The Kardashian Effect: How One Family Changed Business Forever

  • Published on
    Mar 03, 2022

The Kardashians at a photoshoot

When Keeping Up With the Kardashians (KUWTK) premiered on E! Network in 2007, it was all about a privileged blended family chasing fame in their own unconventional ways. Fourteen years and twenty seasons later, it became one of the longest-running and most-watched reality series in U.S. television history — and the family who was once chasing fame had changed the entertainment industry forever.

In the years following their reality TV debut “the Kardashian effect” is now a marketing behemoth. From practically inventing influencer marketing to taking the lead in the social media royalty department, let’s take a look at why show business will never be the same again — all because of the Kardashian-Jenners.

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Why Were Audiences So Drawn to KUWTK?

Just within the first month of its premiere, KUWTK raked in 1.3 million viewers and became the highest-rated series on Sunday nights among 18 to 34-year-olds. The Kardashian effect only climbed higher up the A-list ladder from there as it even peaked at 4.8 million viewers in later seasons.

But what was it that made audiences so drawn to this reality show starring Kris, Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie? 

Was it the inevitable highs, lows, and behind-the-scenes drama that come with pursuing celebrity status? Or was it their lavish lifestyles in La La land that kept audiences wanting more? 

Maybe it was the former; maybe it was the latter. But one thing’s for sure: the secret to their popularity lies in how they market themselves — and momager, Kris Jenner, is the genius behind the Kardashian effect. 

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The Four Ways They’ve Impacted Business Forever

The Kardashian effect is more than just a pop culture phenomenon. It has redefined what it means and what it takes to reach celebrity status. Their interesting family identity has turned into a recognizable and bankable brand — and the Kardashian business simply sells

Let’s look at the four ways the Kardashian effect has changed the entertainment business.

They Practically Invented the Influencer Concept

The Kardashians are no traditional celebrities. They’re not movie stars nor chart-topping musicians that the crowds usually hail. They’re simply “famous for being famous” — and, later on, became famous for the Kardashian businesses, of course. 

What resonated so well with their audiences initially was their compelling personalities, luxury wardrobes, million-dollar homes, eccentric beauty routines, tried-and-tested workouts and diets, and their unbothered plastic surgery culture. There’s no denying they practically invented the “influencer” concept before it even became a thing. 

Even the most trivial elements of their lives have the power to draw in viewer interest. They built a connection with their fanbases through their relatable characters and established themselves as icons in the lifestyle department — much like what social media influencers on Instagram do on the daily.   

It’s safe to say that the rising influencer marketing industry of today is a product of the Kardashian effect established in 2007.  

The Kardashian and Jenner “No Filter Culture” Sells

From Kim and Kourtney’s savage catfights, and Kylie leaving Kendall stranded at a gas station in the middle of the night, to Kris and Kim smashing each other’s phones and throwing them off a balcony — KUWTK had more than enough real-life drama to keep audiences hooked.

On the flip side, the show also openly addressed plenty of other controversial topics like divorce, mental health, substance abuse, plastic surgery, and more. 

At the end of the day, despite their disputes, the Kardashian-Jenners don’t forget to remember that family comes first.   

Keeping Up With the Kardashians offered an inside look at the lives of the rich and famous, while embodying a no-filter culture that left viewers intrigued by each and every episode. 

The next time celebrities and brands try to get creative with marketing strategies, there’s no doubt about it that some will try the “no filter culture” approach too. 

They’re Spearheading the Social Media Royalty Department

The Kardashian effect reigns supreme on social media as well — a testament to how much impact they have on pop culture and the entertainment industry. 

All the five Kardashian-Jenner sisters are in the top 20 most-followed accounts on Instagram. The youngest in the family, Kylie Jenner, is the most followed woman on the planet and even became the first female to reach 300 million followers on Instagram. 

The Kardashians’ influence on society has transformed the digital marketing space and put a strong emphasis on why paying a hefty price for endorsements is totally worth it. Whether it’s detox tea or fashion brands, you can count on it to sell if a Kardashian-Jenner posts about it. 

Check out the Kardashian effect in social media numbers below!

Instagram AccountRank in the Global Top 20Number of Followers
Kylie Jenner#3318 million
Kim Kardashian #8292 million
Khloe Kardashian#10 226 million
Kendall Jenner#12224 million
Kourtney Kardashian#20164 million

Kardashian Businesses: Billion Dollar Beauty Empires

Transforming the beauty industry one product at a time is a long list of Kardashian businesses that have turned into multi-million and billion-dollar empires. Another pillar of the Kardashian effect is the iconic footprints these girl bosses continue to leave in the world of entrepreneurship. 

Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS, an underwear, loungewear, and shapewear brand, catapulted to a net worth of $3.2 billion in early 2022. 

Kylie Cosmetics has been dominating the make-up industry ever since it launched in 2014. Five years later, it reached a value of $1.2 billion. 

The Kardashians are literally brands themselves. And when a brand launches a brand, it turns into a game-changing empire to be reckoned with. Kardashian businesses are revolutionizing the beauty industry like never before. 

Harness the Power of Celebrity Marketing

The Kardashian effect proves that the influence of celebrities is one of the most compelling marketing forces. A-listers have the power to impact consumer decisions and catapult businesses to immense mainstream success.

Are you ready to harness the power of celebrity marketing for your own brand? 

Talent Connect is here to make it happen. Whether it’s media appearances or campaigns, we’re the premier agency you can rely on to connect you with the world’s biggest stars.

Get in touch with us today to learn more! 

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