Kris Jenner says social media is to blame for the end of Keeping Up With the Kardashians after 14 years on air — but it’s also the reason her family is so good at selling its various brands.
The 64-year-old graces the cover of WWD’s sister publication, Beauty Inc., where she talks about the end of the E! show, the success of her daughters’ beauty and fashion brands, and the possibility that she will launch her own Kris Jenner beauty brand some day.
To that point, she said: ‘I think I’m a bit busy right now… I’ve always dreamed of having my own brand, so we’ll see. I’m going to keep it to myself.’
CEO: Kris Jenner, 64, graces the cover of WWD’s sister publication, Beauty Inc.
Very buys: ‘The things we are working on are moving at a million miles an hour and my role is to manage it all at the same time,’ she said
The Kardashian family business model has evolved quite a lot over the last decade and a half, with the latest development being the end of their show.
Kris explained that the immediacy of social media, which wasn’t nearly so pervasive when the show premiered in 2007, was a major contributing factor to leaving TV.
‘When we first started, there was no Instagram or Snapchat or other social media platforms,’ she said.
‘The world has changed. Now there are so many, the viewer doesn’t have to wait three or four months to see an episode. We can give them all of the information anyone would ever want to know in real time.’
But while it may have brought the show to an end, it’s also helped the family grow it’s following exponentially — and is the best way to advertise what they’re selling.
‘Social media is the fastest and most controlled way to get the message out. The consumer gets to see the products the girls are working on in real time, and they know we’re going to get it out the door pretty quickly,’ she said.
‘The girls want them to be part of the journey to keep them engaged.’
End of an era: She said Keeping Up With the Kardashians ended because of social media, since fans don’t need to wait months to see what’s going on with the family anymore
Businesswoman: She also said that ‘social media is the fastest and most controlled way to get the message out’ about their brands
Engaging with their audience has contributed to changes in branding over the years. Kris said that early on, she would ‘say yes to everything,’ with the girls doing a lot of licensing deals in which they’d agree to have their name or image put on a product for a fee.
As time went on, Kris became more ‘strategic and selective,’ and found that it was more lucrative to have equity in brands — meaning they’re part owners and have more of a hand in the decisions.
Now, the Kardashian-Jenners head up eight different companies.
There’s KKW Beauty, KKW Fragrance, and Skims shapewear for Kim Kardashian West has. Kylie Jenner has Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin, and she and sister Kendall partner on Kendall + Kylie Clothing. Khloe Kardashian has Good American, and Kourtney Kardashian heads up Poosh.
With her manager role, this all keeps Kris very busy.
‘The things we are working on are moving at a million miles an hour and my role is to manage it all at the same time,’ she said.
She said: ‘We are constantly listening, and having that information and takeaway of what our consumer wants means we can have great insight into what we want do next’
Next up? Kris admitted she’s ‘always dreamed of having my own brand’ but is ‘busy’ right now
‘We are constantly listening, and having that information and takeaway of what our consumer wants means we can have great insight into what we want do next.’
She said that social media is ‘a focus group in real time.’
‘People have been following our family for over a decade. They have watched the girls grow up. The girls have created a relationship,’ she said.
‘Kylie listens. Kim listens, and she is able to adjust and adapt accordingly. If something goes wrong, she is the first person to say, “I hear you. Let me change that, because you are absolutely right.” The consumer loves that.’
Industry pros also chimed in to praise Kris as a savvy businesswoman, with Ulta Beauty president Dave Kimball saying that Kris’ ‘business prowess is undeniable.’
Meanwhile, Coty chairman Peter Harf praised her business acumen, and Tommy Hilfiger called her ‘a 21st-century, modern business visionary.’
Though Kris wouldn’t confirm she is developing her own beauty brand, a source that spoke to Beauty, Inc. called it a ‘great idea’ and suggested ‘very expensive products to mature skin.’