From Globalisation to Localisation
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From Globalisation to Localisation

With the launch of Denizen brand, Levis Strauss & Co. has set the mark for more consumer insight centric products in the country. Mr. Aaron Boey, Global President, Denizen takes us through the journey of brand building.

Aadeetya Sriram (AS): Tell us about Denizen as a brand of Levi’s? How many stores do you have?

Aaron Boey (AB): Denizen was launched in August last year, and immediately was made available in Karnataka, India as well. We spent one season to test the entire concept. It was a new brand at that point of time, and built on basis of inputs & insights that we got from Indian consumers. Therefore we build the brand; the product, the retail format, the branding, the marketing etc. and we spent a season to test it out over there. The feedback that we got was extremely positive, and hence we have rolled-out the brand nationally. In terms of distribution, we have got 250 exclusive stores, and more than 2000 multi brand outlets. We are available nationally, accessible to consumers everywhere.

AS: When you say testing, how exactly did you undertake the operation?

AB: We tested the branding, the brand proposition, its values, personality, look and feel etc. which was conducted to our satisfaction. Secondly, we tested the product which was really important; because this brand was built on the basis of inputs we attained from the consumer, about their needs, aspirations in terms of styles, which the product basically has to reflect. The most important aspect of our testing was the retail format, studying the looks of our stores, and providing with a store which is inviting and makes the experience of shopping pleasurable.

AS: What kind of trends have you come across during your testing in the country?

AB: We have tapped the trend in India as well international trends. The young, aspiring educated youth of the country are extremely aware of the trend patterns globally.  In India, denim is a big trend, and we stand for the best in denim. Our promise with Denizen is that, you can’t get better jeans for the price, and we offer the best fitting jeans in the market.  Levis Strauss & Co. provides us with their expertise to keep ourselves updated with the trends internationally making them available to the Indian consumers promptly.

AS: Where do you have your manufacturing units for Denizen in the country?

AB: We basically work with multiple Indian vendors, we design, develop the product but all the manufacturing is conducted by the vendors present all across the country.

AS: What is your marketing strategy for Denizen?

AB: Denizen is going to be marketed as an international brand. We have brought the best trends from all over the world to India; it’s going to be done in a way so that consumer can relate to and feel comfortable with the brand. Hence, we have Imran Khan as the brand ambassador; the consumers can be rest assured that the services we are offering be it shop experience or online sale, the standards are maintained by the brand globally.

AS: Levi’s is known to be involved in sustaining the environment, how is Denizen following the philosophy?

AB: Being part of Levis Strauss & Co, we understand our need to continually follow the philosophy of sustaining the environment with Denizen or for that matter any other brand under this family. Sustainability is a key initiative, right across the company. We have undertaken the concept through our stores, the materials that we use for the stores, like energy-saving initiatives that we implement, sustainability in our products where we use less water, and also communicate sustaining the resources to our consumers.

AS: How much revenue has Levis Strauss & co. accumulated for the year 2010?

AB: In 2010, Levis Strauss & Co has accumulated 4.5 billion$ across all our brands.

AS: What are the plans for Denizen?

AB: India as a market is a promising country, we will continue our focus on India. Internationally we will continue to focus on the other markets. Denizen is now available in India, South Korea, Pakistan, and Singapore. Towards the later part of the year, we are launching Denizen in the U.S, Mexico and afterwards we will look at expanding the brand around the world.


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