Fayetteville, Arkansas: Outdoor apparel brand LIVSN Designs has lowered the price of its Flex Canvas Pants from $129 to $99. According to the founder, Andrew Gibbs-Dabney, the price change is something they had scheduled for this Summer, but they decided to go ahead and make the change now.
“We negotiated a better price with our manufacturer, and we feel the fairest thing to do is pass that on to our customers. On our third run of producing these pants, we have achieved the volume necessary to get our costs down,” says Gibbs-Dabney.
It’s very important to emphasize that LIVSN has not made any compromises in quality to achieve savings. On the contrary, LIVSN states they are implementing a new QC step and adding even more refinements to the construction – in line with their design principle of continuous improvement. Gibbs-Dabney emphasizes, “We’re out to make the best pants possible and we won’t do anything to sacrifice that. I cannot sell a product I don’t believe in – and won’t ever compromise on quality.”
LIVSN has also announced a special discount for those working on the front lines of COVID-19. They simply need to email firstname.lastname@example.org with proof of their status as a front-line worker and LIVSN will share a discount code. This discount applies to doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and clinic staff.
With the current pandemic wreaking havoc on people’s lives and the economy at large, the future is hard to plan. LIVSN says their growth this year revolved around debuting at a handful of national trade shows that are now canceled. Many of their retail partners are struggling and their future is in question. “For our retailers, we’ll be here to do what we can to help them through this,” states Gibbs-Dabney. These last weeks were supposed to represent LIVSN’s ramp-up in marketing activity and sales, but the company has pumped the brakes to see how this pans out.
“We didn’t feel right about doing a ‘COVID sale’ or something like that, but we do need to sell pants through this period. We thought it would be best to go ahead with our plans to reduce the price now rather than later. We’ll lose some margin in the short term, but we’ll make it up in the future. It seems like a win-win to me; you get a lower price and we increase sales. This will earn us valuable cash in a time where we are playing the long game of survival,” Gibbs-Dabney says.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT $100?
The $100 mark is an important one psychologically. It’s polarizing. Items go from an easy purchase to a hard one after a $1 cliff. While LIVSN likes the idea of their goods occupying a premium place in people’s minds, they also want to stay accessible to the broader outdoor community. Gear is expensive, and all too often the price doesn’t correlate with value.
During their recent push to open partnerships with premier outdoor retailers, it became clear they needed to be under this benchmark to achieve adoption – so with that goal in mind, they started negotiations with their manufacturers to achieve volume discounts. Because they have been a good customer who pays on time and their orders are growing, their factory agreed. LIVSN thought they were still at least a year off from achieving those numbers, but with the help of thousands of happy customers, it’s happened faster than expected.
“A lot of companies take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to pricing and keep any cost reduction as extra profit. Most companies also make a lot more products! We’re so focused on these pants (and a couple of others in the works) that we can get granular on every detail,” says Gibbs-Dabney
COULD THE PRICE CHANGE AGAIN?
LIVSN says they’ve been in this business long enough to know that as they grow, so does their reporting and oversight. While they feel they can support this new price, they’ll be monitoring their company’s financial health over the coming quarters and will make more adjustments if necessary. Not much about LIVSN has built the old-fashioned way, and they say they won’t let traditional processes hold them back from making changes for the better. After all, an unprofitable business is unsustainable both financially and environmentally.
“We’re here to make great clothing for you for decades, and with your help we’ll get it done. Thank you so much for your support in building this brand. It means the world to me to be able to make a good product and sell it to good people,” says Gibbs-Dabney. LIVSN thinks the future is bright. If anything good comes of this crisis, it’s that people seem to be realizing what is important in life. Andrew and the LIVSN team hope more people come around to the value of buying once, buying right, and taking care of their things. If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place.
“The inspiration for the company came from the process of going through and getting rid of a lot of stuff that I didn’t need,” Gibbs-Dabney says. “I have a background in outdoor recreation and running an outdoor apparel company. You accumulate a lot of gear. While simplifying my life, what surfaced were the things made with care, things that were high quality and facilitated the kind of life I wanted to live. I determined that if I were to buy something, it would be things of value.”
“Along with our first few designs, I wrote down the values of the company. The principles under which we would create clothing… That was the start.”
Those principles would become the pillarson which LIVSN was created: intentional minimalism, hedonistic sustainability, and good corporate citizenship. Even the name, which comes from the Swedish word livsnjutare, is translated as “one who lives life deeply; an enjoyer of life.”
“There’s a lot of noise and a lot of people doing the same thing,” says Gibbs-Dabney. “If we’re going to build something, we’re going to take the time and make sure we’re building something the world needs. I believe people are responding positively to our values.”
LIVSN has completed two successful Kickstarter campaigns for their Flex Canvas Pants, cumulatively pre-selling over 1,500 pairs. Their last campaign was met with an enthusiastic reception. After 6 hours LIVSN raised over $20,000, doubling their initial funding goal of $10,000 – eventually reaching $106,364. Only 1% of Kickstarter campaigns reach the $100,000 mark.
“We are truly hanging our hat on making a high-quality product,” Gibbs-Dabney said. “We aren’t just paying lip service and saying it’s high quality. We’re putting in the time and work into the detail to make sure it lasts longer and performs better than anything else out there.”