Ykone, leading agency in Influencer Marketing for luxury and beauty brands, had a remarkable fiscal year in 2016 with activity growth of 46%, consolidating 7.35m euros of net sales, exceeding predictions.
Quick summary of 2016
· 46% growth of sales revenue to 7.35m€
· 73% growth of average sales (average investment per client)
· Opening of a branch in Dubaï at the beginning of the year, who have achieved nearly 1m€ sales revenue in their first year
· Opening of branches in London, Berlin, and Copenhagen in the second half of 2016
· Appointment of Bruno Kaufmann (ex-Cartier) to the Board of Directors
· Launch of Campaygn v3, our tool that analyses 60,000 luxury, fashion & beauty influencers, and launch of Ykone Index, our means of evaluating influencer strategies
· Won several Creative Prizes in London and Amsterdam for our programme with Moët & Chandon
· Appointment of Jordan Henrion (Creative Director) and Raluca Petrescu (Managing Director Ykone Paris)
Digital influencers are playing an increasingly important role in brands’ marketing strategies, as they are noticeably the most efficient way of connecting with their target market on social media. Furthermore, the rise in the number of influencers, the launch of new formats, and the increase in investment into this area, make it a necessity for brands to consult with an agency specialising in this area.
Ykone’s expertise will be reserved for key accounts in the future
Ykone’s success comes from adapting a strategy of growth that will focus on catering to the needs of the big groups in Luxury and Beauty. L’Oreal, LVMH, Shiseido, Coty, Richemont, Estée Lauder, Swarovski … they have all called on Ykone to develop their strategies and influencer operations. Ykone has tightened their client portfolio and has seen the average budget per client increase by 73% in the last year, and their client portfolio has been enriched by brands such as MAC Cosmetics, Swarovski, Chaumet …
These groups share strong ambitions, and high creative requirements. For example, Ykone completed a project for Moët & Chandon in London and received multiple creative prizes in both London and Amsterdam for the programme which showcased the legendary bottle of champagne as a part of the daily lives of the specially chosen influencers, such as Marta Greber, Shini Park and Pelayo Diaz
Though competition is intensifying and new Influence Marketing agencies are appearing each day, Ykone wants to strengthen its position as leader in the field of big name luxury brands. Ykone will be celebrating 10 years of collaborating with L’Oréal and LVMH this year, who have been clients since Ykone was founded in 2008.
Today, everyone is involved in Influence Marketing. We are the agency for brands who want to go further and create quality content with a strategic and international approach. Olivier Billon, Ykone Founder and President.
Campaygn, Ykone’s own technology to analyse brands and influencers
Ykone’s growth has been facilitated by the launch of the new version of Campaygn, the platform for discovering and analysing luxury and beauty influencers. This tool analyses content posted by 60,000 influencers in real time – 7,500 of these profiles have been manually verified by our teams. Each day, the texts, hashtags and interactions are analysed… on all the content posted by these influencers on Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook so that we can help brands identify the best influencers and analyse their campaigns.
Creating a good influencer casting is a real work of art, but it can only be a quality casting if it is based on quantifiable analysis. At Ykone, we take data into account as much as creativity.Raluca Petrescu, Managing Director d’Ykone Paris.
In Q4, Ykone London, Berlin, PAris and Dubaï presented their “Ykone Influencers Index”, a ranking that classified the most successful brands with influencers across different countries and industries. The algorithm created by our team of data analysts and engineers allows us to evaluate the efficacy of brands’ strategies based on four criteria: the size of their community, their loyalty, their audience and rate of engagement. Brands are given a score between 0 and 100.
This association between a creative agency with a creative studio and a team of engineers creating special technology is unique in the field of Influence Marketing where technology companies and traditional agencies are often in competition.
Ykone is the first in the field to take the stage and develop a strategy that places the same value on creativity as scientific data; confirms Olivier Billon, Ykone Founder and President; this allows Ykone to combine the best of the two worlds and fully respond to brands’ needs.
The appointment of Jordan Henrion as Creative Director in the second semester and the strengthening of the creative team have furthered this creative ambition. At the heart of the creative approach lies a perfect understanding of influencer expectations and brand objectives.
Ykone’s successful Dubaï opening
2016 marked the opening of the office in Dubaï, where Influence Marketing is considered the best way of reaching a large population of social media users. In a very competitive market, Ykone made its mark as leader in the field within just a few months, winning clients such as Chalhoub, Emaar and the Dubai Tourist Office, along with global brands from L’Oréal, LVMH, Richemont and Estée Lauder groups.
The Ykone office, designed by the architect Nicolas Fayad, can be found right in the heart of the Dubai Design District; it was designed to host a team of 14, and has a photo studio.
While initial predictions estimated that Dubai would contribute 5.5% of Ykone’s turnover, 12.2% of Ykone’s revenue was generated there in their first year; notes Clément Robin, Ykone Financial Director.
In 2017, activity is expected to increase by 125%.The local Ykone team, led by Karine Jazra, brings together profiles with an intimate knowledge of the Middle East and an excellent understanding of international markets.
From New York to Bangalore, creating the first Influence Marketing agency network
The success in Dubaï complements the existing offices in Paris and new York, and was followed by the opening of offices in London, Berlin, Copenhagen and Bangalore in the second semester. These new branches make Ykone the first Influence Marketing agency present on 4 continents. This allows us to establish a network that is capable of helping big groups both conceive their marketing strategies on a global level, and implement them on a local level.
😊So excited to make the switch to @Biolage RAW because it’s good for your hair AND the environment. 🌿Sharing why I’m doing more than just clean eating this week and how I’m making 2017 the healthiest year yet. Find out how you can join the #LiveRAW movement too on @biolage #ad 🚿We are giving out a range of @Biolage shampoos and conditioners to THREE lucky winners!🌟👇🏼 All you have to do is: * Follow @Biolage * Repost this photo with #LiveRAW * Tag a friend in the comments below to challenge them to #LiveRAW with you! * I’ll announce the winners through direct message on Sat 1/28! GOOD LUCK!!!🙌🏼☺️🌿
Looking at how the market is structured, local needs are superseding global strategies. Cultural specificities and different usages require strategies that are developed and carried out locally, closer to the influencers. For Maybelline, for example, Ykone adapted the programme “T’as Pas du Gloss” for the Middle East, creating “Makyaj Wa Banat“, which has already been recognised by Google as a Best Practice in the Middle East.
In each country where Ykone has an office, a local team is formed, who work closely with global teams, particularly the Studio and the Data experts. Thanks to Salesforce, Campaygn and Slack, and with the establishing of a global financial team, Ykone is expanding as a “Cloud Based Company” where teams are brought together for different projects that are completely managed on the Cloud.
Big Ambitions for 2017
Very profitable in its historic markets, Ykone can develop and invest in technology without needing to take on debt or raise equity. With talent taking precedence over capital, Ykone called on Bruno Kaufmann to sit in on the Board of Directors as an independent administrator. He brings with him 18 years of International experience, in agencies and in advertising; he was most recently in charge of digital and media at Cartier International. His appointment will help the team to take the right opportunities needed to continue the company’s growth and to evolve in a rapidly changing market.
Cover photography by Gerard Estadella for Dulceida