As Ykone continues its international growth into key luxury markets around the world, we would like to shine the light on our London office, and to introduce its Director, Rachel Clay.
First opening in June last year, our expansion into the UK marks our 7th international location after Paris, New York, Dubai, Berlin, Bangalore & Copenhagen.
Our UK based Sales Director, Rachel Clay, shares her current thoughts on the influencer marketing industry in the UK in a brief interview:
How would you describe the current maturity of the market in the UK?
It appears to be very varied – many brands, especially in the beauty sector are really quite advanced and engage heavily in influencer campaigns. The L’Oreal Paris #BeautySquad is a great example of a long term influencer programme which many beauty brands are looking to engage in in the UK. At the other end of the spectrum, I speak with many brands who are just waking up to influencer marketing and are looking to put in place their first strategy.
What advice would you offer to brands looking to expand or grow their influencer marketing activity in the UK?
Educate yourself! As influencer marketing is still a relatively new area of marketing for many people, there are very few individuals who really are true experts so make sure to do your research to understand the most efficient way to achieve your goals. For example, many brands still give too much importance to reach alone, whereas, we try to educate our clients about the importance of engagement too, which can often be better achieved from working with influencers with smaller audiences. We’ve actually recently released a report which discusses this in more detail. In addition it is also important to educate yourself about the best partners to work with for your brand – both in terms of agencies and influencers as there are some real dubious charlatans out there!
What are your predictions for the future of influencer marketing in the UK?
This is a really exciting time for influencer marketing as it is really starting to emerge as a standalone discipline within the marketing sector. More and more brands are becoming interested in working with influencers as the results are undeniable. I predict that this increased interest and investment will continue to become quite disruptive to other more traditional forms of marketing & communications as more resources are channeled into influencer marketing campaigns ultimately meaning that influencer marketing will become a key marketing focus for many brands.
As influencer marketing continues to emerge, I also think that we will see more and more brands looking for specialist partners, such as Ykone, to support them in their efforts as their expectations increase.
Why do you think influencer marketing is so successful?
There is a great simplicity that underpins the entire influencer marketing industry, and accounts for its success and that is that ‘people influence people more than brands too’ It really is that simple, and that human. In essence it is an evolution of the more traditional brand ambassador strategy however, due to technology, we now relate more closely to the ‘ambassadors’ whose lives we follow and see everyday on our phones – there personalities fill the gap between a brand and their consumers.
In terms of UK influencers, who’s style really impresses you?
We’re very lucky in the UK to have so many great influencer talents but my new favourite influencer is UK mens fashion & lifestyle YouTuber Robin James, he has a very genuine style and a passion for what he does which really comes across in his work. I’ve also recently worked with Mike Quyen (profiled in our recent article 5 UK influencers to follow) and was blown away by his talent; he is a conceptual photographer and the effects & quality he achieves in his images are beyond impressive.
Rachel is a luxury brand expert having started her career working in PR for the Richemont luxury Group (owners of Cartier, Montblanc, Chloe etc.) where she stayed for several years working in both London and Paris.
Since leaving Richemont, Rachel has freelanced at leading luxury brand PR agencies in London adding to her experience and giving her both client side and agency exposure.
If you would like to know about our services in the UK please don’t hesitate to get in touch with email@example.com.
Phone No: +44 (0)7716098852
Office Address: The Clubhouse, St James Square, London. SW1Y 4JU