She is a reality star, social media princess, fashion & beauty mogul, yet I cannot fathom how we are talking about 19-year old Kylie Jenner. While many teens her age are trying to find their feet at varsity, or if privileged enough, they are finding ways of spending their family fortunes, Kylie has become one of the biggest influences of pop culture, a millennial icon, a valuable brand, all thanks to the image she projects on social media. The youngest Kardashian-Jenner wasn’t just content with enjoying the pecks that come with her last name. Instead, Kylie decided (with the help of Mama K), to commodify her image, leading to numerous business ventures, including clothing lines and a mobile game with sister Kendall Jenner, a mobile app as well as numerous brand endorsements.
One business venture I find the most intriguing is her beauty empire, Kylie Cosmetics. The direct-to-consumer entity, which was launched in November 2015, is already considered an industry game changer, often mentioned alongside giants such as Estée Lauder’s Bobbi Brown. I often use her as a case study when approaching certain brand concepts and as such, I have decided to do a quick guide on her brand, Kylie Cosmetics.
GUIDE TO BUILDING A BEAUTY EMPIRE:
1. Discover your passion
“I’ve always been obsessed with lips in general, and with making my lips bigger before I got them injected,” Jenner recently told Violet Grey, while being profiled as one of 50 female beauty entrepreneurs. Kylie has always been passionate about beauty and make-up, but had been insecure about how thin her lips were, before she had them dermatologically augmented.
2. Act on your passion
The controversy around Kylie’s lips created an opportunity that would normalize enhanced lips, which Kylie took advantage of. She wasn’t content with just knowing what she loved; she knew that there lies resounding success in turning your passions into revenue generating businesses.
3. Seek Help
While Kylie might have known her true passion, she was clueless when it came to making her dreams a reality and knew she would need help from experts. Under her mother’s guidance, they partnered with Seed Beauty, which also manufactures the Colour Pop beauty brand. Seed beauty owners, the Nelsons, call the partnership an incubation program where they have provided the means by which Kylie could create her own line while maintaining full creative control. “Part of the Seed Beauty business is that we are partners with Kylie Jenner on Kylie Cosmetics. It’s a good fit and a good partnership. We’re happy to support that business and partner with her to really bring her vision to life in an organic and authentic way.”
4. Have a kickass marketing strategy
Kylie’s massive following makes her a walking billboard, but even with that, she needed a solid marketing strategy. The truth is, we can’t think lip gloss or even lips for that matter, without thinking of Kylie. That is all thanks to how she has decided to position her brand on her social media. Kylie Cosmetics is mainly marketed on Kylie’s social media and the brand’s pages, making full use of their CEO’s massive reach. The limited production runs also create more demand due to the “selling out” hype, all the makings of a hot item. Kylie and her team have also proven that they are not interested in following the traditional route to marketing. Her fresh and fearless approach to marketing her products is what continues to generate enough interest around her brand, leading to the impressive sales Kylie Cosmetics enjoys.
5. Develop an Innovation Strategy
Since the launch of her brand, Kylie has been expanding her cosmetics line, to date offering five product offerings in the cosmetic sector, including crème and powder eyeshadow, eyeliner, lip gloss, and the original lip kit. Her cosmetics brand is constantly evolving, preventing her consumers from getting bored. Some of the innovative concepts I’ve enjoyed from them are below:
Pop Up Shop
“Kylie is a lens on the culture and a reflection of what is now, what is relevant at the moment,” Puma global director of brand and marketing Adam Petrick said of Kylie at the time of their partnership announcement. I have nothing more to add to that, honestly. If I had a mic, I’d be dropping it now.