Written by Canon Wing

I teach entrepreneurs and organizations the proven action steps to stand out within their market, improve the perceived value of their business, and better connect with their audience through naming, branding, storytelling, and communication platforms.

March 30, 2021

Secrets For Branding Like a Kardashian

Every brand, at some point in its lifetime, will attempt to jump in on a trending topic. But even Kim Kardashian will tell you – that’s not a strategy for winning Brand Loyalty. There’s only only one true way for a brand to go viral, and I’m going to give it to you right now. 

In this episode, I’m going to give you Three Secrets for Activating Trendsetting within Your Brand Community, 

Okay, so for me I don’t think it’s possible to talk about trendsetting without talking about the MOST successful online trendsetter of our times, Kim Kardashian.

In a recent interview with David Letterman, Kim talked about those early days and how, as a typical Hollywood celebrity, your fans fall in love with the movies you are in and the characters you portray, but in Keeping Up With the Kardashians, it was on them to succeed as themselves. They were faced with the challenge of, “How do you share your life?”

She tells Dave that the family made a pact, “We gotta show everything, and we gotta be ourselves…”

Now think about the history of Reality TV shows. The VAST majority of people in even the most popular of reality TV shows, even shows that ran for over a decade…they don’t have the branding power of the Kardashians. Kate Plus Eight, Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty— These people definitely have their fans, but unless some scandal happens, you really don’t hear anything about them. I’m not downplaying the success of other reality TV shows at all— What I’m getting at is that the Kardashians are an anomaly. Most other reality TV show stars, the money their shows bring in, goes to the producers first, and then the central characters are given a cut.

The Kardashian didn’t stay in their lane, they created their own brand.

Now, when you look at Kim, she’s in law school, she’s a mother of four, and she’s not just a trendsetter she is THE TRENDSETTER. Her most recent enterprise is in shapewear, Skims. Remember when Spanx were kind of a joke, and no one really wanted to admit to wearing them? Like the whole point of shapewear was to hide the fact that you’re wearing shapewear? Or it was only something that grandma’s wore, like a girdle? And then Kim Kardashian comes along and all she has to say is “Shapewear is MY NEW THING.” And then a couple hours later, four million orders have been placed. I mean, her instincts are on point. And her branding power is unparalleled.

Not to mention, she’s single-handedly eliminated the supermodel. People used to talk a lot of  trash about the Kardashians, and how being rich and pretty isn’t enough to be famous, and now because of the way the Kardashians reinvented celebrity status, being rich and pretty really ISN’T enough to be famous anymore. You also need to be smart, and fun, and stylish, and connected to your fans, and charitable, and a humanitarian…

And that really got me thinking about brand building. Because it’s a lot more like a reality TV show than you might think. Because your brand’s ability to be liked and loved VERY much depends on how authentic and open and available and likeable your brand is to your Ideal Audience.

You don’t have to be the Kardashians, to use trendsetting as an emotional trigger in branding. As an entrepreneur you have something that is going to make people’s lives better. Those people are YOUR people. Accessing the amazing emotional trigger of trendsetting for your brand, isn’t about going viral, or at least it doesn’t NEED to be. Not at all. You can make your brand wildly successful, beloved, and immensely popular by focusing on the people who need your brand most. Because when it comes to your brand going viral, well—that’s up to them.

Here are the The Three Secrets to Activate Trendsetting within Your Brand Community:

Secret #1: Favor Relevance Over Reach

Many brands today focus a lot of intention on what is known as culture-hacking. Meaning, they basically stalk the internet for what memes, Tweets, Tik-Toks, movies, music videos, whatever has momentarily captured the attention of millions, and then they will basically make their own version of it in an attempt to ride the swell of a viral wave. The truth is, jumping on a trend isn’t as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of energy, it can seem unnatural, and it often waters down a brand’s own unique personality. It also shifts your focus away from the people who already feel like they do know your brand, and love you brand, while your brand is off pretending to be somebody else to catch a few couple thousand likes. Favoring viral reach over what is relevant to the community that you already have, puts your relationships with that community in jeopardy. If it doesn’t come naturally and it isn’t baked into your branding message to go chasing viral moments, the reality of catching a wave here and there isn’t going to mean much to the long-term success of your business. That isn’t what secures brand loyalty, and no matter what business you are in Brand Loyalty is your business plan! Just because something is trending worldwide, doesn’t mean it matters to the core group of people who want and need your brand. Instead, stay active and interested, available, and curious about what is going on with the people who are already in love with your brand. Give them your energy, give them your love, and give them your special silly delightful content that is curated to what is going to feel like a viral trend to them, personally. Remember those people are YOUR people, and word of mouth advertising is 50X more effective than any other kind of marketing in existence. Your reach is up to THEM. It’s always about them.

Secret #2: Your Audience is Constantly Telling You What They Want, So Listen.

In today’s digital marketplace, consumers are more vocal than they have ever been before. And just like they have the ability to know everything about your brand, you have just as much opportunity to know everything about them. So while your competitors throw everything they’ve got into a campaign centered around the latest Marvel movie, your brand can stay focused and present for your customers on their feeds, and gain more and more insight on what is actually meaningful and important to the people who want and need your brand.

Every dollar that your brand makes will be from listening. The key to firing off the emotional trigger of trendsetting for your Ideal Audience is listening to them so closely, and making them feel so special and important to your brand, that everything your band does makes them say, “OMG Yes, PLEASE!” Just like Kim with her shapewear. You can recreate that magic, by pouring your brand’s entire heart into loving the people who are the first to love your brand. And then THEY will do the rest.  

Secret #3: Be Your Brand

Authenticity is never off trend, and it never goes out of style. What your brand represents, what your brand stands for, and what your brand will never stand for; your brand’s values and ethics— Live in to it all with your whole heart. Sew it intentionally and with love into your brand culture, stitch it into the hearts of the people you onboard, by being the shining example of your brand incarnate. The more diligent you are at representing your brand, the more consistent your Ideal Individuals experiences with your brand will be. Kim Kardashian isn’t one person in front of the camera and someone entirely different if you meet her in person, and THAT is the biggest secret to her widespread success. Her Authenticity. Because when you’re consistent you gain trust, and as human beings—we can’t even help ourselves! When we trust, we begin to LOVE. And there is NOTHING about becoming an Inspiration to Millions that isn’t about Love.

So now you have some truly actionable secrets and insights into how you can be a trendsetter like the Kardashians for YOUR people; the people who will grow your brand for you. They are: Favor Relevance Over Reach, Listen to Your Audience, and Be Your Brand

Thank you so much for joining me! If you enjoyed this article, follow me on FB and YouTube! I release new videos every Tuesday and Thursday, so treat these episodes as a masterclass for becoming an Inspiration to Millions with Branding. And as always the way to becoming an Inspiration to Millions starts with our motto: Love What You Do and Love How You Do It.