How the Kardashians Built a Sponsorship Empire
While polarizing in their popularity, the Kardashian’s marketing strategies are worth noting. They know how to get themselves exposed and leverage their personal brands into sources of revenue. It has been reported that for each tweet and Instagram post in which Kim Kardashian endorses a brand in, she can earn as much as $200,000.
But the sponsorship empire built by the Kardashian family goes beyond Kim. The entire Kardashian / Jenner family has become Hollywood royalty. Each member has become a sought after commodity for many prospective brands looking to extend their reach and relevancy. But with the constant spotlight has come some notable pitfalls that should be taken into account for the brands they work with. MKTG examines what has made the Kardashian family one of the most sponsored in history.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ Endorsements
When you look at each family member's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers, Kim not only leads in each individual category, but also overall. Kim's overwhelming popularity and name recognition has led her to be featured in high-profile campaigns and Super Bowl spots for brands like Sketchers and T-Mobile.
Although Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian have more followers on Twitter and Facebook then the two youngest sisters (Kylie and Kendall), the younger Jenner sisters have amassed a large followings on Instagram due to their appeal and relevance among young millennials. Both have amassed more than 50 million followers on Instagram and commonly use the platform to post endorsements for make-up and fashion brands like OPI nail polish, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Puma, and more.
Benefits to Sponsors
Large Audience Reach – With more than half a billion followers across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, the Kardashians and Jenners are the most-followed people on the planet. Their reach on social media is a powerful tool for connecting with consumers.
They Engage with their Audience – The Kardashians recognize that social media is not only a platform to post updates about themselves for others to see, but is also a way for them to engage with their followers. As a result, each Kardashian actively engages and connects with their audience. This active engagement has not only furthered the growth of their social media accounts, but has developed a strong bond between the Kardashian’s and their followers. Through daily interactions and the chance for fans to feel like they are insiders in the Kardashian entourage, the Kardashians ensure long-term fan loyalty.
They Work Together – The Kardashians frequently interact with one another on social media. Despite the drama portrayed on the TV series, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, they are a huge support system to one another—the first to engage with any one of the other family members’ tweets or Instagram posts. As a result, brands rarely receive endorsement from a single member of the Kardashian family. By working with one of the members of the Kardashian family, brands rarely receive just one endorser, but rather benefit from a network of endorsers.
While the Kardashian brand presents several benefits to potential sponsors, brands must be conscious of the risks associated with working with the Kardashian or Jenner family.
Risks and Considerations
Not for Conservative Brands - Given the Kardashian family is a top target of gossip magazines and blogs on a daily basis, it's only expected that some conservative marketers consider the Kardashian brand a marketing risk. For certain sponsors in certain categories with a more conservative marketing tone and brand personality, the Kardashian brand is unlikely to be a strategic fit.
Sponsor & Messaging Clutter – With the Kardashians associated with so many brands, it can make it difficult for their sponsors to break through the clutter. The vast amount of content produced by the Kardashian / Jenner family, be it through sponsor messaging or the family’s own entrepreneurial ventures, can result in a number of competing messaging in-market at any given time. Brands working with the Kardashian or Jenner family must go beyond traditional marketing tactics and develop innovative programming that stands out from the revolving door of sponsored posts on social media.
However, with so many brands associated with the Kardashian / Jenner family, the group may serve as a model that other celebrities can aspire to or replicate when building their own personal brands in effort to attract sponsorship.
Key Takeaways for Sponsorship Ambassadors
Know and Speak to Your Audience - Each Kardashian sister has their own niche audience. Despite their luxurious lifestyle, the individual styles and interests of each family members makes them relatable to several different demographics. For example, as a result of her weight loss journey, Khloe Kardashian tends to appeal to the health conscious individual, whereas Kourtney Kardashian tends to appeal to young mothers by focusing on her children through social media.
Create New Brand Platforms – The Kardashians are involved in numerous ventures across multiple categories. They are a full service and multi-platform marketing machine. From lifestyle clothing lines, fragrances, and even a video game, the Kardashians continue to build brand extensions that serve as sponsorable assets. The family thinks like a traditional property, finding opportunities to scale their brand in anticipation of working with brand partners.
Regardless of what their critics say, the Kardashian family has managed to stay relevant and keep their brand appealing in a volatile industry for many years. The Kardashian brand may not be around forever, but they have learnt to capitalize on it in a way few celebrity endorsers have.