How does Tokyo Creative, an Influencer Management Agency, Manage the Tensions Stemmed from the Conflicting Creative and Business Needs?

Sin Hang Tang & Ziyi Guo

Student thesis: Master thesis


The evolving landscape of the digital environment and the increasing popularity of social media has led to the rise of new opportunities for new ways of managing and building brands. Social media is gradually replacing traditional media, giving rise to a new phenomenon called social media influencers. Among all types of social media influencers, this research focuses on influencers on YouTube, one of the most popular online video streaming platforms. Through an abductive research approach, this thesis looks at Tokyo Creative, a Japanese management agency that manages foreign YouTube influencers who create Japan-related content. This thesis investigates and identifies the creative-humdrum tensions present on an individual level and organisational level. This study also analyses how Tokyo Creative maintains the brand identity of its YouTube influencers with a coherent narrative, while collaborating with Japanese clients who may have different priorities and requirements. Throughout the chapters, the interesting and non-traditional process of building the Tokyo Creative’s company brand will also gradually unfold.
Based on findings from this research, it can be concluded that regardless of whether the tensions come from the YouTube influencers themselves, or from the conflicting priorities of different stakeholder groups, they all stem from the conflicting creative needs and business needs. Therefore, this thesis argues that instead of allowing one aspect to dominate the other, the organisation should embrace both aspects and readapt its organisational strategies to ensure the balance between the creative-humdrum tensions.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final ThesisMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages146
SupervisorsLisbeth Clausen