Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Smart Marketers Fix The Product First

Levi Strauss will soon re-introduce Dockers brand khakis to American men with a new advertising campaign sporting the theme "Wear The Pants." Having owned my share of Dockers over the years, I am a little skeptical that the brand will resonate with their intended target, 25 - 35 year-old men, given that Dockers are probably seen is "their father's pants." And we all know how well that "not your father's" thing worked out for Oldsmobile.

There are two things, however, that Dockers seems to be doing right. The first is illustrated by this statement from a New York Times article, "The campaign... will be accompanied by changes in the pants, including more colors and different fits." Nice to see a marketer not taking an outdated product, dressing it up with a new campaign and then blaming the agency when it fails.

The second smart element of this makeover is acknowledging the brand's heritage. They're not running away from their past by claiming Dockers are something they're not, such as the latest hip pant for a new generation. They're taking the core equity of the brand, "casual work pants," and trying to make it relevant today. I'm betting on a successful relaunch. For Levi's sake, I hope that works out better than the bets I've made in the market.

1 comment:

  1. Lands End just introduced their new line called "Canvas" . A casual clothing line meant to extend their offerings to a new kind of customer. Similar thing? I've seen it. Pretty nice.