’s ® JAPAN had sales decrease and loss in operating income due to a variety of external factors such as the emergence of fast fashion brands and the Lehman Shock. In addition, analysis of market trends indicates that the 5,000-10,000 yen price range where Levi’s had excelled continues to shrink.
Mr. Saito explained that two main options were available under these conditions.
One option was to become an “all-round player” covering everything from the low price range to the high price range as a denim brand. The other option was to maintain denim at its core product while focusing on the higher priced premium segment, and becoming a “premium fashion brand” expanding other fashion categories (tops, ladies, accessories, etc.) as a premium brand.
Levi’s ® JAPAN had actually run an “all-round player” type business from 2008 until 2010. This resulted in the vicious circle of becoming the brand image unclear, driving pricing competition and losing many core fans.
Since Mr. Saito was appointed, the company has repositioned itself as a “premium fashion brand” and this has led to a spectacular V-shaped recovery. Please check out Levi’s ® JAPAN branding strategy in the future.
The presentation materials can be found here (PDF).
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