The Kylie Effect: A Marketing Analysis

How Kylie Jenner maintained success despite a saturated cosmetic industry.

Mariam Mohamed
Nov 18, 2018 · 6 min read
Kylie Lip Kit Analysis

Kylie Jenner. It’s a name that many know of, even if they aren’t fans of her. The woman really knows how to sell herself — despite how many haters she has, and that in my opinion deserves a lot of credit. From the least known sibling of the Kardashian Family, Kylie Jenner has now surpassed all her siblings in fame. Her company, “Kylie Cosmetics” has accrued $900 million since she founded it in November 2015. Over the span of three years, she has set herself on the course of being the youngest billionaire.

However, although Forbes has titled her the youngest self-made billionaire. The term self-made wouldn’t necessarily be correct to use to describe Jenner. In order to be self-made, you had to “succeed in life, without any aide.” Kylie Jenner already started off in a well known family with a hit TV show, Keeping up with the Kardashians, and was placed in the spotlight at a very young age. This is also a contributing factor to her success with Kylie Cosmetics. Kylie was already starting off the beauty race many feet ahead, due to already having millions of followers that would support her in anyway. As a result, she had already established her brand before creating Kylie Cosmetics, with the aid from the financial boost that the Kardashians publicity provided for her. All of this combined with her fame and beauty is a winning marketing formula.

Break Down of the Kylie Lip Kit Brand:

Now let’s analyze the Kylie Cosmetic phenomenon, and see how her tactics of marketing and advertising her label has allowed for such great success.

  1. Successful Influencer:
  • Unlike many other beauty and cosmetic companies with some sort of presence on social media, Kylie does not need to turn to others to promote her brand and products. Due to already being a well-known celebrity, the fact that Kylie already started her brand with millions of devoted followers makes the perfect concoction. She is the ultimate influencer who uses her own self and face to promote her products! This not only saves her so much money that would have otherwise been used on third party promotions, but also saves her a lot of money that may come from the risk of being caught up in influencer fraud.
  • If shes not using her face, she’s using those of her family, who are also major influencers with many followers and devoted fans. This can be depicted through all of the collaborations that she has created successful collections with. To date the only female sibling that Kylie hasn’t used for a family collaboration is Kendall Jenner. Her family has served to be her biggest boost in marketing. If that’s not the power of family, what is?
Kylie Jenner Instagram: KKW collaboration

2. Instagram:

  • Although Kylie has an instagram dedicated to Kylie Cosmetics, she also chooses to promote her makeup brand on her personal account. This not only reaches to more followers, but constantly keeps her makeup brand talked about. All the makeup details on her personal account lead back to Kylie Cosmetics, making fans interested in achieving her looks and style compelled to purchase her products.
Kylie Jenner and Kylie Cosmetics Instagrams

Another reason to why using her personal account to plug her makeup is a great move is because of her following. Kylie Cosmetics comes nowhere close to where her personal account is, with only 18.2 million followers. MAC cosmetics, a beauty rival has 20.1 million followers, which shows that since Kylie Cosmetics is still in its fetus years (only 3 years till date). It still has a lot of competition and other cosmetic giants surpassing it in follower numbers…although having a high follower count does not always translate into active users interested in your products. It is therefore safe to assume that many of Kylie’s sale success comes from a mixture of her personal account and dedicated business channel. Due to this, she can increase her chances of conversion by targeting a wider audience and limiting the amount of non active users.

3. Fan Conversion:

  • Furthermore, by having two channels to promote and advertise her brand, she can appeal to both Kylie Cosmetics customers through the channel, and use her personal channel to convert her already existing fans. By attempting to convert fans of her celebrity status to consumers of her products, she not only creates loyal long-lasting customers, but also those who support her no matter what she brings out.
  • Kylie is also constantly active on her Instagram stories which is reported to have more than 400m daily active users, and keeps growing. She used to advertise her products on snapchat as well, due to her large presence on that platform too. However, ever since Instagram got a stories feature she is able to promote on their directly to fans who can also check out her second account. Furthermore, by focusing more on instagram compared to snapchat and other smaller social channels she is able to keep her audience updated and wanting “more”.

4. Driving Demand:

  • Kylie is not shy when it comes to limited editions and holiday collections. In fact, most of her marketing and product purchases are through this. She makes an annual tradition of valentine's day, halloween, birthday, winter holiday editions that sell within minutes. This method is really effective and a perfect way to keep her followers and fans “waiting” to purchase her products. The concept of, “limited offers” serves as an exclusive one time only feeling that fans use to think of “now or never”. A concept that many other beauty industries use, such as MAC.

5. Pop-up Shop: Celebrity Appearance

Along with her high demand, Kylie Jenner is a non-stop marketing train. To add to her constant instagram presence she also chooses to use pop-up shops to drive her fans interest, something many beauty companies don’t. By having pop-up shops scattered across the world she’s not only able to target a greater audience, however she creates anticipation and again effectively uses the “waiting game” to her advantage. By anticipating for the arrival of her pop-up shop consumers also desire to attend incase she makes an appearance, something she’s done countless of times.

Kylie Jenner NYC Appearance

Nevertheless, Kylie Jenner’s use of social media to promote her brand is something that others could learn from. However, it also isn’t fair due to her circumstances of being a celebrity which has helped her substantially. We can see celebrities using the same tactic now, such as Rihanna with her new makeup line, and Kim Kardashian with her KKW brand. Product branding is now taking another turn, and it will be interesting to see how Kylie chooses to change up her social media formula as she gains more popularity. She’s not self-made, but she’s got the eye for branding.

Mariam Mohamed

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“From knowing comes caring, and from caring comes change.” — Manuel Bustelo