Levi Strauss Cultural Conflicts

Essay by KortEvanUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, August 2004

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For Levi Strauss & Company, the Japanese market is a highly competitive marketplace with a large population that many North American corporations wish to tap into. The huge population and large buying power is what they want but generally find it difficult to deal with the highly competitive way of business. Japan is a market that is characterized by traditional business ways, with a large portion reflected in the culture.

Levi Strauss & Company has had a variety of problems dealing with this unique marketplace but in recent items has created a new marketing strategy plan to overcome experienced shortcomings. The marketing strategy is to target the youth of Japan in hopes that they can change cultural behavior to favor Levi Strauss products because of their appeal. Changing behavior is very difficult, which is why Levi's has had little to no success with older adults who possess strong cultural traits.

Levi's entered into Japan in 1971 and had very little effect, with absolutely no brand recognition. With a great deal of effort and a new strategy, Levi's has become the most recognized brand of jean in Japan. The Japanese economy is the third largest in the world and by far the fastest growing. Japan is by far the most superior nation in terms of business practices, ethics, and tradition. The systems that have made this economy so very powerful are highly different than your typical North American or European country.

The modern Japanese economy has been built on the following business principles: strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, government-industry working together and close-knit workgroups. Of particular note is the close-knit workgroups in which, suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers work together in group settings to problem-solve and they each focus on the greatest good for all involved.

The Japanese culture and...