Better Fitting Western Wear

Kansas City Star takes a look at Lee Jeans, a firm that ended its 18-year relationship with Minneapolis-based Fallon. The account is now at Arnold in Boston.

Lee is centered on a pull, not a push, strategy. In other words, the consumer dictates needs and Lee fulfills them.
Lee president Joe Dzialo said the company has undertaken extensive research to understand its customer, research that includes large-scale quantitative analysis and one-on-one interaction, including asking consumers about purchasing intents before and after trying on its jeans.
What Lee came away with is that its customer demands mostly middle-of-the road clothes with a bit of style that are reliable but that most importantly resolve a litany of fit issues confronting its customers’ ever-changing — and often challenging — body shapes.
For instance, many women the company queried complained of jeans “gapping” at the back. So Lee now has a line of jeans that have a wide yet discreet elasticized band in the back. There’s also a line that includes a panel in front that provides a slight pull-in effect.
For both men and women, Lee and other brands have added a “stretch” element to their jeans that “give” at key points, although Lee marketing vice president Liz Cahill said men’s products are positioned as being “flexible.”
“You can’t say ‘stretch’ to men,” Cahill said.

I’m taking note of this story, primarily because we often read about and talk about how companies need to improve their product and that better marketing flows from there. Lee could be a case study for this idea.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.