When it comes to business and people, there really isn’t much of a difference between them. The only difference is that personal brands, on average, tend to last longer than companies do. Both parties embrace branding, marketing, social media (hopefully) and sales. They just do them in a slightly different way.
The Kardashians are masters at the art of the personal brand. They know how to get themselves noticed. They land straight into the spotlight and leverage their personal brands into money-making machines. They also know how to stack their success.
Kim Kardashian has been around the longest, so it’s easiest to track the success of the Kardashian brand by following her branding actions.
Originally, Kim wanted the attention of the media. To get the attention of the media, she needed to differentiate herself. She needed a unique selling proposition. For her, that started off with an intimate tape with B-list celebrity Ray J. This put her on the map. That unique selling proposition garnered the attention of the regular people like us.
Once Kim started to gather our attention, her social media profiles started to inflate. She knew that a lot of people would follow her just because of her video tape, but she didn’t want that to be all she was known for. She re-defined herself as a fashion trendsetter, then reinforced that perception through her social media accounts.
Kim knew that the only way she would continue to grow her audience was if she showed some love to her fans. She engaged and connected with her audience. This kept the steady growth of her social media accounts to hit the millions they are at today.
Once the media had granted Kim had celebrity status, she was given her own show. She took this opportunity to spread her success to her whole family. Now, she wasn’t the only celebrity, but her entire family became celebrities, multiplying the brand and the fame.
Kim wanted to redefine beauty. She accomplished this by posing nude on the cover of several magazines. Caitlyn Jenner wanted to be true to who she was. She went onto the cover of Vogue. These types of moves both empower and anger the general population. It makes the believers feel that they too can live the dream of being true to who they are, while it angers the traditionalists. This controversy keeps the Kardashian names in the media and keeps the focus on their brands, so they are continually talked about. They say any media coverage is good.
Controversy is hard to deal with. When haters hate, most people break down. The Kardashians, on the other hand, have thick skin. They don’t care what anyone else thinks; they own what they do. By being confident and owning what you do, no matter the opinion of others, it turns you into a bold leader and increases your unique selling proposition.
Kim partnered with Brian Lee of LegalZoom to make ShoeDazzle. ShoeDazzle is an online fashion subscription service. Each month ShoeDazzle debuts a selection of shoes, handbags, jewelry and provides its members with a showroom curated to their indicated fashion preferences. Once again, the Kardashian image as trendsetters was reinforced.
In 2011, Kim partnered with billionaire jeweler Pascal Mouawad to make Belle Noel jewelry, again increasing her stature as a designer and trend-maker. Her partnerships with successful people are her way of creating a long-term business legacy through the utilization of her name.
All through Kim’s career, she leveraged each success that came her way and double downed on it. This gave her family the ability to double down on their successes as well. Then the whole family grew together.
Today, the Kardashian brand holds far more value than many other companies out there today. They understand the importance of building and maintaining a life-long business, plus they always keep themselves ahead of the curve. What ways are you or your company are stacking your successes to propel you forward?