Levi's -- arguably the most "like"-able denim brand ever -- is introducing new Facebook plugins, betting that its fans will use the personalized social shopping experience to spread the passion.
The new system, announced at Facebook's f8 conference, allows consumers to customize the interactive shopping experience, based on their likes, sharing favorites with friends. "While you are browsing and shopping at levi.com, you click what you like, and that like gets populated on to your news feed," Megan O'Connor, Levi's director of social and digital media, explains to Marketing Daily. "And then there's also the friends' store. It means I can literally go jeans shopping with my sister, who lives in San Diego. We think this is going to revolutionize the way people shop for jeans online."
And while O'Connor concedes that most jeans marketers (not to mention most marketers who aim any product at social-media enthusiasts) will quickly adapt to the new Facebook plugins, using "like" functions, activity feeds and recommendation widgets, she says Levi's has some distinct advantages. "We feel like we're a unique jeans brand, in that we have people who just love their Levi's -- we're at an advantage in terms of our passionate fans. This empowers these people to get their megaphones out."
It also helps that the San Francisco-based company's core consumer base is so at ease with other digital and social efforts. A music festival the company sponsored last month, for example, generated more than 780,000 live streams of the event.
Separately, last week, market research company Brand Keys released its latest ranking of denim brands, and Levi's came out on top. Brand Keys' Customer Loyalty Engagement Index surveyed 35,500 men and women 18 to 65 years of age around the country, asking them to name -- unaided -- the denim brands that are important to them, and why. Fit, fashion, fabric and finish emerged as the four key drivers of loyalty, with Levi's, True Religion, Lee, Lucky and Gloria Vanderbilt in the top five spots, followed by Wrangler, 7 for All Mankind, Ralph Lauren, Citizens of Humanity, and Liz Claiborne.
Earlier this month, Levi Straus reported that sales for the first quarter climbed 9% to $1.04 billion, while net income gained 17% to $56 million.