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Levi's taps 'the core and more'

News, 16 March 2015

NEW YORK: Levi's, the apparel group, is seeking to "develop the core and do more" – a strategy helping it become a meaningful lifestyle brand alongside championing its iconic blue jeans.

James Curleigh, president of the Levi's brand, discussed this subject at the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Big Show 2015, an event held recently in New York City.

The firm's main tactical imperatives at present, he reported, include a dual objective to "focus on the core and do more", rather than letting one priority dominate the other.

"We invented the blue jean. We have never not been the leader. And we're still the worldwide leader in denim: that's our core business," said Curleigh. (For more, including four other current priorities for the brand, read Warc's exclusive report: Five branding strategy tips from Levi's.)

Defining itself strictly as a denim brand, however, would unnecessarily restrict the options available to Levi's.

"The average fan makes up seven, maybe eight, percent of their closet in terms of purchases in denim," Curleigh asserted.

"So, if we're a legitimate lifestyle brand, and we're only focusing on a pair of jeans, but the closet has 90%-plus more opportunity, why wouldn't we expand for more?"

This idea drew inspiration from organisations like Apple, which has created market-leading electronics and simultaneously developed an ecosystem of related services like iTunes and the App Store.

And for Levi's, continued Curleigh, pursuing a similar goal promises to yield enormous opportunities, given the breadth of apparel offerings it could realistically – and authentically – offer to consumers.

"When you think about the share of closet, it's automatic, logical Levi's extensions that come to mind – like a belt, like underwear, like socks, a T-shirt, a leather jacket, Levi's boots," he said.

Data sourced from Warc