Billion-dollar economy: What creators really want from brands

billion-dollar-creator-economy-amplify

Amplify, the global creative agency that specialises in experience and culture, has launched a new report on the future of influencer marketing that concludes brands need to move away from a transactional mindset and focus on fostering genuine relationships with creators.

Billion-dollar creator economy

The report, which was compiled by Amplify in partnership with SevenSix Agency, the DE&I-focused influencer marketing and talent management agency, delves into the creator economy that according to Goldman Sachs could be worth half-a-trillion dollars by 2027 and reveals what creators need – and don’t need – from brand partnerships.

a-new-era-of-creator-partnerships

Creators highly value long-term relationships with brands; genuine representation;  in-person, interactive brand experiences to build awareness and engagement; and an educated understanding from brands of platform best practices when it comes to content collaborations, according to the report’s qualitative insights.

Commenting on the report’s inception Lara MacAlpine, Partnerships & Talent Lead, Amplify, said: “Our roundtable and subsequent report were inspired by a desire to understand the intricacies of the evolving creator/brand value exchange.

“Knowing what creators value most from brand experiences was our first port of call but we wanted to get as full a picture as possible, gleaning first-hand knowledge from full-time creators so that we could expand on how to best broker mutually beneficial relationships between our clients and influencer partners.”

Titled ‘A New Era of Brand Partnerships: What does the new creator-brand value exchange look like?’, the report used qualitative methods to analyse the first-hand experiences of creators across five critical areas: brand experiences; diversity, equity & inclusion; sustainability; long-term ambassadorship; and content & platform best practices.

To ensure a varied perspective, contributors were selected from a diverse set of sectors across fashion, beauty, sustainability, tech, travel and entrepreneurship and collectively reach an engaged audience of nearly half a million.

The qualitative research involved a roundtable discussion with the 10 creators focused on uncovering what creators really need – and don’t need – from their partnerships with brands.

In this roundtable, anonymity was key to fostering open discussions, allowing creators to speak freely about industry challenges.

Charlotte Stavrou, Founder of SevenSix Agency, said: “Our recent report and roundtable with Amplify reaffirmed the profound impact creators have on shaping brand experiences.

“Our report is guiding a refined approach, placing a renewed focus on forging meaningful, long-term collaborations.

“It serves as a catalyst, steering us towards partnerships that prioritise transparency, flexibility, and a deep understanding of each creator’s unique identity and contribution.”

On the subject of DE&I, one of the recurring sentiments expressed by the creators was a rejection of tokenism.

One creator expressed the discomfort of being the only Black creator at an event, an unfortunately common experience amongst creators of colour. They stated: “When I go to events, 9/10 times I am the only Black woman in the room.” 

The research uncovered some key takeaways for brands: 

Creator events and brand experiences

The power of in-person events to build brand awareness and engagement remains undeniable.

They also foster community and networking, which are pivotal to creators who predominantly work independently.

Authenticity and an alignment with values and ethics remain at the core, with creators placing more importance on experiences that resonate with their personal brand and that have varied, disruptive or more interactive formats.

Long-term ambassadorships

These enduring relationships are preferred for the stability they provide. However,  brands need to prioritise collaboration, flexibility, and transparency to optimise success.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I)

Beyond tokenism, genuine inclusion and representation in campaigns is crucial. Brands must ensure a comprehensive and intersectional approach to DE&I, recognising the multifaceted identities and needs of their audience and collaborators.

Content and platform best practices

Understanding the principles of platform-specific content creation is crucial. Becoming familiar with the nuances of each platform can significantly enhance a given content’s impact.

Furthermore, open communication, feedback sharing and a seamless briefing process are vital for collaborative success.

Sustainability & Intentional gifting

As environmental concerns gain prominence, intentional influencer gifting is paramount. Brands should lean into more creative gifting, emphasizing experiences over materialistic items and avoiding a transactional focus.