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Branding on Social Media – A case study

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Hi Folks,

Came across an interesting piece in the recent Brand Equity, written by Sruthi Radhakrishnan, speaks about how brands are using social networks to go viral and aiming to increase the WOM mileage of their brands. Given below are interesting case studies of two top denim brands. Hope you find it useful

Jean Therapy

When Diesel launched its ‘Be Stupid’ campaign last year, to encourage consumers to take risks and move beyond the smart and sensible life, the viral video got everyone’s attention. Word got around and the video stacked up to 700,000 views on Youtube, even though it was panned by critics across media.

They then went on to create a music video of people doing stupid acts,”like starting a band, building a treehouse or creating an art installation”. This video also doubled up as the brand’s clothing catalogue.The brand got the buzz it wanted, just as in 2008, they used ’70s sleaze for their 30th anniversary.

‘Going viral’ is the new watchword for apparel brands as most, if not all, have jumped on to the digital bandwagon. Levi’s, now, seems to be following suit.

At the launch of Denizen, their low-cost brand (in lieu of Signature), the brand has brought in what they call the ‘Denizen 8’, a motley bunch consisting of a software developer, a media planner, a property consultant, an app developer, a writer and a student, all in the age group of 18-28 years. “We’re getting eight denizens from all over the country, all of who are denim lovers, who become our brand ambassadors,” says Sanjay Purohit, MD, Levi‘s Strauss India.

Now, eight might not seem to be a very large number in a country of millions of Denizens. But this team of eight aren’t your ordinary brand ambassadors. The brand has them activated on the social media space. They blog about the brand and how the brand makes them feel.

“Denizen’s origin is outside of the US, built on the base of these consumers”, says Aaron Boey, global president, Denizen. On the other hand,” Signature originated in the US. Over time, it was brought into other markets,” he points out. The brand, he adds, is the first apparel brand to have been built for the digital medium, as most of their target group is on social media, internet and mobile.

India, being among the three largest markets for Levi’s in Asia, is also a market where denim is the fastest growing apparel category, where the average production is 35 to 40 million pairs a year.

With work environments becoming more casual, for the younger generation, denim is the apparel of choice.” These consumers are typically young, middle-class, probably the first generation to be university-educated, the first to work in a foreign MNC.

They’re also going to have certain lifestyle choices. The digital medium for them is a big deal”, he says. “With two brands across segments, Levi’s and now, Denizen, we think we’ve covered the market entirely”, says Purohit. Their competition, they reckon, cannot match up to them. “We’ll offer this brand to aspiring Indian consumers who demand high-quality products and want to be in tune with global trends, but also want affordable products, in a way that Signature couldn’t fulfil.”, says Boey. The brand wants to stay true to its identity in every which way possible – from their retail outlets to their marketing. On the retail front, the stores, right from the colour on the walls to the different hues of jeans on the racks, it seems will reflect the upbeat attiude of their target.


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