The Marketing Strategy Employed by Levi’s Works Cited Missing In order for a new brand to establish itself in its market and for its products to sell successfully, thus achieving company goals and shareholder profitability, a number of key principles concerning consumer behaviour have to be fully grasped and addressed. As well as producing a range of new, exciting and quality garments, the firm will need to ensure that its products are cleverly and thoughtfully marketed to the appropriate consumer groups.
In this report I will look at the marketing strategy employed by Levis on their new ‘Anti-Fit’ style jeans, and at the importance of consumer behaviour in deriving this strategy. I will also look at the importance of a clear and up to date comprehension of the factors that affect consumer behaviour, paying particular attention to the key role that perception will play in forming consumer’s attitudes towards the new range of designer jeans. I will continue on to show how favourable perceptions about Levis brand identity will have a positive effect in raising consumer motivation to purchase a product from their range.
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The fashion industry at this time; a time of increasing disposable incomes and incidence of recreational shopping, is intensely competitive. We can draw on many examples to highlight the point that; companies who have established a strong and clear brand image, have tended to command a larger market share than those companies who’s image is either unfavourable, for example old fashioned, or unattached to specific and clear values. Establishing a strong and istinguishable brand image for the ‘Anti-Fit’ range of jeans is the central idea behind Levis marketing strategy for breaking into the competitive market and ultimately gaining a favourable share of the market for designer jeans. Creating the right brand image is largely dependent upon being in tune with the mindsets, beliefs, values and aspirations of the modern, well-informed consumer. Moreover ensuring that the consumer perceives the firm to be in tune with their way of thinking and holding similar values centrally to the Levis brand identity will be the key to ensuring marketing success.
When advertising the ‘Anti-Fit’ product Levis must ensure that its messages are clear and perceived by the desired audience in the intended manner. Evans, Moutinho and Van Raaij (1996) believe that a?????”the more we understand about the perceptual process both generally and of the target market concerned, the more we can ensure that the intended receivers of the message will interpret it in the intended manner”a????? (pp. 55). The notion of branding can have significant effects on consumer’s perceptions of product characteristics and attributes.
Studies have shown customers can often not tell the differences between the various brands but labels and their associations definitely influenced their evaluations. (Consumer Behaviour G R Foxall) This shows that customers’ perceptions of products can derive from marketing effort alone; brand images and brand differentiation can be the consumers’ only guide to want satisfaction. This is particularly evident in a highly branded stylised market such as the jeans market. Therefore pursuing the correct marketing campaign is essential to appeal to the target audience, in an already highly differentiated market.
When shopping for designer jeans consumers are more likely to consider purchasing a brand product from his or her awareness set than from a company who’s brand image he or she has not been exposed to. Brand awareness is an obvious precondition to purchase. (Jobber 2004) The purchase of a pair of designer jeans may be considered neither a high involvement nor low involvement purchase, where involvement may be thought of as a?????”the degree of perceived relevance and personal importance accompanying brand choice”… (Blackwell, Miniard and Engel 2001: quoted in Jobber 2004).
The following model is an amalgamation of Fisbein and Ajzen’s model for high involvement purchases and Enrenberg and Goodhart’s model for low involvement situation. [IMAGE] The influences at work when shopping for designer jeans. The purchase of a pair of designer jeans is seldom undertaken with the same abandon and low risk as, for example, the purchase of a pair of socks. Jeans may be worn and enjoyed for many months, even years. Therefore the consumer would want to ensure that the jeans will remain comfortable, fashionable and flattering for more than a few outings.
Creating a brand that is seen to be fashionable, desirable and having a degree of exclusivity, is vital for attacking the designer end of the jeans market. Referring to the model above and what has been written up to this point, suppose two comparably priced jeans we’re tested, both equally well fitting and both well styled. A consumer may be swayed by brand snobbery, wishing to attach herself to the brand he or she believes matches his or her beliefs and attitudes and will result in greater approval from his or her significant references.
The more aware a consumer is of a brand, the more likely he or she may be to purchase its product. Perception of products and brand identity has a big impact on consumer purchasing behaviour, within a dynamic fast moving market, such as the jeans market; where style and originality is the key. Perception is defined as ‘the entire process by which an individual becomes aware of his environment and interprets it so that it will fit into his own frame or reference’ (Walters in Consumer Behaviour G R Foxall 1977).
People become aware of their environment through the five senses, therefore sensation is the process by which perception begins. Also important is the process of interpretation, which depends on the socio-psychological meanings the individual attaches to the object perceived. Everybody perceives things differently and this is important when thinking about grouping people into a particular market segment or marketing a brand in a particular way, as potential consumers may not interpret such things with the same meaning as intended. 0% of stimuli are received through sight, therefore when marketing a new range of designer jeans visual stimuli are a key method of attracting potential consumers. Potential customers within such a competitive market have a number of factors influencing their purchasing behaviour. Consumer buying is motivated by something more than awareness; it depends on the consumer’s needs and drives, tastes and aspirations, attitudes, personality and social environment. Products are not only purchased for their functional values but also, for the social and psychological meanings they convey.
The purchase of a pair of jeans is linked, to what extent is dependent on the individual, to the formulation and shaping of a consumers self-image. Purchasing a pair of jeans will to some degree shape a person’s self-image and the way others may perceive them. As marketers, a company must align the consumer’s self-perception and the image they intend to project to others, with the attributes and values they perceive to be attached to the company and its associated products.
Grubb and Grothwohl (1967) suggest image research within marketing seeks to … “link the psychological construct of an individual’s self-concept with the symbolic value of the goods purchased”… (p 23). A consumer will purchase goods that they believe will either enhance their self-image, or those which help the consumer to feel closer to their self image. Therefore we may think of goods, in this case designer jeans, as symbols that communicate something about the individual to his “significant references” (p 24).
The selective nature of perception and attention act as a way of coping with the constant bombardment of stimuli, the precise manner in which the person allows some messages to penetrate while rejecting others depends on values, motives and attitudes as well as social situation. With a prior knowledge of this aspect of consumer purchasing behaviour, it is clear that when selecting and targeting potential consumers marketing strategies must incorporate a wide range of factors to appeal to a market segment which may encompass people with wide ranging beliefs, attitudes and values.
For example marketing for young, trendy professionals looking for up to the minute style may represent a particular market segment but within this segment individuals may have varying beliefs or values. Therefore, by simply targeting a segment of the market we cannot assume homogenous perceptions of a new product. Differing attitudes to a particular strategy may be widely evident, therefore understanding consumers purchasing behaviour in relation to differing perceptions will give a wider insight into possible effective strategies.