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Ep. 38 – K-Swiss & Brand Marketing in the Era of Entrepreneurship – with Barney Waters

Barney Waters is the President of K-Swiss, responsible for all aspects of sales, product, and marketing for the brand globally. Barney is a genius in the branding space, and he has completely revitalized and transformed the K-Swiss brand. He also has some awesome advice for any young entrepreneur or hustler who want to run their own brand or business.


Previously, Barney was the Chief Marketing Officer for K-Swiss. However, to really make an impact with the brand, he had to take it to the next level: connecting the sales with the branding and storytelling. That’s when things really started to click.


The shoe market moves really quickly, so you have to stay ahead of the game to stay competitive; “you can’t follow the formula set by your incumbents.”


So instead of looking for rappers and pro athletes to compete with Adidas and Nike, Barney looked towards the entrepreneur space – and Gary V.


We’re in a new era of entrepreneurship, characterized by young people like us who want to create and run our own businesses and brands. There’s a massive shift in the aspirations of young people, but one thing hasn’t changed: we still want to look good.


Barney capitalized on that opportunity, moving to inspire the outfits of the next generation of entrepreneurs. Gary V was an obvious fit.


And so far, this partnership has even exceeded Barney’s expectations – Gary V’s first custom K-Swiss sneaker crashed their website, a second released at the end of February, and there are plans for at least one more custom sneaker this year.


There’s a lot more coming in the next year, as K-Swiss continues to make moves in the entrepreneurial space. I’m really excited to see where things go, and I think you’ll see K-Swiss blowing up in 2018.



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