CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK - Net head talks a tough game. Kajsa Leander will ensure boo.com succeeds online, Francesca Newland writes

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.

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

office.



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

Active.



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

from boo.com.’



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

in 3-D.’



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

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