Almost everyone has their own Levi’s story. From your first day to school till graduation, hanging around with your friends or maybe your first kiss. My first experience with Levi’s was at my first (enjoyable) job, as a salesman in a small retail store. I was 18 years of age and had no clue about clothing brands and how to dress well. A few weeks into the job, something interesting happened. I sold three Levi’s 501 to a middle-aged man. This sale learned me two huge important lessons:
1. You can actually make money by talking to someone (alright, selling is a little more complicated)
2. The power of a brand
The second point is the talking point of this article. In my conversation with this middle-aged man, I noticed a few things. This retail store had a huge wall, full of different denim brands. The wall had five rows filled with 26 different models of jeans. When the man arrived at Levi’s part of the wall, he stood still and touched the denim. That’s a salesman’s queue. After explaining the different fits and letting him try on a few models he asked: ‘How many washes do you have of the Levi’s 501?’. I replied with: ‘Three different washes sir, would you like to try them on?’. The man answered me unbothered: No need, they are always good, I take all three. That was one of the easiest sales I ever made.
This fashion icon has been around for quite a while. The fashion and retail industry is notorious for being really hard. Products need to develop at a rapid rate to keep up with fashionova’s lust for novelty. The fashion items literally change like seasons. That makes one wonder, how does Levi’s stay on top?
Cali, Gold, and denim
Let’s start at the beginning of this iconic fashion brand. Have you ever heard about the California Gold Rush? It arose after gold was found there on January 24, 1848, and persisted until 1856. Do you know what was the most lucrative product at that time? At least for most workers, not gold. For the vast majority of miners, the Gold Rush was basically a bust. But for merchants on the other hand, who could serve those gold-seeking miners, they had a golden opportunity indeed.
All those minders needed various products. Products like housing, food, equipment, and clothing. Lots and lots of clothing. You can imagine that you wear out clothes quickly when you search for gold. This is where our antagonist enters the stage.
Levi Strauss was a German immigrant who arrived in San Francisco in 1853 to open Levi Strauss & Co. This was at first a wholesale dry goods business to cater to Cali’s exploding population. It took another 20 years for the real breakthrough for Strauss.
Jacob Davis was a tailor from Latvia and he bought denim fabric from Strauss. From the fabric, Davis made tents, wagon covers, and pants. As sales were doing great, Davis wrote to Strauss to help him patent and market his invention: Denim jeans strengthened with copper rivets. They received a patent for the invention in 1873. Almost 150 years later, jeans are still widely popular. Levi’s rose to fame as a hearty all-American brand. But since its humble beginnings, the jeans manufacturer hasn’t always struck gold.
Read the WHOLE piece of gold here: https://everydayonlinemarketing.com/marketing-case-study/how-did-levis-become-so-popular/