Who can forget the traumatic experience Kim Kardashian went through a few months back when she was robbed at gunpoint in her Paris hotel? There’s nothing more terrifying than having your home and family threatened. So, understandably, Kim took some time off from social media after the event to spend time with her family and focus on the things that matter most. For someone without Kim’s status, this hiatus wouldn’t have been such a big deal. However, Kim makes a good chunk of her money from influencer marketing, and some of us were beginning to wonder if the Kim K brand was going to suffer due to her social media absence.
Now, about three months later, Kim has returned to social media. Maybe Kim was waiting for the New Year to step back into her social media business, or maybe she was waiting for the robbery suspects to be apprehended, but either way, the queen of social media branding is back online.
The first Instagram post came at the beginning of January. The photo was of her, Kanye and their two children, simply captioned “family.” Since that first picture, all following Instagram posts have had a strong “family-first” theme to them. At first, I wondered whether Kim was simply taking the whole “New year, new me” mantra seriously and changing her ways. Each photo looks soft and faded out, and they all make it obvious how much she loves her family.
However, as a recent article from Vanity Fair points out, it didn’t take long for Kim to go back to her branding tactics. On January 3, Kim replied “dope!!!!!” to a tweet of a phone screen grab of a fan’s iPhone folder entitled “KIM” that contained Kimoji, her game, and her app. While this was a small gesture, it made it clear to skeptics that Kim is back to her old tricks and doing what she does best: marketing herself.
I do find it interesting, though, that Kim chose to start her return to social media with photos of her family. Yes, there was the abovementioned business tie-in, but the predominant theme here has been family. If you ask me, Kim is trying to rebrand herself for the most part. Maybe she’s trying to paint a softer picture of herself, one that’s a bit more relatable to the average American who has a family of their own. This would be a smart move on Kim’s part, given that a lot of people aren’t particularly fond of her. Many are of the opinion that she’s overrated and find it difficult to praise someone who became famous in the way she did. By repositioning herself as someone centered on family, could Kim brand herself as relatable?
We may get to find out how dedicated she is to this new persona soon. The most recent instance of Kim’s branding tactics came yesterday, when she posted a photo of herself on her way to Dubai for a master class she’s co-hosting with makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic.
Kim will be the face model for the class—making ticket prices unbelievably expensive—and Mario will teach attendees how he does Kim Kardashian West’s signature makeup. Her makeup is a major part of her persona and her brand, so it’ll be interesting to see how or if her look changes following her shift in priorities. This is her first paid appearance since the robbery, but, more importantly, will her makeup—and consequently, her branding—change to fit with her new family-first image? We’ll have to keep an eye on her Instagram to find out.
Become a Mad Marketer columnist! Want to contribute your expertise to a growing audience of Marketing professionals? Become a writer, blogger or columnist for the Mad Marketer Web site. Contact us for details.