The Kardashian family is everywhere. With multiple television shows, clothing and cosmetic lines, digital products, games, emojis, well-timed pregnancies and so much more, the family has established itself as an example of good brand management — no matter how much you might make fun of them. From Kim Kardashian’s social media savvy to Kris Jenner’s impeccable sense of what works on reality TV, the Kardashian’s show that capitalizing on a massive presence results in success.
Branding expert Nick Nanton, who runs the agency DNA, says the biggest mistake people trying to follow the Kardashian model can make is trying to be just like the family. But entrepreneurs can learn a lot from the ways the Kardashian-Jenner family uses their strong branding to prop each other up, he says.
“They’ve been very smart about using synergy to help each other. That’s what good businesses do, too,” Nanton said.
Check out what business lessons you can learn from the Kardashian family below:
Kim Kardashian: Embrace new platforms early
With 103 million Instagram followers and 56.1 million Twitter followers, Kim Kardashian is known for her early adoption of social media to engage with people. It’s not just that she has a huge following — it’s the way she talks to her fans while simultaneously promoting her always-growing brand. From prompting fans to send her Kimojis on Twitter to detailing her makeup routine on Instagram and her app, Kim’s savvy social media skills show how connecting with fans makes business sense.
The bulk of Kim Kardashian’s success comes from her openness with fans, according to Nanton.
“It’s been proven over and over again that you can go directly to your audience without any filter in between,” Nanton says. “If you’re talented at that, you can clearly build quite a valuable empire.”
Kylie Jenner: Leverage your following to sell your product
A similar openness carries over to Kim’s youngest sister, Kylie Jenner.
The youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Jenner has built her makeup line Kylie Cosmetics into a $420 million empire in just 18 months, CNBC reports.
Jenner, who became the youngest celebrity to be named on the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 celebrities list with earnings of $41 million in the last year, told Fast Company in May that she doesn’t pay for advertisements to promote Kylie Cosmetics. Taking a page out of her older sister Kim’s book, Jenner said, “Social media is the only way I push it.” Using Snapchat and Instagram, Jenner has turned her makeup line into a multimillion-dollar venture.
Anyone with a large enough following can easily figure out how Jenner has done it just by looking through her social media feeds, Nanton says.
“They literally post to show the breadcrumb trail of what to do. Add your own voice,” he said.
Kris Jenner: Everything is business
What lesson can’t we learn from Kris Jenner? The Kardashian-Jenner matriarch has skillfully brought her entire family to prominence through TV by turning all potential scandals into opportunity and cashing in on that success. Jenner is great at seeing an opening — a reality TV show about her family’s daily life, for example — and following through to make sure it happens.
If her kids are the “pro athletes,” Jenner is a natural “coach,” Nanton says. His advice to entrepreneurs: Get yourself a Kris Jenner who will look out for the big picture stuff.
“She’s a visionary when it comes to seeing opportunities for her family members,” he said.
Khloe Kardashian: Challenge industry standards
Khloe Kardashian has addressed a market need that had long been ignored with the launch of Good American, a denim line that runs sizes from 0 to 24.
Good American is inclusive of sizes that mainstream brands commonly leave out, opening up possibilities for previously excluded plus-size women and uncovering a new market. According to Nanton, it’s a smart move, especially as society has grown to make people be “more accepting of people’s differences.”