Welcome to CORQ’s Christmas 2023 report: a deep-dive into the creator economy during the most commercially-driven time of the year. According to the Bank of England, the average spend of British households in December is 29% higher than in the other months of the year.
But with the cost-of-living crisis, inflation and mortgage woes still dominating headlines and bottom lines, the Christmas season is concerning on many levels: How do you generate sales and good spirit in 2023? We spoke to creators, taste-makers, talent managers and commerce leaders about why community is key in 2023.
Long story short, creators are concerned about their audiences and how they can offer solutions during the festive period. Nicholas Shepherd, talent manager at digital talent agency Season25, who represents The Kabs Family and The Greers among others, says: “Everybody’s downtrodden. Everybody wants to get outside and nobody can afford to do so. How can you make people’s lives a bit easier? The reality is to give them something of value.”
Laura Nelson at Laura Ronnie Management, who represents some of the most powerful shopping influencers on Instagram, says her talent are reporting that their audiences want better choices, and that they themselves want to give them better choices. “There’s a lot less frivolous shopping,” says Nelson and she believes that Christmas purchasing will be informed by offering elevated alternatives, rather than the trolley dash of Black Friday pressure.
Retail commerce is back for Christmas 2023
That’s not to say that Christmas won’t be full of tinselly opportunity. Sarah Coonan, managing director at Liberty, has been delighted by the resurgence of retail commerce since December 2022 and anticipates people will be focused on fun while also being considered in 2023. The quality of the retail experience, she suggests, is going to be the differentiator.
David Couch, chief revenue officer at podcasting company Auddy, is also optimistic: podcasts, he says, are “winning the attention economy” and can cut through the noise during the run-up to Christmas. Affiliates enterprise Duel reflects that harnessing your brand’s community is the most powerful tool you have. Dina Basharahil, founder of Muslim Millennial talent agency Modest Visions, advises not to neglect the Muslim community at Christmas – they have one eye on Eid and are looking for inspiration.
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CORQ also talked to creators Helen Thorn, Sophie Bradbury-Cox and Millie Gooch, who spoke passionately on behalf of groups traditionally underrepresented during this period. Thorn reminds us that one in four families in the UK are single parent ones, and Bradbury-Cox asserts: “Inclusivity in campaigns is essential throughout the year but with even bigger projects and budgets available around Christmas, brands should 100% be inclusive. There is no excuse.” Gooch adds that, given 19.2% of people in the 16-24 age group are teetotal, this should be reflected in campaigns and, indeed, in the corporations themselves.
In case that’s not enough, this report also offers four new TikTok formats for festive fun as well as a deep dive into the data about what did best on Instagram in December 2022. The key takeaway – storytelling moments are what capture the imagination and engagement on the platform.
Community-first with a bit of storytelling magic: it’s beginning to look a lot like… Christmas 2023.
By Emilie McMeekan, CORQ. features director.