And the Master of Marketing is… Kim Kardashian?
Love her or hate her, no one can deny the power that Kim Kardashian and her family hold over pop culture. While it’s easy to argue the social media loving, Reality T.V. Queen, Kim Kardashian is simply famous for being famous; there’s a little more to it than that. Yes, Kim is known as a celebrity personality, but over the years she has demonstrated some of the most smart, strategic marketing the digital age has seen thus far, and it deserves to be recognized. For those working in digital marketing, or for those who are simply intrigued by it, looking at some of Kim’s smartest marketing moves may actually teach you a thing or two about the subject.
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
As most people know, Kim Kardashian first stepped onto the scene when her sex-tape with rapper, Ray J was leaked. Instead of letting the mishap take over her life, Kim took the situation by the horns and used it to launch her entire career. With the help of her mother, Kris Jenner, they turned their 15 minutes of fame into a reality show that is still running ten years later. Some argue that Kim was somehow behind the leak of the sex tape, but either way, she used the attention to her advantage and turned it into something huge.
Many criticize Kim for being a sex symbol. But Kim embraces this image, and uses it as a huge part of her brand. Kim knows sex sells, and claims it to be empowering. Whether people agree with that or not; Kim took this “taboo” stamp and ran with it.
Creating a Brand
When Keeping Up With The Kardashians quickly proved to be a reality T.V. game changer, Kim and her family worked tirelessly to establish their brand. What was this brand? The brand was simple: it was them. In other words, Kim made herself, and everything she represented, the brand. Her fashion choices, her makeup, and her body image all became the face of her brand.
Over the years, Kim has had many different products and endorsements. It’s not necessarily about what the products were that made them so successful (because there were definitely some duds), but more about how she marketed them. Riding the crest of the social media wave, Kim was able to reach her target audience effortlessly. Feeling like they were personally connecting with Kim through social media, loyal fans couldn’t help but support everything she did. This constant connection resulted in her massive social media following that is still going strong to this day.
Perhaps Kim’s smartest career move was her decision to partner up with the right people. In the world of marketing, networking is crucial to ensuring a brand’s stability, and sustainability. Kim was smart to know she couldn’t be a business entrepreneur without help. That’s why she partnered with successful businesses to help promote her brand. Some of her most lucrative partnerships have been with with companies like eBay and Shoedazzle. Her most lucrative partnership thus far, seems to be with Glu Mobile, who helped her develop the mobile game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The mobile game is expected to make $200 million this year alone.
Over the years, Kim Kardashian has proved time and time again that she has an unbelievable knack for staying relevant. Nearly ten years after Keeping Up With The Kardashians first aired, Kim “broke the internet” with her infamous Paper Magazine Cover. Not only does Kim manage to get on the covers of some of the biggest magazines in the world, she makes sure other media sources are covering her stories. Having her face on the cover of gossip magazines at every magazine stand is no accident (despite its oftentimes tacky undertones). All of Kim’s sisters have learned a thing or two from the marketing maven, and have successfully marketed their own brands. Between smartphone apps, makeup lines, and fashion collaborations, the whole Kardashian clan knows how to market themselves.
Kim has no one but herself thank for all of her success. While she may not be able to act, or sing (we’re still trying to forget this gem), she is in fact a master of marketing. It doesn’t mean you have to start watching her show, buy her apps, or become one of the millions who follow her on Instagram; but she does deserve some recognition for what she’s accomplished. So next time you’re brainstorming ways to establish your brand, take a look at some of the groundbreaking marketing Kim Kardashian has done. You actually may learn something.