By FRANCESCA NEWLAND, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 11 June 1999 12:00AM
Her name belongs to The Usual Suspects and her looks to the catwalk
and Kajsa Leander, the chief marketing officer and co-founder of the
internet sports retailer, boo.com, does not disappoint. She is a
seriously tough, no-nonsense character.
She and her two partners, Ernst Malmsten and Patrik Hedelin, are putting
the final touches to the launch of boo.com. The company’s European
headquarters in London’s Carnaby Street is awash with activity - the
building is being decorated at the same time as a fleet of technical
experts is interacting maniacally with the banks of computers in the
boo.com will launch globally towards the end of this month. Wisely,
Leander doesn’t give an exact date - she wants the site to be perfect
before it opens for trade.
The new brand will offer net surfers clothing by trendy sportswear
labels including New Balance, Helly Hansen, Fila, Fred Perry and DKNY
The clothing will be available globally, so fashion victims no longer
need to trek to the US to buy new-edition Converse trainers - they can
now be delivered to their doorstep within five days of ordering.
After a brief flirtation with Leagas Delaney, Leander handed the
advertising account to BMP DDB. Its press campaign is unveiled in July
issues of style magazines and will be supported with posters and then TV
work in August.
Although unforthcoming about the advertising strategy - ’It’s a launch
campaign. We have to build up the brand’ - Leander has a clear idea
about what she wants. The advertising features computer geeks
unsuccessfully trying their hand at new sports while wearing the cool
clothes they have learned about from the net and with boo.com.
’It’s about being global - the net is global in itself - and it’s about
having edge,’ she reveals. ’We wanted something fun and humorous. We
wanted an anti-hero. The idea is that you don’t have to be perfect at
sports. Ninety per cent of sportswear is worn as casual clothing.’
Her priority is to build the boo.com brand: ’Amazon is a great brand,
but it doesn’t have an image. We don’t want to be a transparent
retailer. When you deal with us you have to know that you are buying
Leander and Malmsten founded the Swedish online bookstore, bokus.com, in
1997 and have since sold the company. But Leander says there is more
opportunity on the net now than there was before: ’boo.com is
second-generation net. The colour is better and the images are faster.
It can now carry more information on the products and they can be seen
Although she bears a striking resemblance to the supermodel, Amber
Valetta, Leander is much more than a pretty face. ’I am a nightmare
client,’ she declares.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk