Levi’s vs Diesel : An old story

How to understand the strategic brand management of Levi’s and Diesel within the jeans industry ?

Since Levi Strauss & Co made the first pair of jean and Diesel became an iconic global lifestyle brand, we can imagine how competitive the two brands could have been from the very beginning. When Levi Strauss & Co invited the blue jean in 1853, the company was alone, facing no competition. The jeans were made to be strong, convenient and resistent for a specific target : the gold diggers. Levi’s has dominated the market throughought the 19th century taking advantage of the California Gold Rush, but even later between 1950’s and 1980’s. The blue jean was worn by specific cultures such as rockers, hippies etc but little by little, it became the most casual look, worn by anyone. before 1990’s, it was the Levi’s period.

But by the 1990’s, the brand had to face competition from other brands, like Diesel.  Founded by Renzo Rosso in 1978, the company really emerged in early 1990’s when the policy of international marketing emerged. And what is interesting to see, is that the Strategic Brand Management of Diesel was based on an anti-Levi’s strategy from the very beginning. Diesel aimed at setting itself apart from Levi Strauss & Co and tried to find a way to show that it was cooler that Levi’s. Therefore, Diesel spent a lot in its advertising campaign by shocking people. It also caricatured the American way of life which completely countered Levi Strauss & Co’s strategy of symbolizing the American Dream. Levi’s began to give the impression of being old-fashioned while Diesel embodied a much cooler brand.

by Marine



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