Kim Kardashian: What can the Kardashians teach businesses about branding?

What Can Businesses Learn From the Kardashians About Branding?

What Can Businesses Learn From the Kardashians About Branding?

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Sept. 7 2015 7:05 AM

What Can Businesses Learn From the Kardashians About Branding?

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive on the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 30, 2015, in Los Angeles.

Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

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Answer by Leonard Kim, managing partner at InfluenceTree, speaker, blogger:

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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, and sales. They just do them in a slightly different way. But if companies were to embrace what the Kardashians did, it would propel their businesses into success.

The Kardashians are brilliant when it comes to the art of the personal brand. They know how to get themselves exposed and straight into the spotlight and leverage their personal brands into money-making machines. What they do best is they stack their success.

I've leveraged my personal brand a bit, but not quite nearly to the same level of success of the Kardashians. But from personal experience of building my brand, there are a lot of similarities to what I have done compared with what they did. But then again, they've also done it a lot better than I could ever do.

Kim has been around the longest, so it's easiest to track the success of the Kardashian brand by following these ten steps she paved the way for:

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Have a unique selling proposition.

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 a sex 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.

Leverage your network.

Since Kim started out her career with Ray J, people felt that she might be as important, if not more important, than Ray J. People associated who she was based on her surroundings, bringing her status up from regular person to potential celebrity.

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Define your brand.

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 sex tape, but she didn't want that to be all she was known for. She defined herself as a trendsetter, then laid out the foundation of who she was through her social media accounts.

Embrace your fans.

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.

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Turn to the media.

Once Kim started to gain her fame and popularity online, she turned to the media. They picked up her stories and ran with them. That media coverage turned her from an average woman straight into a celebrity.

Bring up your team.

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.

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Make bold and risky moves.

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Kim Kardashian celebrates her new fragrance Gold on May 6, 2011, in Las Vegas.

Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

Kim wanted to redefine beauty. She went off and got naked on the cover of a few 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.

Own what you do.

Controversy is hard to deal with. When haters hate, most people break down. I've been hated on before, and I rolled over. 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.

Partner with successful people.

Kim partnered with Brian Lee of LegalZoom to make ShoeDazzle. She partnered with billionaire jeweler Pascal Mouawad to make Belle Noel jewelry. Her partnerships with successful people are her way of creating a long-term business legacy through the utilization of her name.

Stack your successes.

The basis to the foundation of the whole Kardashian family is how they stack their successes.

  • Kim leveraged a sex tape into a social media following.
  • She leveraged her social media following into garnering attention from the media.
  • She leveraged the media to turn her into a mini celebrity.
  • She leveraged her mini celebrity status to get her own TV show.
  • She leveraged the TV show to turn herself and her whole family into celebrities.
  • She leveraged her celebrity status to get sponsorships and partnerships with major brands across the world.
  • She leveraged her status to make her millions.
  • She leveraged her celebrity status to marry a celebrity.
  • She leveraged her marriage into a national holiday.

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.

Being in branding and having experience in building my own brand, I've seen first hand that this is the recipe for success. Now, 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 companies stacking your successes to propel you forward?