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Research for VF Corp on its competitors

We use the Pearce-Robinson: Strategic Management, Ninth Edition, (2004) text and have red though chapters 9 & 10

And one article:
#1 Ulrich, D. & Smallwood, N. (2004 June). Capitalization on capabilities. Harvard Business Review 82(6), 119.

Specifically and for clarity, the project instructions read as follows:
"...identify several companies that have demonstrated strategic thinking about issues that are similar to those faced by your selected organization. Provide an overview of the issues, identify a total of five different strategies utilized by those companies to address them, and discuss the outcomes. Based on the five strategies, explain how you would adopt them in your selected organization to address the issues you identified."


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Levi Strauss

Levi's are the original, authentic jean. It was an enormous hit with baby boomers back in the 60's and 70's when they were in teenagers. Another fact is how Levis' stood for something beyond profit: it was a business that took pride in providing quality products, personal service, and fair treatment. The family name and tradition have been associated with its respect for customers, employees, and the community.

Funny, but Levi's strengths were just stated. After all, Levis' are the original, authentic jean. They have tradition on their side and have changed cuts and styles with the changing times. That has been one of Levi's greatest strengths: adaptability and innovation.

As more companies entered the market, Levi's began to lose some of its market share. These trendier, more aggressive brands and designer labels captivated the younger generation. The perception became that Levi's were Generation X's "parent's jeans." As with most kids, the rebel against things their parent's like and as such, they will wear anything else other than a pair of Levi's. This is a marketing problem and Levi's is struggling to find a way to reverse the brand's image.

This downturn might be linked to its tradition of promoting from within. Long-term managers became used to doing things a certain way - the way things have always been. This kept new ideas on the drawing board. This weakness --- being committed to employees - kept younger recruits with new ideas from advancing within the company. For all its greatness, Levi's failed to have a clear developmental strategic plan, pay attention to emerging technologies, and keep track of the competition, market and consumer tastes and trends.

Regardless of who enters the market and sells trendy jeans for over-inflated prices, Levi's has a huge opportunity. Today's society has consumers becoming more leisure oriented. They wear jeans more often and this helps keep Levi's on top maintaining its hold of the market share in jeans sales. Its biggest opportunity is to expand its market. Retail giants (K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) do not currently sell Levi's and this would be a great opportunity to increase sales and find a new market with the younger generations.

Styles change as fast as people do, and brand name items have always been the "in" thing. Even priced lower than the competition, there is the threat of designer labels. Levi's must stay on top of the fashion changes in consumer tastes in order to ...

Solution Summary

Mini SWOTs on Nike, Gap, and Levis and how VF Corporation can benchmark their successes. Identifies several concepts VF should apply.