CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK - Levi’s marketer keeps mobile. Kenny Wilson is scouring Europe in search of youth appeal, Jade Garrett says

Kenny Wilson is nearly four months into his job as the regional marketing and development director at Levi Strauss & Co and is wasting no time making his mark.

Kenny Wilson is nearly four months into his job as the regional

marketing and development director at Levi Strauss & Co and is wasting

no time making his mark.

He’s spent the past few months restructuring the teams in the North

European countries under his responsibility, including Ireland, Denmark,

Sweden, Finland, Norway, Holland and the UK.

’The plan is to centralise brand organisation,’ he says, ’which is why

it has been important to get the local markets reorganised as quickly as


Once this has been achieved, his priority will be to build the brand,

increase sales and see that the standard of advertising is


The TV and press campaign for the new Sta-Prest range will launch on 11

February (Campaign, last week), marking Wilson’s first collaboration

with Bartle Bogle Hegarty since taking on the new job. He is now

briefing BBH for another TV branding campaign, which is expected to air

in September.

Asked how he thinks Levi’s competes in today’s clothing market, Wilson

says: ’Last year was a difficult one for the jeans market but we are

still the market leader. Research shows that Levi’s is consistently the

most salient brand with consumers but it’s a changing environment that

we work in. It’s much more challenging now and we face competition from

anyone who targets consumer spending - whether they are selling a pint

of beer or a holiday.’

Travel is a very important part of Wilson’s job and there isn’t a week

when he doesn’t make at least one trip to Europe. He says: ’The current

campaign is about what it is to be young and trendy today and my

philosophy is that I have to spend time in these countries to understand

what the target market are doing with their money. What are they eating,

where are they going on holiday and what are they doing with their

leisure time?

These are the things I need to know if we are to successfully reach


Wilson joined the Levi’s sales department in 1990 after ’selling ladies

trousers at Top Shop’. Since then, he has worked in several different

areas, including marketing, retail and product development in the UK and

overseas. This is his fifth role change.

He says there isn’t another job around that could tempt him from Levi’s

and describes himself as ’a very satisfied individual’. The time he

wastes in airport departure lounges is the only criticism he can come up


For a man who averages about five hours sleep a night, Wilson says he

has ’high energy’ and likes to burn it off in the gym three times a


And when he isn’t hosting club nights in Copenhagen or marketing

conferences in Rome, he hikes back to Scotland from London and relaxes

at home with his wife and baby daughter.

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