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Chi Wai Lima – Brand Strategist


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Over 10 years experience in all facets of brand strategy and design. Observe cultural trends and intuitively apply those insights to naming, positioning, and visual identity. Thrive on big picture thinking with an equal passion for overseeing all the final, executional details.

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Chi Wai Lima – Brand Strategist

  1. 1. Chi Wai Lima | Strategic Brand Consultant CAse sTUdy strategic Positioning for Levi strauss and Company Jan – May 2011 Team members: Brian Gaffney, Chi Wai Lima, Manal Nassar, Natasha SaipradistThe Challenge Our ApproachExplore the relationship 1. The team began the engagement by immersing ourselves into the Levi’s archive. Our between Levi Strauss and goal was to learn as much about the brand’s history as possible and understand what Company, its existing customer influenced, informed and inspired their product and process decisions. base and its target consumers.Our goal is to identify 2. The team conducted an audit of how the brand is living up to its heritage-based tagline, initiatives that enable the “Go Forth.” We researched recent product and process innovations and reviewed brand to maintain relevance current advertisements, commercials, sponsorships, collaborations and community-based with a younger demographic programs to understand how the brand was acting out its brand positioning.without alienating its older 3. The team conducted an analysis of the categories in which Levi’s competes, to gain a customers. By infusing our solid grasp on the alternatives that are available to Levi’s customers and likely consumers, future strategic positioning at all levels of the categories’ spectrum: low-cost, mid-range and premium. possibilities for Levi’s withthe historic spirit of the brand 4. The team observed how the brand lives and breathes in the hands of consumers. We — explorer and pioneer — spent time in retail stores, watching consumers shop, and online, reading reviews from combined with contemporary social media sites owned by the brand and third parties. perspectives on the role ofself-discovery and community, 5. The team conducted a trend analysis to determine Levi’s role in and relationship to we produce initiatives through contemporary culture, and identify the brand’s opportunities to optimize or increase its real and specific product social influence.planning ranging from the After gathering information, the team was able to identify the brand’s core equities and practical to the ambitious. define the key insights on which the team would make its ultimate recommendations. Key Insights 1. From Levi’s History Immersing ourselves in the Levi’s brand gave our team insights of how the brand might grow. Levi’s has constantly referenced their heritage as a pioneer when moving forward. They develop products with authenticity in mind that is fitting for their consumers. Whether it’s about being socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, supporting social causes, or inspiring the community to be creative, Levi’s has shown that impacting the society in a positive way is more valuable than just making profits. We feel that these behaviors will greatly affect the future of the brand and our propositions for Levi’s future strategic positionings. 2. Cultural Trends The following are relevant cultural trends identified during the exploration of the brand. Urban Roots Greenwashing and technology overload have made consumers weary, and one way to overcome this is by adding an urban edge to the term “locally made.” This places great pride into one’s community as experts of crafting items from scratch, as well as allowing people to feel that they are closer to the reality of products being made. It’s not somewhere abstract and far away but very close to home. Nostalgia Our society is undergoing an extreme digitization. How we interact with the physical world is increasingly becoming more virtual via sleek touch screens on smart phones and tablets. There is a hunger for tangible experiences in the analogue world, where contact is physical and relationships are long lasting. 917.817.7263 | | 1
  2. 2. CAse sTUdy (CONTINUed)strategic Positioning for Levi strauss and Company Cultural Trends (continued) Fluidity We are seeing blurring boundaries between many contradictory elements and categories in society. For example, there are less distinctions of stereotypes between men and women, ugliness and beauty, life and machine, virtual and reality, and the mundane and the strange. dramatic Technology The great movement towards 3D from movies to gaming highly engages viewers and heightens the need to see graphics in a dramatic way. By using their body to give directions, customers interact and control what they see and do onscreen, placing them as the center of attention. Our Propositions Using the key insights we found, our proposals plan to maintain and grow Levi’s market position and mindshare as the global apparel brand of choice for pioneers and rebels, no matter the audience or age. 1. second Life Possible collaboration partner: Etsy Levi’s has a heritage of supporting local communities and environmental responsibility. Their jeans labels currently state, “Please donate when no longer needed.” However, donating or recycling clothing is often inconvenient, or for nostalgic reasons, someone is reluctant to let go of a worn-out, favorite pair of jeans. Levi’s will pair up with Etsy and start a recycling program where participants bring in their old jeans, corduroys or khakis to the store (and they do not have to be Levi’s, but if they are, the customer can get a store credit). Participants match up with an Etsy artist who will create a new item out of their old trousers. This is a great partnership for Levi’s because Etsy’s success is due to a network of entrepreneurial, independent artists, who are pioneers themselves. For those who are nostalgic, their beloved jeans can be given a new life. This fulfills Levi’s heritage of environmental responsibility by extending the lives of products and supporting local entrepreneurs. 2. dance Forth Arts are one form of self-expression that enable people to push boundaries and discover more about themselves. Levi’s is heavily involved with the arts, from sponsoring music concerts to setting up community workshops for silkscreening and photography. One area of the arts that Levi’s could leverage is in dance, which is about freedom and movement. For example, Levi’s could sponsor and outfit avant-garde dance troupes such as Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch or Fuerza Bruta. Collaborations with artists can be switched across a variety of seasons or theatre venues. By supporting dance, Levi’s would widen its range of sponsorship for the arts and engage new audiences through relationships with unorthodox artists and bolster the company’s brand messaging of being a pioneer and going forth. Chi Wai Lima, Strategic Brand Consultant | 917.817.7263 | | 2
  3. 3. CAse sTUdy (CONTINUed)strategic Positioning for Levi strauss and Company Our Propositions (continued) 3. Global Batwing Rush Possible collaboration partner: Amazing Race The Global Batwing Rush campaign strengthens the brand as a contemporary pioneer. Levi’s can place hidden, iconic, red Batwing-logo artwork or stickers around the world, encouraging the consumers to explore and find as many Batwings possible. Once a Batwing is found, the modern pioneer can choose to geotag it with a smartphone, and it would appear on an interactive map with their name as the discoverer. Anyone can view the found Batwings, clues for those yet to be revealed, and learn about the individual explorers who found all these Batwings. The collaborative nature of this campaign will help foster relationships and bring people together. The incentive here speaks to the pure satisfaction of discovering something and having your achievement recognized. It combines the anticipation of a limited time event, the membership quality of a community, the experience of discovery, globalisation, and the longer-term ability to leverage the results in other forms of communications. 4. direct Trade denim When we discovered the following quote from Erik Joule, Levi’s SVP Merchandising and Design, “Levi’s operates at the intersection of style and sustainability,” we knew that we had encountered a stroke of insight that spanned the generations that included Levi’s existing market and target consumer: environmental concern, and on which we could build a future for the company. The expression of this idea resulted in a product innovation that redefines the premium category: Direct Trade Denim. Taking advantage of the current trends in collaborative and conscious consumption, sourcing organic and sustainably grown Supima cotton from the US and indigo from India is a great partnership that builds on Levi’s commitment to global community building and fair business ethics. The idea stems from a practice that is typically used for agricultural and food brands, especially coffee, but rarely used in fashion. 5. Pioneering Beyond the Planet Collaboration partner: Virgin Galactic Pioneering Beyond the Planet leverages the brand’s theme of discovery in a simple, uncomplicated event tie-in with “Pioneer in Chief” Richard Branson’s new Virgin Galactic, the first private commercial airline in the world to provide commercial sub-orbital spaceflight. What better way to stay true to Levi’s pioneering spirit, than to place the Batwing in the company of the first pedestrian space travelers during their six minutes of weightlessness. Virgin’s Galactic program is a perfect analogous brand for Levi’s and will help the brand strengthen its heritage as a pioneer into the future. Virgin Galactic’s first flight will happen sometime between 2012–2013. Venturing into space, the ultimate unknown, is the epitome of pioneering into the future.Chi Wai Lima, Strategic Brand Consultant | 917.817.7263 | | 3