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The Kardashians: Marketing Lessons for Every Business Owner

Business marketing lessons from the Kardashians

The Kardashians may not have any meaningful significance, but it's tough to deny their commercial relevance. The family is a well-oiled marketing machine: when you consider their four television shows, chain of clothing stores, book deals, and fragrances – to say nothing of endorsement deals for everything from pistachio nuts to sneakers, and a wedding worth $17.9 million for broadcast rights alone – the Kardashians can justifiably call themselves a lifestyle brand. As much as we hate to admit it, business owners can learn some marketing tips from the Kardashians. A few key lessons:

Accept lemons, make lemonade. 

It’s no secret that the Kardashian family rise to celebrity fame was the result of Kim Kardashian's sex tape leaked in 2007. However, there is a business lesson that can be derived from the debacle. When Vivid Entertainment bought the rights for $1 million and released “Kim Kardashian: Superstar," Kardashian first sued Vivid for ownership of the tape, but was later persuaded to drop the suit and settle with the company for $5 million. Mortfiying? Yes. But profitable? A resounding yes. The Kardashians show business owners that when handed an obstacle, tackle it–it may even be a profitable opportunity.

Keep it in the family. 

Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner has been criticized for “pimping out” her children, but the mother’s shrewd dealings may be a smart move. Of the 10% manager fee Kris takes from her family members’ earnings, daughter Kourtney says, “We’d have to give it to someone else; I’d rather keep it in the family,” and Kim states, “She has this vision for us, and she makes it happen.” In fact, it has been reported that Kris “makes it happen” to the tune of $65 million a year. What can business owners learn from this? When the goal is to build wealth, keep it in the family – all of it.

Talk yourself up. 

As Barbara Walters recently explained, the Kardashians are maligned as much as they are beloved because they are “famous for being famous." Regardless, the Kardashians are massive earners because they have presented themselves as important to television, profitable for companies, and valuable for consumers. When Kris Jenner says, "People love looking at the growth of a brand" in regards to her own family, we are also inclined to see them as an established, lasting symbol. What can business owners learn from this? Projecting confidence is the key to success – take it from the Kardashians.

Franchises and Business Opportunities – Understanding the Difference

For entrepreneurs seeking to hit the ground running with a new business venture, there are two main categories of opportunities out there that allow them to benefit from the experience, assets and reputation of existing business concepts. These are: (i) the franchise, and (ii) the “business opportunity”.

5 Profitable Franchises for 2015

The point is that he was so blinded by his desire to open one particular franchise, that he had no idea about anything other than the brand name.

Protect Your Brand: Trademark Monitoring for Franchisors

Almost all franchisors own at least one federally registered trademark (and if they don’t, they should). As a general principle, brand owners are required to monitor and enforce their trademark rights in order to retain the exclusivity afforded by federal trademark registrations. This takes on additional complexities for franchisors—who need to make sure not only that no one is using their trademarks without authorization, but also that franchisees are making proper use of their marks.