Vans’ EMEA marketing chief on its secret to brand success

Originally adopted by the skater community in southern California, Vans’ shoes – epitomised by their rugged make-up and sticky sole, have gone on to become a global phenomenon. Vans European marketing boss Neil Schambra Stevens speaks to Marketing Week about the secret to its success and how the brand can remain relevant for the next 50 years.

This year marks Vans’ 50th birthday. Starting with a single shop in California in 1966, the brand now has more than 585 stores globally and sells its wares in 18 ecommerce markets. While the brand has been resolutely tight-lipped about its financials, it is projecting business growth of $2.9bn in 2017.

Marketing Week caught up with Vans’ European marketing boss Neil Schambra Stevens to find out the secret to its success, how the brand and its marketing has changed over the years to ensure it remains relevant, and how founder Paul van Doren’s offspring still play an important role when it comes to building the brand.

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  1. So, refreshing to hear Neil Schambra Stevens describe the power of experiences, being true to the brand story and creating an opt-in culture. Amazing work.

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