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Levi Jeans in Vietnam

Essay by   •  February 25, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  1,465 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,582 Views

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The developing country of Vietnam offers Levi Strauss and Company's popular brand, Levi's, an opportunity to experience high growth rates for their pants in a less competitive market. The Levi's cargo pants offered in the U.S. would require a few modifications to adjust to climate, cultural, and economic differences in Vietnam. Successful adaptation of the pants, brand, and packaging for the introduction into Vietnam would attract Vietnamese consumers as well as travelers to the country.

Levi's is best known for their blue jeans in the U.S., but the brand carries cargo pants as well. Levi's blue jeans are widely worn in the U.S. and are appropriate for the climate in almost all of the states without changing the fabric. The brand has a boot, skinny, relaxed, and original fit as well as inseams ranging from 30 to 38 inches which accommodate the average man of 5 foot 9 inches and the varying heights of women and men in America. The pants can be bought for about $35 (Levi's Store, 2008),which is affordable for the average U.S. family with real disposable income of around $30,000 a year (BEA, 2008) These pants are very suitable for Americans, but to be successful in Vietnam, adaptations must be made.

First, the pants would need to be adapted to better suit Vietnam's varying climate patterns throughout the country. Vietnam's geography makes the north more dry and cool and the south more tropical, with much humidity and sun. The people of Vietnam as well as travelers to the country wear loose, lightweight pants (Guide Vietnam, 2003). Blue jeans are not customarily worn in Vietnam so Levi's should adapt their cargo pants because that style of pants would require the least amount of alterations. The cotton fabric would have to be lighter and the fit would have to be made looser to accommodate consumer preferences. Vietnamese people are much shorter than Americans with the average male standing at only five feet tall (Vietnam-culture, 2007). The additional fabric it would take to make the pants looser would equal out or be less due to the fact that the pants wouldn't need to be so thick or long.

In addition to the inseam and fabric adaptations, a convertible feature on the cargo pants would be best for Vietnamese people. Many Vietnamese people work in fields during the day where loose fitting shorts are most comfortable, but at night when it's cooler they need a pant that protects them from the vast amounts of insects that inhabit the country (Vietnam-culture, 2007). Another benefit of a pants-to-shorts convertible style would be that it would suitable in all of Vietnam. It would be comfortable for the people in the dry, cooler north and for those in the humid south. The style would also benefit travelers because they would have pants that worked no matter what part of Vietnam they traveled to.

Another modification to the design of Levi's pants would be beneficial to both the consumer in Vietnam and those traveling to the country. It is not a necessary adaptation, but it would give Levi's a huge competitive advantage because of the product differentiation that would set their pants apart from all others in the market. Like most developing countries, Vietnam has a huge problem with pickpocketers. People in Vietnam and visitors to the country are warned to not carry any valuables in their pockets and no more money than necessary. Because the people of Vietnam wear loose fitting pants it is very easy for a pickpocketer to reach in a pocket and grab the contents out. It is an especially easy task to pull off when the target is an unknowing visitor of the country (Guide-Vietnam, 2003).

To overcome this problem, Levi's can place zippers on all their pant's pockets. This would give consumers a sense of security with the pants and would distinguish Levi's pants from others in the market. Weary travelers would most likely choose those pants over all others while in the country because they could enjoy their time touring without the worry of pickpocketers.

Another small change needed would be to add Vietnamese sizes and directions on the pants in addition to English, which is the second most spoken language in Vietnam (The World Fact Book, 2008). The way that sizing is measured would also need to be converted. Vietnamese and most Asian countries use the same sizing method as European sizing, except for shoe size which

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