The Kardashians: What Can We Learn From the Brand That Won't Go Away?

The NextWomen article on what the success of the Kardashian Empire can teach other female entrepreneursBranding expert Kubi Springer examines the brand of the Kardashians and what entrepreneurs can learn from their success.

In 2007 Kris Jenner (the mother and CEO of the Kardashian Empire), started their rollercoaster of fame and fortune when she created, produced and launched her family’s hit reality TV Show Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Since then she has created and produced TV spin offs including Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Khloe and Lamar, all of which broadcast on the E! Entertainment Network across ten international territories including the USA, Canada, UK & Ireland, Australia, South Africa and Thailand.

But if TV dominance wasn’t enough, Kris Jenner also became the president of her own production company, Jenner Communications.

She owns QuickTrim (a weight loss product line that features her three eldest daughters Kim, Khloe and Kourtney endorsing the products and appearing on its packaging) and she has also enabled her eldest daughters to launch their own lines including Kardashian Kollection for Sears, K Dash for QVC and three Dash clothing boutiques across the United States. As part of the ‘next generation of Kardashians’ the youngest daughters Kendell 16 and Kylie 15, now have successful modelling careers and their very own Sci-Fi book.

Taking up the family's entrepreneurial bug daughter Khloe and husband Lamar have launched ‘Unbreakable’ their unisex fragrance, whilst the most popular daughter Kim provided E! Entertainment with their most watched event ever with her Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event, attracting over 10.5 million viewers for the two day episode. Whilst the wedding itself didn’t last more than 72 days, the magazine endorsement deal was worth a reported $18million.

But it doesn’t stop there; the Kardashian girls also have over 16 other endorsement/business deals including a line of bathing suits called the Divinity Collection for Beach Bunny Swimwear, an Armenian-inspired jewellery line called Virgins, Angels, and Saints and a beauty line called Khroma. Not looking to slow down anytime soon, in August 2012, E! Entertainment announced that they had signed Keeping Up With The Kardashians for another three years, paying a reported $40 million for the deal, making it the most lucrative deal in reality TV history.

But what is the secret to this enormous and explosive success and what can we learn from the Kardashians? Well here are my three key pointers:

1) The family work ethic

According to Kris Jenner “Everyone in my family gets up at four or five in the morning and works really hard all day. Then they get up the next day and do it all over again!”

If you want success you simply have to go the extra mile. You have to work hard and you have to work smart.

What this family understands is how to leverage their contacts and create effective partnerships, which enable them to continuously expand. The work ethic coupled with their strategic alliances means they can gain brand dominance, secure financial success and do it all exponentially.

2) They are opportunists  

Some may see this as a bad thing, but in my opinion, the Kardashians simply understand that every product has a shelf life and in order to maximize your brand you need to grab the opportunities whilst the brand still has relevance. 

Case in point; Kim won’t look this hot forever, so whilst she can she maximizes on her beauty. Khloe understands that love should be at the centre of any marriage, so whilst she can she promotes an unbreakable bond. Even Kris Jenner understands how to turn a gynaecological exam for a leaking bladder into an endorsement deal; now that’s seizing the opportunity!

3) They are media savvy

What separates these guys from the average person is that they understand the extreme power of the media. Whether it's social media, print, radio or TV appearances they engage with their audience at every opportunity, providing updates on when the show is broadcasting, what products they are releasing and what activities they are up to.

The lesson for all of us is to become savvy; don’t waste your media opportunities (especially social media), instead see them as a continuous opportunity to propel and reinforce your brand.

Don’t be a walking talking advert but rather engage with your target audience and give them what they need, which is to buy into you. Once they buy into you, they will buy into whatever you are selling them.

Good luck with building your brand!

With over 16 years' experience in building brands, Kubi Springer has delivered campaigns for some of the biggest clients in the world including: Nike, Justin Timberlake, Rio Ferdinand, New York Fashion Week and The Brit Awards. At just 26 years old, Kubi Springer was appointed the youngest Head of Marketing and Brand Communications for the MOBO Awards (broadcast on BBC) and worked with MOBO Founder Kanya King to secure the title sponsorship deal valued at over £1.6 million. By 31 years old, Springer was appointed as the Director of Brand Communications and Commercial Development for new Sky Entertainment Channel, OH TV (Sky Channel 199). Within just one year she took the company website from 200,000 to 2.9 million hits. In 2012, Kubi Springer founded SheBuildsBrands,  a boutique brand management agency servicing clients in the UK and abroad. For more information see her profile.

Image courtesy of Eva Rinaldi.

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