Levi's Tops Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey

Posted on November 17, 2009

The new American Customer Satisfaction Report has some surprises for the fashion industry. The annual survey measures consumer satisfaction with various American brands, from cars to food to fashion. The recession appears to have changed brand loyalties of many consumers.

Topping the list is Levi's, which usually scores quite low on the list. Last year it was last, this year it is first in customer satisfaction, an honor it shared with Jones Apparel in a tie. Cadillac and Lexus tied for first in cars. In the food categories, Heinz, Quaker Oats, Hershey's and Mars took top honors. Consumers are very happy with American candy companies right now. WWD reports:
The response to Levi Strauss put it at 83 on the customer satisfaction meter, up 6.4 percent from 78 a year ago. That's just below Levi's all-time high of 84 in 1994 and the first time the brand has held that much appeal for the 100,000 people polled annually about their buying habits in the 15 years since then. The satisfaction index is pegged to a baseline of 100.

The classic denim brand has been lifted, in part, by its optimistic, youthful, pioneering "Go Forth" marketing message, said spokeswoman Erica Archambault. "It is a reminder that Levi's are jeans of people who work hard, are self-reliant and independent." Also clicking with shoppers, Archambault said, are "innovative" finishes, such as Levi's "rips and repairs, destructed look."

*****

Like Levi Strauss, Liz Claiborne received its best customer reviews since 1994, advancing 3.8 percent to score an 82 (versus 84 in the first-ever index). Affordable offerings in Liz Claiborne's Kate Spade and Juicy Couture collections, as well as the addition of Isaac Mizrahi to design Liz Claiborne New York, led consumers to "see more value" in the company's apparel, Fornell said.
After Jones Apparel, Levi's and Liz Claiborne, the favored apparel list included Hanesbrands, VF Corp. (the owner of John Varvatos, Lee, Wrangler, Nautica and Majestic, and "All Others"). The survey shows that consumers are looking to established, trusted brands during the economic downturn. It also seems to indicate that Liz Claiborne's innovative moves such as hiring Isaac Mizrahi and Tim Gunn have greatly improved the brand's profile and image.

You can see the full report with all the companies' scores here.