Kim Kardashian might be famous for dating black male celebrities and flashing major cleavage, but her business sense is sharp and also to be applauded. No stranger to selling herself well, the sex tape scandal star turned reality TV queen has worked her marketing magic yet again through her love life. Capitalizing mightily on her recent marriage to Kris Humphries, it is estimated that Kim was able to produce most of her $10 million celebrity wedding for free. She (and the corporate interests behind her) also stand to make $17.9 million off the nuptials — in profit. If you look at the total value raked in by the Kardashian clan for her heavenly union, that’s almost $30 million in cash, goods and services. How was a relatively talent-free but very pretty woman able to do this? There is something to be gained from mimicing Kim’s self-promoting genius. Her wedding is a case study of business wisdom we can apply to everyday scenarios.
- Tap Your Personal Life to Promote Your Business
Kim Kardashian and her entire family have built their empire on over-sharing the intimate details of their lives. Her wedding is no different. In fact, by exposing every element from the proposal to the wedding shower, Kim was able to build interest for the big event (and sell every moment in the timeline). In her article on Kardashian’s marketing acumen, Marianne Bickle writes: “One of the best marketing tactics is to… Let people and organizations know what your business is about, how you benefit the community and upcoming events. Toot your horn so that the entire world may hear the music.” Your level of sharing might not be as high as Kim’s but your brand will benefit from spreading knowledge of as much of yourself as you can in a positive way.
- Explore the Power of Brand Bartering
It is reported that most of the priciest elements of Kim Kardashian’s fantasy wedding were given to her for free. Her $20,000 wedding cake? A gift. High-end $10,000 wedding invitations? Comped. A hefty $60,000 for three coveted Vera Wang gowns (one for the ceremony, two for the reception)? Also gifted. A staggering $400,000 on champagne, and $150,000 on grooming services. Free and free again. The $50,000 bachelorette party? You get the idea. Why would luxury companies be willing to give all this away? Because of Kim’s extensive over-sharing on reality TV, the proprietors of these brands know their products will receive relentless exposure. If you can make your brand powerful, you might be surprised at what you can cop for nothing from companies that want to associated with you — and of course gain exposure when you share personal information with your networks.
- If You Can’t Get if For Free, Get it Cheaper!
Kim might be a self-marketing master, but there were some retailers who were not willing to totally succumb to the power of her international brand. Most notably, the providers of her wedding bands and engagement ring, Lorraine Schwartz, is reported to have discounted the $3 million cost considerably. While she did not get them for free, a reduction from millions is not small change. Consider asking for discounts and services when working with vendors, especially if your brand brings something powerful to the table.
- Titillate Your Audience & Tell a Good Story
One of the most dramatic elements of the Kim K. wedding story is the broken love affair of Kim and Reggie Bush. We all followed with bated breath while Kim put the pressure on Reggie to give her the ring. We sighed and pondered her merits as a potential wife when he wouldn’t do it. Some of us even cheered when she found another man. This epic tale told through the tabloids is another element of Kardashian’s marketing plan. Not only is the juicy story of her love life entertaining– it’s also free publicity for her businesses. Business writer Bickle adds: “All forms of positive publicity are important. Consumers are eager to be reminded of exciting events, have their minds taken off negative aspects of the economy and learn about savings or events that will benefit them.” How can you tell a compelling story and generate a pleasing diversion through your media sharing?
- Sell Anything You Can!
Be creative about product lines in your business, just like Mrs. Humphries. Kim and her team sold her engagement photos for $300,00, her bridal shower photos for $100,000, and of course scored $1.5 million for photos of the wedding. There biggest gain will come from the $15 million price tag on the wedding video, which will exclusively air on E! in October. Not bad for a wedding you didn’t pay for. While your personal moments caught on tape might not fetch such a staggering amount, it is likely that there are products and services you could be selling but aren’t because you have not considered every possibility. Rethink your options and add as many product extensions to your core business as you can.