5 branding lessons we can learn from Kim Kardashian West

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Love her or hate her, there is no denying that Kim Kardashian West is a force to be reckoned with and the ultimate brand powerhouse.

Not only is KKW is the most followed person on Instagram; her rise to fame has been watched by fans around the globe through her hugely successful reality TV show, Keeping up with the Kardashians - which has just finished it’s 14th season (!!!)

KKW has graced the highly coveted cover of Vogue seven times, along with countless other magazine covers including Elle, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Forbes and GQ.

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She’s represented hundreds of brands like Mastercard, Sketchers, Shoedazzle…. The list goes on...and last year she launched her own beauty brands, KKW Beauty and KKW Fragrance.

KKW regularly finds herself in the middle of controversy and is often the topic of conversation for her outrageous antics {like breaking the internet by posing nude on the cover of Paper Magazine; and taking her fans along for the ride as she openly gets plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancements }...

So yes, there is A LOT we could talk about on the topic of KKW, and I’m sure you already have your own opinion about it all…

But regardless of what people say or think, the fact is, we can actually learn a lot from a brand perspective about her success - because let’s face it - KKW is a brand machine.

Why?

Because as soon as her name is mentioned we’ve already created an image in our mind of her and everything she represents - which is the very definition of a strong and powerful brand.

Let's dive in...

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1. Be visible.

Strong brands are memorable and being highly visible is a huge part of this. If no one knows you exist or what you do, there’s a lot of missed opportunities for your business.

KKW does an amazing job of this - she’s not only on social media sharing what she’s up to; what she’s wearing and give us an insight into her day in the life...She’s also got her app where she shares more behind the scenes and exclusive content; of course her popular TV show giving an even deeper insight into her life;  and on top of all this - she actually gets in front of her fans at events and conferences.

In the branding world, we call this having multiple brand touch points, which essentially means all of the various places, both offline and online, where your audience and customers can connect with you in some kind of tangible way.

Regardless of how skilled or talented you are at what you do, it means absolutely nothing if you’re not visible and no one knows who you are.

You can be the best in your industry, but if you don’t get in front of your people, then you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities!

Social media has made this super easy, allowing you to take people behind the scenes of your brand, letting them get to know you, what you do and why you do it.

Same is to be said about getting offline and getting into the real world to meet people face to face.

What is one action you can take today to be more visible to your tribe?

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2. Show up, consistently.

Apart from the noticeable break she took back in 2016 following the Paris incident where she was robbed at gunpoint (um, yes fair enough), KKW has been showing up consistently to her fans since 2007.

Yep, that’s for over 10 years now.

Whether it’s through her wildly popular reality show; giving us a peek into her glam life on social media; or the many media endorsements she has, no doubt you will see KKW on one of her various channels.

It’s not a coincidence her ubiquitous presence has led to creating such a powerful brand - basically because we can’t forget about her!

When building a brand it’s easy to fall into trap of thinking ‘oh people will be sick of hearing from me’ or ‘I’ve already shared about this event / product / service recently, so I won’t share it again’ - and then not share it.

The reality is that showing up consistently builds trust with your audience that you’re here to stay; and it also lets them better get to know you and keep you top of mind.

Even if they don’t purchase from you today or next week, or even next month - when the time comes, you want your brand to be the one they think of when they have the problem you can help them solve!

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3. Be authentic.

What I love about KKW is that she really doesn’t care about what people think about her and just gets on with doing her thing.

She completely owns who she is and is unapologetic about it.

We don’t have to like or agree with what she does at all - and that’s the point - by simply being true to herself she attracts the people who vibe with her, and repels the people who don’t.

In its simplest form, brand building is about attracting the right people to you and repelling the people who are not your dream clients (and never will be).

When building your brand, the best thing you can do is show up being authentically you and not try and pretend to be anything you’re not.

Why?

Because people will catch on pretty quickly of you’re not who you say you are; and it also means you’re creating an impossible standard for yourself that isn’t even you in the first place.

It’s better to have a small and super engaged audience who love everything you do, rather than building up a big audience who don’t connect with the real you.

It will become exhausting after a while, so instead just focus on doing you; sharing your story authentically, and trust the rest will follow.

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4. Be bold and challenge the status quo.

Following on from the previous point - being your authentic self means sharing your opinions; your thoughts and what you believe in.

If you have a point of view on something important to you - share it.

Don’t be afraid to take a stand for what you believe in and the values that shape who you are.

The more opinions and points of view you share, the more you’re allowing people to get to know you and be part of your world.

At the core Dreams for Breakfast are the values of creativity and courage - bravery, with heart; staying in your magic and uncovering your zone of genius to create the business, lifestyle and success you desire. It’s also feminist AF.

My goal is to weave these values into everything I do, create and share - whether on social media, my blog, newsletter etc and connect with people who resonate with this - and essentially share the same belief system.

And KKW - well she definitely believes in glam fashion; eccentric makeup; cosmetic enhancements; shoes; big closets…. As well as the close bond with her family.

A strong brand gives people a reason to believe in the same things as you - and as Simon Sinek wisely shares:

"People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”.

How can you give your audience a reason to believe why you’re doing what you’re doing?

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5. Don’t be afraid to evolve.

In the 10 years since KKW has been in the spotlight, her brand has evolved considerably - case in point:

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Her latest reinvention was supposedly created during her 3 month social media hiatus in 2016; and since her comeback, she’s definitely been shaking things up.

A brand is a living, breathing entity and constantly evolving. Change is a natural part of who we are and if we don’t change, it’s a sign we’re not growing.

So if you feel like you’ve ‘outgrown’ your brand; or really, you just want to shake things up and pivot; change directions or shift your style - that’s completely ok... and in fact it’s a good thing…

Some of the most successful brands we know and love have been forced to reinvent themselves to stay current and relevant.

Competition is fierce - that’s a given.

If you don’t feel like your brand is creating the impact you need it to be, then perhaps it’s a sign you need to evolve; level-up and start playing in the space you really want to be in.


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