Business Lessons to Learn from the Kardashians

Business Lessons to Learn from the Kardashians - StartupStorey Entrepreneurship Guide

When it comes to business and people, there really isn’t much of a difference between them. Now, bring in the Kardashians into the picture.

What a strong personal brand they’ve built! How is this so much different from building a business?

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 to what they did.

But then again, they’ve also done it a lot better than I could ever do.

Business Lessons to Learn from the Kardashians - StartupStorey Entrepreneurship Guide

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:

Have a USP (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 USP (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 USP garnered the attention of the regular people like us.

Read: Kim Kardashian! 4 Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From the Ubiquitous Reality TV Star (

Leverage your network.

Since Kim started out her career with Ray J, a B list celebrity, 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

Some people also say that the Kardashians were bound to be famous one way or another.. They were tied to many public figures then and now and will always be here to stay in the spotlight.

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 trend setter, 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.

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 girl straight into a celebrity.

Read: The Kardashian’s Social Media Influence (Forbes)

Bring up your team.

Once the media had granted Kim 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 – her entire family became celebrities in what is known as the Kardashians.

Make bold and risky moves.

Kim wanted to redefine beauty. She went off and got naked on the cover of a few magazines. Caitlin wanted to be true to who she was. She went onto the cover of Vanity Fair.

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.

Business Lessons to Learn from the Kardashians - StartupStorey Entrepreneurship Guide

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, they 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 Kardashians 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.

hey understand the importance of building and maintaining a life-long business, plus they always keep themselves ahead of the curve.

Business Lessons to Learn from the Kardashians - StartupStorey Entrepreneurship Guide

Is Kim Kardashian the worst role model for women today?

She’s really not that bad. She appears to be a bit vapid from all the coverage and talks I’ve seen of her, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. People can choose who they want to be and make do with what they have.

I find the coverage of her and her family relatively annoying, but if anything that’s just a testament to their success (though I’d pin this more on her mother from what I’ve heard).

Besides that, what’s wrong with her? She posts naked photos of herself and may have slept around with some people?

I don’t think it’s “empowering”, and maybe it’s self-serving, but I don’t care. There’s nothing wrong with doing that.

Sleep who you want to sleep with and post what you want to post. That doesn’t make someone a bad role model. She’s not Azelia Banks, constantly spewing hate speech at people.

And who isn’t a bit vain? If it was literally your livelihood I reckon most would have an easier time grasping the concept.

All things considered I don’t think she makes a particularly good role model, but she’s hardly the worst. I don’t see or hear her doing anything that’s actually wrong. I just find her and the clan somewhat boring and tiresome.

There are far worse people to be pissed off about. Plenty of vocal bigots out there.

Business Lessons to Learn from the Kardashians - StartupStorey Entrepreneurship Guide

Why is Kim Kardashian famous? Why is she just “famous for being famous”?

Kim Kardashian is a marketing genius. And what she markets is herself. She appears to be baring all, but her image is obsessively edited and scripted.

Kardashian is a perfectionist, and she is a workaholic obsessed with fame and money. She is totally obsessive and OCD regarding her carefully crafted image.

She has famous connections. Robert Kardashian, her father, was a big-shot LA lawyer in the OJ Simpson case. She attended preschool with Paris Hilton.

Her 14th birthday party was held at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

Many other starlets have connections, but few have 32 million Twitter followers (more than Oprah, CNN, Bill Gates, or LeBron James).

She leveraged her connections to put herself in the spotlight at the correct time. Nick Lachey claims Kim Kardashian alerted paparazzi to their movie date in 2006 in bid to get famous.

Sex sells. Kim Kardashian’s rise to fame began in 2007 with a “leaked” sex tape starring our girl and rapper Ray J (brother of pop star, Brandy, and first cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg).

Again, many starlets have leaked sex tapes, but few have gone on to become household names. Even fewer are worth $100M. Kardashian epitomizes the modern day American dream.

She is sexy (to some). She is photogenic — with the help of massive make-up, hair styling, photo-shop, and expensive wardrobe. And she has absolutely no shame exploiting ALL of it.

Kardashian is now married, and a mother, and has continued to be sexually outrageous. It works. She recently posed naked in Paper‍ ’​s 2014 winter issue.

Paper‍ ’​s website received 15.9 million views in one day, compared with 25,000 views on an average day.

Her husband, rapper Kanye West posts highly sexual photos of her on Instagram. He also raps about her sex tape, bragging about their lifestyle: “Eat breakfast at Gucci. My girl a superstar all from a home movie.”

She recently published a book, “Selfish,” filled with selfies, mostly in bathing suits.

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People are attracted to the glamour. Kim posts pictures of herself on private planes, on fancy vacations, at the MetBall, in gorgeous beaches (in a scantily clad bathing suit of course), and at exclusive events.

Viewers feel like they get a taste of what it is like to be a celebrity, and they click on her photos to live vicariously through her. Again, all of these images are carefully crafted, and even when she shows a picture of herself as she is just waking up, she has full hair and make-up.

Kardashian is everywhere and heavily diversified. She never went to college (she dropped out of High School), but she is a highly successful multi-faceted entrepreneur.

Kardashian stars in a popular reality TV show, has published books, graced the cover of Vogue, launched a popular app, has a clothing line, a perfume, and much more.

The choose-your-own-adventure-style Kim Kardashian app— where fans go on photo shoots, dates, and hang out with Hollywood stars, “in order to climb the ranks and become an A-list celebrity,” — has 28 million downloads and 11 billion minutes of play since it launched last summer. It is also on track to rake in over $200 million.

It promises fame and fortune the Kim Kardashian way: users must pay constant attention to their wardrobe, social standing, romantic life, media presence, and accumulation of wealth.

The goal is to earn virtual cash, and special Kardashian branded K stars, in the hopes of becoming famous. “Join KIM KARDASHIAN on a red carpet adventure in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood! Create your own aspiring celebrity and rise to fame and fortune!”

Business Lessons to Learn from the Kardashians - StartupStorey Entrepreneurship Guide

How Your Startup Can Learn from the Kardashians

In conclusion, Kim Kardashian’s human skills, technically known as Emotional Intelligence (EI), which she probably got from her mother,  enabled her to sell ice to the Eskimos.

Combine that with an already existent environment and social media boom and voila, become the most famous person on earth for no apparent reason.

True, she is a beautiful woman, but there is  nothing special in her beauty compared to other millions of  hot women living in America.

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