The clothing industry is a turbulent one. It must constantly adjust and adapt to economic and social changes. One day a certain style of pants will be popular and the next day a completely different one will be. Different portions of the general population want to have their own style of clothing for both work and play. The permutations of what people want in their clothing are almost endless. For Levi Strauss establishing a marketing strategy for Dockers tends to be a difficult undertaking.
Dockers was once known as the khaki giant of the late 1980s but have since almost gone bankrupt due to out of date marketing and product implementation. However, within the past few years, Dockers has re-invented themselves to earn their title once again as a competitive clothing brand. What follows is an analysis of the marketing strategy for Dockers with the challenges and subtleties they must overcome to ensure continued success. Marketing Analysis In late 1986, Levi Strauss introduced Dockers which was a marketed as a comfortable and casual cotton pants targeted towards the aging male baby boomers.
The Dockers brand changed the apparel category by providing a stylish alternative to jeans and dress pants. The concerning extension of the jeans business, the new line had even larger appeal than anticipated. Not only did senior citizens buy Dockers but also their children creating a new trend of khaki wearing customers. Dockers has since expanded from casual pants to a complete offering of stylish, comfortable and versatile lifestyle products including head-to-toe wardrobe items for men, women, boys and girls, eyewear and a wide range of products for the home (Business Wire, 2004).
Dockers not only started producing cotton pants for men but also for women with their production of clothing extending to all ages. Presently, Dockers has three different designs of pants, with different colors, fabric and texture; as well as Levi’s Jeans. They are the followings: Classical Fit, Relaxed Fit and the Dressed-up Fit (Dockers, 2010). Each of these fits is a different person and a different occasion at a low price. Casual people, who like to dress up semi-formally on a daily basis, often use the Relaxed Fit. The Classical Fit is more for casual people with a special occasion.
And the Dressed-up Fit is more a business wear. The difference between these products is influenced by a number of variables, like the age, fit, image, occasion, and status background and product accessibility. Price is only one of the marketing-mix tools that a company uses to achieve its marketing objectives. Price decisions must be coordinated with product design, distribution and promotion decisions to form a consistent and effective marketing program. Decisions made for other marketing-mix variables may affect pricing decisions.
For example, Dockers uses many resellers who are expected to support and promote their products resulting in having to build larger reseller margins into their prices. Distribution and promotion affects the overall price of the product where advertising expenses directly affects the price of the product. Therefore, the marketer must consider the total marketing-mix when setting prices. If the product is positioned on non-price factors, then decisions about quality, promotion and distribution will strongly affect price.
If price is a crucial positioning factor, then price will strongly affect decisions made about the other marketing-mix elements (Ives, 2009). In most cases the company will consider all the marketing-mix decisions together when developing the marketing program. Dockers have similar marketing strategies to Levi’s, partly because they are owned by Levi Strauss and Company. They too have specialized Dockers outlets in which people can buy any Dockers article they desire while getting the right kind of assistance.
Although they are not as widely spread as in Levi’s, Dockers also encourages casual wear for their employees. A reason for Dockers being a little less excited about this approach is that the age group they aim at, is slightly older than the one for Levi’s and also because their image is rather classy. Modern marketing is not only about the product but also pricing it and making it available to target customers. Companies must also communicate with their customers, and understand them (Fassnacht, 2009).