Instead the brand wants to promote its message to consumers through word of mouth and engagement campaigns generated online and in its stores.
Levi’s vice-president of global women’s marketing Mary Alderete says: “Consumers are now more discerning and are looking for brands that share their value system. It’s not enough to just go out there, sell your product attributes and involve consumers in a transaction.
“The job of marketing is to tell the story of those products and connect emotionally with consumers. The way we do that is not with big ad campaigns, they’re more engagement campaigns.”
In The US, where Water<less launched last autumn, Levi’s used its Facebook page to invite its 4 million fans to make small lifestyle changes that reduce their individual water consumption, such as washing their jeans less often.
In return for these consumer pledges, Levi’s donated $250,000 per 200 million litres of water to not-for-profit organisation Water.org.
Alderete adds: “Usually as a brand you’re trying to push a message to convince consumers to believe something. The great thing about this is that the message is already aligned with their values.”
Levi’s says its Water<less range is more than an eco range but a way of doing business because consumers understand if a sustainability message isn’t genuine and will walk away from brands that “jump on the bandwagon”.