Footwear and clothing brand Dr Martens has appointed non-executive director Ije Nwokorie to the newly-created position of chief brand officer, effective from 1 February 2024.
He will oversee the global marketing, product and strategy functions and be responsible for setting the overall brand strategy, vision and direction for Dr Martens’ next phase of growth. Nwokorie will be part of the global leadership team and report into CEO Kenny Wilson.
Nwokorie joins the brand from Apple Inc, where he has been senior director at Apple Retail since January 2018. Prior to this, he spent more than a decade at global brand consultancy Wolff Olins, ultimately as CEO.
As a result of taking on the permanent full-time brand chief role, Nwokorie will no longer be a member of Dr Martens’ board and will step down as a member of the audit and risk, nomination and disclosure committees.
Wilson describes Nwokorie as a “visionary brand storyteller” and says the creation of the role is “crucial” to enabling Dr Martens to become a £2bn revenue brand.
Nwokorie adds: “Dr Martens is defined by its rebellious, authentic and creative nature, all of which makes me really excited to be joining Kenny and the team early in the new year and to get to work.”
In its latest annual report, Dr Martens was explicit about the core appeal of its brand. Its mantra of ‘Rebellious Self Expression’ was highlighted by the brand’s strategy director Erik Zambon.
The company is also pushing for a stronger direct-to-consumer (DTC) performance, for which a strong brand strategy is vital. The brand stated its overall strategy relies on driving revenue growth through DTC channels, “which means expanding and improving [its] owned retail stores and ecommerce platforms”.
Dr Martens is also working to “develop frictionless and brand-enhancing omnichannel consumer journeys” and join up marketing across regions.
In June, Wilson told investors the “single biggest” difference in marketing strategy between the US and Europe businesses was that the European business allocated more media spend behind its boots – a storytelling challenge. He explained: “As the number one brand in boots, our job is to keep boots relevant. Our European teams and our Japanese teams did that well; our American team didn’t. We’ve got to learn from that.”