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Benefits of Mass Customization


Submitted By darling123
Words 371
Pages 2
This case describes Levi's attempt at mass customization. Caught in the middle between low-price competitors and premium priced designer jeans, Levi's considers a proposal for customized jeans that they hope will help them regain a differentiation edge. This is a short case and can be used as a short (30 minutes) discussion in tandem with a lecture, or, because students will usually be very familiar with the industry and it presents some quantitative tasks, the case can also work in an 80 minute block.


1. Students gain experience in analyzing a company's differentiation advantage.

2. Students will assess the potential threats to differentiation, particularly those that come from low-price competitors and those from more differentiated competitors.

3. Students gain experience in quantifying the costs and benefits of differentiation.

Study Questions

1. Assess Levi's situation at the time of the case. What is at the root of their problems in the denim market?

2. How does Levi Strauss create value for its customers?

3. Assess the Personal Pair Proposal. What is your evaluation of it from a quantitative perspective? What is your evaluation of it using the VRIO framework?

4. What is your recommendation concerning the Personal Pair proposal?

How does Levi Strauss create value for its customers?

There are multiple answers to this question. Certainly, people buy Levi's for different and multiple reasons. Some of these include:

· Function

· Fit

· Style / Image / Fashion

It may help to motivate the discussion to ask students why they buy jeans. I will usually single out four students (two men and two women) and ask them why they bought their last pair of jeans or why they chose one brand over another. Generally, the conclusion we reach is that there is substantial diversity among jean buyers, but that style and fit are very important criteria to some.

What is Levi's situation in denims at the time of the case?

Levi's is facing dual pressures. On the one hand, they are facing more aggressive price competition, or as the case notes "fierce competition for market share and narrowing margins." For the most part, those competitors challenging on price very likely have lower costs given their reliance on off-shore production. The second challenge Levi's

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