Levi’s has entered the high volume ‘standard’ segment in India with the launch of its ‘Signature’ brand. The new brand will add to Levi’s existing portfolio in India of Levi’s and Dockers, and is being looked at to drive volumes across Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. The brand will be different from the premium Levi’s brand through its pricing and positioning.
The ‘Signature’ brand, launched in July 2003 globally, accounted for 10 per cent of Levi’s total worldwide business in two years, shared John Andersen, President, Levi Strauss, Asia Pacific division.
Speaking to reporters, he said, “We believe there is a total market opportunity of around $35 million in India. We’ve identified three main markets to drive our future growth – India, China and Russia. India is the fourth market in which Signature has been launched in Asia Pacific.”
The brand, positioned as a new brand from the company in the standard segment, is targeted at youngsters and college goers with the line: ‘For the best days of your life’. Priced between Rs 599 and Rs 999, the attempt clearly is to avoid any cannibalisation with its existing base for the premium brand, Levi’s.
“The fact that both brands have grown simultaneously world wide, shows that there is no sign of cannibalisation. Signature is creating incremental growth for the company. In India, we found that there is no international player, or strong, quality-driven national player, in the standard segment. The existing players are selling on the price plank,” added Andersen.
The new campaign by O&M will run across print, outdoors (retail) and radio for now. A television campaign is being deferred until the national roll out of the brand is complete. The company is planning to take its learnings from the South India launch into other markets, and hopes to complete a pan-India rollout by the end of 2007 or by mid-2008, across 150 towns.
“What we have launched is a new brand of jeans that draws on the heritage of Levi’s. It is a new lifestyle brand with a strong value proposition. Among the differences between the two brand personalities is that while Levi’s is hip, a bit edgy, and drives and sets trends, Signature is real, fun, everyday wear, and reflects the mood of every college-goer,” explained Shumone Jaya Chatterjee, Country Manager, Levi Strauss India.
In India, the segments are defined by pricing starting with the value segment, which constitutes anything below Rs 599. The premium (and super premium) segments are priced upwards of Rs 900, while the standard segment is priced between Rs 600 and Rs 900. Levi’s Signature starts at Rs 599.
With the ‘standard’ and ‘value’ segments attributing to 70 per cent of the total, the company hopes to cash in with an entry into Tier-2 towns too. The attempt is to widen the base of college kids whom the brand addresses, and be a part of the ‘best days of their lives’.