LUCY SWEENEY

Levis


CCA + LEVI'S MADE & CRAFTED, 2016

As part of the Business Models and Stakeholders course in the MBA program at California College of the Arts, my team and I worked directly with Levi's throughout a semester to innovate and inspire new models that deliver customers' needs and capture value for stakeholders. Our specific focus was on the Levi's Made & Crafted collection which positions themselves as a premium, high-end fashion line within the Levi's brand. We worked closely with the Head of Design of Levi's Made & Crafted as well as their Head of Marketing and Merchandising Associates. Our process included industry research, customer interviews, retail visits, customer surveys, and consulting other industry professionals. Our final deliverables included a final report documenting our process, research, findings, and recommendations as well as a presentation and deck that explained three proposed business models. 

 
 

Levi's Made & Crafted aims to break the status-quo and gain a new target customer as well as take advantage of a growing market in premium denim and luxury fashion goods. Through a new and disruptive business model, Levi's Made & Crafted would gain a vast competitive advantage in the premium denim space as well as dominate a progressive division within the fashion and apparel industry. First, we need to ask this: "Why should customers care about Levi's Made & Crafted?"

 

Our objective as a consulting team was to uncover the challenges related to the current business model of Levi's Made & Crafted and understand its stakeholder needs to develop a complementary solution based on a new and unique value proposition. 

To do so, we created three different business model canvases that set a direction and logic in which to elevate the Levi's Made & Crafted brand. Each business model canvas would address the following goals through various strategies.

 

 

 

Our process and research revealed a weak connection between the value proposition of Levi's Made & Crafted and their target customer segment. With the premium denim market being the fastest growing segment in the denim industry we determined the customer segment was strong. Our primary focus was on the value proposition and how and why customers are accessing it. 

Levi's Made & Crafted is a premium expression of the Levi's brand and their distinguishing values are fine materials, superior craftsmanship, and obsession over details.

 

We found that customers were seeking a high-quality experience from a brand rather than solely a high-quality product. We identified premium denim customers sought experiences of validation, beauty, and wonder. The three business models we proposed build on these experiences to deliver a deeper physical and emotional connection to the Levi's Made & Crafted brand.

 

Our first proposal focuses on the heritage and loyalty of the overall Levi's brand and the relationship the brand has with its existing customers.

Rather than a separate apparel line, Levi's Made & Crafted would be a premium collection of Levi's that builds on the existing strengths of the brand. Levi's Made & Crafted would feature timelessly designed garments focusing on elevated basics with an exceptional fit. 

 

This person is a devout Levi's customer -- specifically when it comes to denim -- but is looking for a more elevated Levi's experience. They were introduced to Levi's Made & Crafted while shopping at Levi's when they decided to try a pair of their premium Japanese denim collection. They loved the quality and fit and therefore, were willing to spend the extra money.

 

Our second proposal presents Levi's Made & Crafted as a premium fashion line -- an autonomous, high-end fashion line within the Levi's brand offering a head-to-toe signature apparel line including accessories such as shoes, bags, and other leather goods.

The line would yield avant-garde pieces specific to Levi's Made & Crafted as well as collaborations with similarly driven contemporary brands that are culturally relevant and correspondingly disruptive among the fashion industry.

 

This person almost exclusively shops at small boutiques or high-end department stores. They hand-pick and curate their wardrobe based on season trends and their personal fashion sense. They not only appreciate quality and fit but expect it based on the status and price point of the brands they consume. They feel most connected to a brand and obligated to purchase a piece from that line when it exhibits a progressive and ingenious design.

 

Our third proposal establishes Levi's Made & Crafted as a premium lifestyle brand. This is a 360 degree approach to the customer by carefully curating an inventory of lifestyle and accessories while fundamentally remaining a fashion line with its signature collection. 

Its aesthetic, relevance, and overall brand personality would be elevated through the cultural credibility of the goods they offer alongside their apparel. This proposal would refine the customer segment and deliver their needs through an adapted and completely new channel to create unique and lasting value to the brand.

 

This customer has a very curated taste not only in visual aesthetic but in what they buy and why they buy it. Their style is simple yet sophisticated, and they believe even statement pieces should be timeless. Everything from the product design to the package design and the quality to materials and ingredients must fit into their aesthetic and personal values. While they might discover new products online via blogs and social media, they choose to engage with brands through a physical retail shopping experience.


 

The three business models proposed are very different but systematically build upon each other. Our first proposal leverages the heritage of the Levi's brand and validates the essence of its identity. The second proposal elevates the status of Levi's Made & Crafted as a high-end fashion line providing a sense of beauty and sophistication to the consumer. The third proposal incorporates both the identity and status of Levi's Made & Crafted but advances the experience to provide a holistic sensibility of the brand. All three proposals have a huge emphasis on elevating and refining Levi's Made & Crafted as an experience brand. However, they all do this differently and require different levels of implementation.