How to build your brand and break through the competition
What is the Kim Kardashian Principle? It’s breaking through by becoming your own champion. It will help you and your ideas connect with today’s audiences, who are radically different from their predecessors. It won’t be easy, though. It takes time and energy to unlearn deeply ingrained attitudes and behaviors and truly open your mind to seeing the world in a different way.
The KKP requires you to both use reason and acknowledge emotions. It requires you to be brave enough to follow through and act on your convictions. Once you take the plunge, it’s worth it. It’s effective as well as empowering to say, and mean, ‘This is who I am, this is what I believe, and this is what my idea is about. Love it or leave it!’ Jeetendr Sehdev, celebrity branding expert and author of The Kim Kardashian Principle, provides his top tips on how to build your brand and break through against all odds.
Ideas, products, services, and people that follow the Kim Kardashian Principle are the ones that will break through, at all costs, and come out on top—just like Kim. These ideas don’t traffic in shame and have little regard for the judgment of others. They exude authenticity, and, ultimately,they define the culture. The KKP isn’t just about breaking the rules; it’s about creating your own rules. It’s not about living up to other people’s standards but living up to your own standards. The principle demands that you be so true to who you are and what you believe—at all times—that you can’t help but convey your DNA to everyone you touch.
Why the Kim Kardashian Principle? Because Kim Kardashian has indisputably shaped our culture and the way it unfolds; she is a grand-scale indicator of how to behave if you want to achieve certain goals. Her stunning popularity represents a seismic shift in the way ideas catch on and how people, products, and services can capitalize on this change to build stronger, more intimate connections with consumers.
The six principles of SELFIE will maximize the effect of everything—your personal brand, product innovation, policy initiatives, and marketing campaigns. Your ideas will break through and catch on like wildfire.
California sex symbols are blonde and blue-eyed. These old-school glamazons fit a mold, one that would shatter into a million pieces if our girl KK tried to squeeze into it. Yet shattering the mold turned out to be her greatest accomplishment. Ideas that want to break through in today’s crowded and disengaged marketplace have to follow Kim’s lead, finding their distinguishing characteristic and amping it up—even if it seems to go against marketing orthodoxy. Be unique and innovative—and make no apologies.
Consumers are instantly suspicious of caveats, halfheartedness, and pivots. The Kardashians have stayed relentlessly true to who they are, and this has allowed them to weather all kinds of should-be scandals, including questionable product endorsements and multiple failed marriages. Kim rarely holds anything back, for any reason. And this is a crucial lesson for ideas and individuals that want to connect today. It’s better to be overexposed than edited. Have the courage of your convictions. Don’t pull punches.
Kim Kardashian is an entirely self-made creature; she didn’t succeed in the Paris Hilton era but instead remade the modern celebutante in her own image. Remaking culture is a risky business, an all-or- nothing game. You may be mocked or—worse—ignored, but if you have conviction, your audience will eventually align with your vision. Don’t tap into the existing culture—create it. Establish new norms and rally people to your vision. Show the world your version of the future.
Kim Kardashian is a flawed individual, and so are you. She built her fortune on one (literally) massive flaw—her well-endowed derriere—turning it into a million-dollar asset. She took her suburban sensibilities and reframed them as modern sophistication and glamour. Any idea that wants to connect with consumers has to proudly and boldly showcase its flaws. Consumers are bored with—and indifferent to—perfection. Flaws are revolutionary, intoxicating, and compelling, so embrace yours.
Kim is so much more than just a pretty face on Instagram. She’s an entrepreneur with her own beauty products; a fashionista and walking billboard for designer labels; she has a game app and emojis. She’s also a wife, mother, and sister,
as well as a cybermate to millions. Being many things in one bodacious package endears her to many different people and has helped her create intimate relationships with a legion of fans around the world, across old and new media. Ideas that want to generate a similar level of intimacy will need to redefine old-school notions of exclusivity. One size no longer fits all, so make sure your ideas and messages are tailored and focus on providing practical value and additional benefits.
Kim doesn’t sit around waiting for things to happen to her; she goes out and makes them happen. Today, execution needs to be an integral part of any framework. I’ve learned to live the principles of SELFIE, and so should you.
Jeetendr Sehdev is the world’s leading celebrity expert. A trailblazer in pop culture, he has become one of the most prominent figures in celebrity news and a sought-after adviser to top international companies. Jeetendr’s research on the power of YouTube stars continues to make global headlines and has gained him influencer status and over a million subscribers on social media. He is a familiar face on shows like Access Hollywood, The Insider and CNN Tonight and he regularly writes opinion pieces for publications like the Guardian and Forbes. A graduate of Oxford University and Harvard Business School, Jeetendr is a British national who now lives in Los Angeles where he teaches at the University of Southern California.