KYLIE JENNER’S ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY
At an age when most children are fretting about homework and school proms, Kylie was on television prancing around on ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’, one of the most successful reality TV series internationally. It was an eccentric childhood that revealed to her an inimitable combination of being in the public eye and making the most of it. But it was also a stage that catapulted her into the international limelight, prepping her for what would later become a universal beauty empire.
The impact of her mother, Kris Jenner, and her siblings, particularly Kim Kardashian, cannot be undermined in determining Kylie’s early aspirations. Kris, the matron of the family, was the tour de force behind the Kardashian’s multi-million-dollar undertakings, and her business shrewdness clearly rubbed off on Kylie.
While her sisters set up businesses in fashion and mobile gaming, Kylie’s interest in beauty led her to the world of cosmetics. It all began in 2014 when Kylie, embarrassed about her thin lips, got lip padding. She faced substantial repercussions from fans and the media alike for changing her appearance but later used this experience to her benefit. The outcome was the Kylie Lip Kit – a combination of a lip liner and matching lipstick that became the foundation of her beauty brand.
The Beginning of Kylie Cosmetics: The Deliberate Leap
Kylie Cosmetics, a brand that arose from the star-speckled hills of Calabasas, California, did not simply ride on the coattails of its founder’s existing fame. Instead, it was a premeditated and calculated venture that had a wide-ranging understanding of its target market, a stable grip on the authority of social media, and a crystal-clear brand identity.
Her ambition was mirrored in her yearning to produce a brand that was exclusively her own and to control her influential platform to create a beauty kingdom.
In 2015, with the funds of her wealthy family, a massive social media following, and a love for beauty products, Kylie launched the first product under her brand, ‘Lip Kit by Kylie.’ This early launch saw three different shades of lip kits readily available online, and as a demonstration of the comprehension she had of her audience and the market, it was sold out in less than sixty seconds!
But it wasn’t only the star factor of Kylie Jenner that was selling these lip kits. Behind the scenes, a well-planned marketing and brand approach essayed a huge role in the prompt success of the lip kits.
The brand strategy was shrewdly simple – play on exclusivity. By making a product with restricted obtainability, Kylie created a sense of eagerness among her followers. Traffic to her website led to the lip kits flying off in a matter of seconds.
Kylie’s marketing policy was just as inventive. Instead of conventional advertisements, she turned to her own social media. With millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter, she could directly market to her target audience, nurturing a unique brand-customer relationship. This direct-to-consumer prototype was the game-changer, linking customers to the brand in a manner that old-style beauty brands hadn’t mastered.
The business model supporting Kylie Cosmetics was exclusive too. Kylie subcontracted production and sales to private-label producer Seed Beauty and the e-commerce platform Shopify. This allowed her to focus on her strengths – forming the product vision, marketing, and branding, and charming her followers.
In 2016, she retitled her brand to Kylie Cosmetics, initiating a range of products that included new lip kit colors, eyeshadows, and blushes. In doing so, she converted her endeavor from a single-product business into a full-fledged cosmetics range. And her followers lapped it up. The brand sustained and grew with a pop-up shop in LA luring thousands of shoppers, further demonstrating the power of her brand.
The birth of Kylie Cosmetics was not simply the consequence of an advantaged background; it was a premeditated leap that necessitated an understanding of a market and its consumers and then delivering a product they wanted. Kylie and her squad used a blend of keen business acumen, an understanding of the digital landscape, and her personal brand to fashion a beauty empire.
The success of Kylie Cosmetics speaks volumes about Kylie’s capability to decode her personal brand into a successful business. It also delivers valuable lessons for ambitious entrepreneurs about knowing your audience, using your strengths, and tactfully aligning your brand.