We sat down with Vans’ President Kevin Bailey to get his thoughts on Vans earning the title of 2012 Brand of the Year.
What does it mean to you have your specialty retail partners recognize you for this award, especially during a difficult year economically?
All of us in the industry need to support our core shop partners, especially in the ongoing difficult economic environment. In true Van Doren fashion, we think of the industry as family. Being acknowledged by these retailers makes the Vans team proud. But this acknowledgment happens every time we step on a shop floor, and while the award is nice, it’s the daily stoke from the retailers and ultimately the consumers, that means the most. We’re glad to play a role in the success of our accounts.
What have been some of your biggest accomplishments this year?
Vans’ growth on a global scale has been phenomenal. This has been achieved by staying true to our business model while reaching out to new consumers and sharing the essence of our industry culture. We have marked 2012 with incredible product and marketing, from the 20th anniversary of the iconic Half Cab, to the launch of LXVI. Additional milestones for us include the 30th anniversary of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the 18th year of the Vans Warped Tour and its return to Europe, the 50th anniversary of the ECSC, and the 3rd year of the Vans Custom Culture High School art program. Vans continues to expand our deep connection with consumers who are excited by the activities and lifestyle our brand represents as we seek to help them express their creativity and live life “Off The Wall.”
Why do you think you stood out for your retailers this year?
Vans’ authenticity and our consumer relationships help to insure our retailers get the consumer demand they need. Listening to our retail partners and delivering innovation and creativity insure that we drive the business alongside our retailers. Our product, sales, marketing, and operations teams are second to none and value their close relationships with the team inside our each of our partner accounts. We greatly value the open, honest dialogue we have and never take for granted the trust and support they return to us.
What have you learned from your successes this year and how will these carry over/ be improved upon for next?
We know that nothing trumps originality and authenticity. Vans stays true to its Off The Wall roots, while embracing the changing needs of the consumers and ultimately our retailers. It never gets easier to be a retailer, and we will continue to deliver innovative product and displays and build consumer awareness and affinity while maintaining the true Van Doren spirit in our family-like relationships with our partners. There are many more people to share our deep heritage with, the same people that will seek us out in our partners’ stores for years to come.
What are your goals for next year?
Vans will continue to be the most authentic brand in the sector and build our retailers’ business by bringing newness to the original skate shoe, innovation via new styles and updated heritage product, and the Off The Wall creativity and originality in product and marketing that Vans has been known for since ’66. We ain’t done yet. . . not even close.