Nearly half (44%) of consumers in the UK, U.S., and Germany agree that current branded content is boring and uninspiring. Consumers want fresh content in their feeds now more than ever while stuck at home. That said, churning out effective, needle-moving campaigns during uncertain times and in a fast-paced environment is a challenge in and of itself.
In response, Takumi, the world’s leading influencer marketing business, unveiled TAKUMI X: a new creative division with a creator-led approach to influencer marketing. Putting its own spin on the current brand/creator relationship, TAKUMI X places the focus squarely on creators, enabling them direct access to brands.
In tandem, Takumi also announced the appointment of Jim Meadows — an experienced strategist with 10 years’ experience in social media and branded content — as Chief Strategy Officer. Meadows will leverage his prior experiences at brands including Redbull, Virgin Media, and British Red Cross to spearhead the efforts in growing TAKUMI X into six global markets by year-end.
TAKUMI X: Paving the future of branded content
TAKUMI X aims to facilitate a new approach to the relationship between creators and brands; with creators bringing their own insights and expertise into the process from the very beginning.
“Time and time again, we’ve seen that the most culturally relevant marketing content today is conceived and developed by creators… These are the people who are driving culture, setting the agenda, capturing the zeitgeist and creating virality that brands struggle to achieve alone,” said Mary Keane-Dawson, Group CEO of Takumi. “We are excited to facilitate deeper collaborations than ever before and offer clients unprecedented access to the first-hand insights and creative reserves of leading talent.”
Put simply, it all boils down to social listening and not simply operating from a set-it-and-forget-it approach. Ultimately, creators have the intel marketers need to stay ahead of current and emerging trends and tell the story in a tone and through a medium that will deliver results.
Bridging the gap between brands and consumer audiences
Takumi recently published a white paper that unpacked the idea that influencers, above all else, value creative control followed by a clear brief from which to operate. Unlike the traditional structure, TAKUMI X acknowledges the evolving role of the creator. As they continue to become more sophisticated, they’re more equipped to tackle more of the campaign development including fleshing out the creative briefs. With this effort, Takumi positions creators as executive creative directors and producers in their own right, who have a deep understanding of the cultural landscape and how the gap between brands and consumers can be meaningfully filled with authentic storytelling.
Equipping the next generation of culturally credible brands
With a better understanding of the mission and vision behind TAKUMI X — the question then becomes what specific services can marketers expect to see in order to amplify their efforts? Here’s a quick rundown:
Talent discovery: Connect with a diverse pool of emerging creative talent and niche creators suitable for a targeted campaign.
Creative-led direction: Work side-by-side with creators in the early stages of campaign development and establish a streamlined approach across the full briefing process.
Culture insights: Gain first-hand insights on the trends, interests, and values impacting how audiences think, behave and feel.
Branded entertainment and creator content: Establish multi-channel strategies for sharing organic, creator-led stories that stick and are culturally relevant.
Amplification: Predict, measure and amplify ROI for maximum content optimization.
TAKUMI X is currently available in the UK with the U.S. and other territories rolling out in the coming weeks according to the company’s official announcement.
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