Love her or hate everything she stands for, Kim Kardashian has certainly shown that she is a savvy business person. The empire that she has created for herself and her family hasn’t come by accident. She has 23.6 million Twitter followers, 18.5 million Instagram fans and 23 million ‘Likes’ on Facebook, and it’s smart business acumen and sheer hard work that has got her to where she is today. We’re not telling you to go and make sex tapes and start reality shows, but if you look at it more closely, that isn’t what has made her the star that she is today. It’s the clever marketing and positioning of her brand the ‘Kardashians’. So what can we learn about marketing a brand from Kim Kardashian?
It’s important to always keep current and to stay in the public eye. Some would say Kim’s wedding to Kris Humphries (the basketball player she was wed to for just 72 days) was a publicity stunt. She re-enacted the proposal for TV, hooking the audience into watching her fairytale wedding which pulled in an enormous 4.4 million viewers. Then there was her subsequent divorce and relationship with Kanye West. No matter what happened, she ensured she remained in the public sphere and in the social consciousness of her viewers. That is super important for any new up and coming brand. If people stop talking or reading about you, then it’s the beginning of the end.
When Kim received a backlash for divorcing Kris after just 72 days, within a month she revealed that she was dating Kanye West and within 6 months revealed that she was pregnant. Once again she grabbed people’s attention and reinvented herself on a new playing field with a new look; mixing with fashions elite. Like Kim, it’s important to stay relevant and to ensure that you move with the times. Recognise areas of growth and move into them so that your offering does not become dated or redundant.
HAVE YOUR FINGER IN ALL PIES
Kim and her mother Kris have learnt to monetise and endorse absolutely everything. At the beginning she was paid to promote everything from ice cream and lollipops to night clubs. Kim and the whole Kardashian clan have absolutely capitalised on the opportunities they have been given. They have stores and fashion lines, perfume and make-up, TV shows and books. Like them, it’s important to diversify and to try as many new things as possible. You don’t want to dilute yourself and you need to master your main craft before moving on, but if you have some success and a small spotlight, look at ways that you can capitalise and grow on that.
BUILD YOUR BRAND
The Kardashian’s have created a brand that people have bought into, that represents family and glamour and togetherness, and they are careful never to do anything to contradict their brand. Every company should establish themselves as a brand, and as such it’s important to know what you stand for. What do you want to be best known for? How do you want people to perceive your brand?
LOOK AFTER YOUR IMAGE
Over the years Kim has changed her image and status from being a friend of Paris Hilton, to sex tape star to fashion darling and wife of Kanye West. Each step of the way she has looked after her image and portrayed herself in a controlled way. It’s important for you to do the same. You have to manage what people think and say about you, which means controlling your image and how you are perceived. Make sure your customer service is up to scratch and that you look after your customers, even if they are complaining vocally or want a refund. Think about damage limitation and always presenting yourself in a favourable manner. Be well presented and professional whatever stage you are at.
Kim is the queen of self promotion and took no less than 1,200 selfies on a recent trip to Thailand. She understands the benefits of self promotion and so should you. Self promotion gets you into the consciousness of your audience and makes people hungry for more. Kim knows that the moment she disappears she becomes irrelevant, so she continues to self promote using social media. Imitate her by using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to give your audience a behind the scenes look at what goes on in your company. Give them exclusive previews of product shots or exclusive content that they wouldn’t get anywhere else; and give your audience a glimpse into your world.
USE WHAT YOU HAVE TO THE FULLEST
Kim is well known for her curvaceous figure and she showcases it at any given opportunity. Like her you need to know what your benefits are and flaunt them. What are your unique selling points (USPs)?