Branding And Marketing Strategy Behind Kylie Jenner Billion Dollar Brand

Branding And Marketing Strategy Behind Kylie Jenner Billion Dollar Brand

Posted On Sep 29th, 2022

Let’s dive right in!

Kylie Jenner is the youngest (and richest) of the Kardashian Jenner clan as well as being the founder of Kylie Cosmetics. She is been named the youngest “self-made billionaire” by Forbes in 2019 (they recently removed the title due to web lies)

Love them or hate them we have to admit that from a business perspective the Kardashians seem to have the golden touch when it comes to building an empire.

Although I have mixed feelings regarding their values and what they stand for, as a marketer coming from a strong background in the beauty industry on my corporate days I am rather fascinated and curious about what is the strategy behind this phenomenal social media brand success.

Advantage beginning but clever storytelling strategy

First and foremost we can’t deny she has had an unquestionable advantage over the competition, of which most other business owners can only dream.

Before setting up Kylie Cosmetics, she starred in the hit reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians for nearly a decade of her childhood and teenage life. Kylie began to build an enviable following of dedicated fans on multiple social platforms alongside the growth of social media. As of the time of writing, she has 182m followers on Instagram, ranking her the 7th most followed person on the channel.

Although this has been a huge advantage to the launch of Kylie’s brand as she already succeeds where most people fail, creating and building an audience this wasn’t automatic a reason to succeed a product launch.

What do I mean by that?

Huge social media following doesn’t automatically turn into a massive profit. Although it helps there needs to be something else that gets people loyal to the person. Often people follow celebrities purely because they are interested see what’s happening off-camera (not sure when the Kardashian are off-cameras but you know what I mean).

Having tv fans for the reality show doesn’t mean that you will necessarily an actual influence on trends and consumer behavior.

A very simple example?

Robert Kardashian had the same exposure and advantage of Kylie and his business did not work out at all.

What Kylie did cleverly was starting to build her audience around her passion for makeup. She started focusing her content for over a year around makeup products and makeup tutorials before launching Kylie Cosmetics.

Kylie cosmetics was the result of extremely clever storytelling built on insecurities.

Let”s take a close look…

A teenage girl feeling rejected by a guy after telling her that her lips were too small like so many other girls out there feels insecure and try to enhance to please. What does Kylie do (before lip fillers)? She starts sharing pictures of lip pencil and lips to make her lips look bigger and she starts to connect with other teenagers living the same problem.

Sharing this message from a celebrity makes the audience connecting more with her character as they see a normal person behind the tv star. Using this as the main message of the brands makes you buy the confidence that products give you and alongside that the fact that if Kylie the celebrity overcomes this problem with this product even the consumer can.

We know that by now right! There ‘s not bad publicity or good publicity when it comes to the Kardashian, in fact, a little after Kylie launched Kylie Cosmetics selling out in minutes the lip kit she admits to having had lip injection to enhance her lips and use that as a PR strategy to generate buzzing around her new brand turning this into a huge marketing move.

Influencer Marketing To The Next Level

When people define celebrities influencers I disagree.


Being a Content Creator that creates, plans, edits, and promotes content for a living is different than working on tv and using influencer marketing as a strategy.

Content Creators get paid to create and promote content because they have an audience that is interested in that product. Celebrities instead get paid to endorse a product to their fans without necessarily having to guarantee a certain return of investment.

What is the difference? Whether creators get paid for the content they produce celebrities get paid for the fans they have.

The strategy adopted by Kylie of building an audience around beauty products was an exceptional move as that allowed her not to have just a tv fan based but people interested in make up that would most likely buy from her.

Unlike most beauty and cosmetics companies with a presence on social media, Kylie does not need to turn to others for help when promoting her products. She is the ultimate influencer, using her face to exhibit her makeup range. This likely saves her a lot of money many others would need to budget for third party endorsement, and also eliminates the risk of being caught up in influencer fraud.

When she’s not using her face, she’s turning to her family to produce collaborative collections. Using the other sisters ( and mom) as the face of several capsule collections allow Kylie to reach different demographics and audiences with her brand.

Killer Kardashian’s Marketing and PR Strategy

Each sister work on social media in entirely different ways. Let’s make an example of Kim and Kylie who both own businesses via eCommerce, these two sisters have decided to leave the marketing aspect of their businesses up to Instagram.

Kylie’s main strategy is to launch a picture on her Instagram of each product. From there, she moves onto Snapchat where she will include a quick video of her swatching all her new products. Kylie typically has music playing in the background of each video, music that is new and would catch the attention of the audience.

Kim Kardashian also launched a cosmetic KKW Beauty. She primarily follows the same marketing strategy as Kylie. However, what Kim did differently was that she threw a launch party in which she invited all the most popular YouTube beauty gurus so that they can come test out her products before they were launched to the public. Kim was extremely smart in doing this since she realized that the main demographic of people who support her and will most likely purchase her products are teens who follow her on social media, and who also follow beauty vloggers on YouTube. She was able to narrow down who her target audience is and find a way to increase awareness to ensure that they will purchase her products. Kim doesn’t stop there, she also goes as far as to film herself being glammed with her products by some of the guests at her party.

when it comes to PR both the sister has a very impactful strategy pre-launching to increase awareness. Whenever Kim or Kylie release something major, they send out a sample to some special influencers in the most extravagant way. Both Kim and Kylie will send out free samples of their products to YouTubers in return for those beauty gurus to post a review of the product on their channel.

This family understood the changing of behavior as consumers through the younger generation and master it to ensure maximum results on launches.

Driving Demand Launches

When it comes to launches whether that is Kylie or any other sister they have a strategy to success.

Seasonal launches for instance are a hit with her fans, who have come to expect new collections at Christmas, Valentine’s day, and mid-summer, to name a few. Releasing a new range for her August birthday each year has also become a tradition, and she even announced an assortment of limited-edition cosmetics to celebrate her daughter, Stormi, just weeks after she was born. In February 2016, Kylie released six limited-edition lip kit shades inspired by Valentine’s day which sold out in just 10 minutes.


Creating urgency on consumers by releasing limited edition triggers that sense of loss-making people wants those products even more. Most of the Kardashian Jenner products become hype launches such as Yeezy for example.

The Pop-Up Store Strategy

How about if you want to try the makeup on? Kylie thought about this as well.

Pop-up stores have become increasingly popular amongst online-only brands as a way of providing limited-time in-store customer experiences you are hesitant to spend money based on online images and reviews alone and you just want more than just the myriad of swatches Kylie posts on Instagram, she decided to overcome this concern.

Ais 2017 when the popularity of pop up stores (and kylie cosmetics) was growing massively. that’s why she announced a total of seven pop-ups in the US, perfectly coinciding with the usual Christmas shopping mania( clever girl)

What Does Kylie has That Competitors Don’t?

KYLIE’s main competitors in the beauty industry are M-A-C and Colour Pop. If you just think that the only different thing is her audience on Instagram this not the only reason.

Kylie uses her face to promote everything in her brand and this creates a deeper connection with the consumers. She doesn’t use models to promote her brand and she does not use any paid advertising but just Instagram.

Competitors tend to pick testimonials for their brand but that usually gets perceived as just a pure advert. The fact that Kylie introduces her brand in her day to day life makes it more relatable to the audience and therefore more appealing to purchase.

Calling the Kardashian relatable might be a little bit of a stretch, however personal branding and essentially lifestyle marketing is what people buy into.

The Entrepreneurial Beauty Lab

Here’s a juicy gossip for you both Kylie and Kim use a secret sauce for their products name Seed Beaty aka the company behind ColourPop. Seed beauty is what they called an “Entrepreneurial brand lab”.

The business model of Seed Beauty is in my opinion pure genius. Having worked in business development for a major beauty company I can assure you that normally it takes around 2 years to come ou with a new product. The Unique selling point of Seed Beauty is its delivery suiting perfectly the higher demand for beauty products coming from social media.

Today the company boasts that it can take a product from concept to creation in a matter of 5 five days. ( Seed Beauty is the company behind lots of Youtube launches such as vloggers like Kathleen Lights and Jenn Imm.)

The way the process work is through market research between the Kardashian-Jenner and Seed to find out across several platforms what could be the next big thing and then create a Kylie version.

What’s next?

51% of Kylie Cosmetics has been sold to Coty Prestige for $600 million in January 2020. When it comes to the Kardashian Jenner the controversy is around the comes and the latest news came from Forbes revoking Kylie’s billionaire status due to the false tax returns and selling a company that has been sold for the way so much than what its worth it.

What is the biggest takeaway here?

Although I don’t consider the entrepreneurial journey of the Kylie Cosmetics exactly “normal” or “self-made” I think what we can take away from this is the structure of the process and the strategy behind it. I think what had a huge impact on Kylie’s success was the retention of the audience that she has been able to turn into clients and how this trend carried on for such a long period.

Original Post: Branding And Marketing Strategy Behind Kylie Jenner Billion Dollar Brand 

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