Tom Kenyon

Tom Kenyon is the Director of Insight, Innovation and Strategy at the world’s leading co-creation agency, Latimer Group. With a background in innovation strategy for major broadcasters and non-profits organisations, Tom has developed award-winning digital campaigns for the BBC, Jamie Oliver, Channel 4 and ITV, and has recently headed up a multi-million pound programme on digital innovation in education for UK Think Tank, Nesta.

On why we’re seeing a need for co-creation…
“The agency world has traditionally been built on the idea of the rock star creative – the Don Draper figure crafting perfect broadcast moments. But the truth is, unless it’s the John Lewis Christmas ad or a Superbowl spot, broadcast moments reach fewer and fewer people. In a world of distinct audiences projecting different personalities on multiple platforms, Don Draper cannot save you. Young people in particular want content that doesn’t feel like broadcast; content that is relevant to their specific context, needs and interests. Co-creation offers a route to achieving that. Content by the audience, for the audience. This is why smart brands are moving towards more inclusive creative strategies.”

Don Draper

On how co-creation isn’t just for young audiences…
“Millennials and Gen Z have never had to ask permission to be published. Creating video and photo content is as natural for them as writing. Equally, brands have always had direct channels of communication – there is an expectation of open access. Co-creation could be seen as a response to these trends. However, it would be a mistake to think that co-creation only works for younger audiences. There has been a lot of work in public services such as Nesta’s People Powered Health programme that shows co-design and co-creation techniques can be an effective way to work with any audience that needs communication to meet their distinct needs.”

On a future where co-creation is ubiquitous…
“Co-creation is a symptom of wider trends (led by technology) towards inclusiveness, open-ness, disintermediation, transparency and hyper-targeted content. In the future if a brand’s messages and personality are built behind closed doors, people are going to wonder why. It will be understood that part of your brand message is going to be one of exclusion. And before anyone counters this with the old Steve Jobs quote that ‘People don’t know what they want until you show it to them’, bear in mind that (a) the Apple Store design was absolutely based on a co-creation process, and (b) Android’s open system has 85% of the international market share.”

Steve Jobs

On being ‘part of the conversation’…
“We are living in an age where brand identities are more in the hands of consumers than ever before. You can craft a public image and brand message as much you want – if the right influencer re-mixes your ad or goes viral with a comment, that becomes your brand identity. The only way to keep on top of that is to be part of the conversation (rather than lead it) and, increasingly, to have values or a purpose that is wider than the product itself.”

“We are living in an age where brand identities are
more in the hands of consumers than ever before.”

Michael Wylie-Harris

Author Michael Wylie-Harris

Marketeer /co-creation specialist with background in advertising and branding. 10 years experience working with agencies and brands like Coca-cola, Unilever and Adidas.

More posts by Michael Wylie-Harris

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