Did you know that SKIMS has doubled in valuation from 9 months ago to $3.2 Billion? Yes, Billions with capital B. Kim Kardashian’s solution wear brand has disrupted the industry and not only surpassed key players like Spanx, Miraclesuit, and Victoria’s Secret in just 3 years but has also revolutionized the marketing approach in the shapewear industry. (Bloomberg)
But how does a brand blow up like this and keep its momentum in such a short time? We’ve been following Skims since its inception, keep reading to know what we’ve learned. Some of these takeaways are even applicable to your business right now.
1. Keep things simple. Skims uses very straightforward messaging and marketing there isn’t any room for misinterpretation. When you promote your brand you have to make it dummy-proof. Even someone who has never seen your brand or what it stands for should understand where you’re going with your visuals and ads. Are you overthinking things is your campaigns? Can you simplify things?
2. Adapt to your current environment. Skims started off as shapewear but guess what happened when the pandemic hit and no none was dressing up to use shapewear? They pivoted to cozy launch wear and underwear. The fact that they were independent aided them in expanding their product portfolio quickly. How are you adapting to the recession?
3. Collaborations. Skims is taking Collaboration over Competition to another level. Their collaboration with Fendi generated more than $3 million within 10 mins of its release. This didn’t only introduce a luxury clientele to the brand but also established them as a worthy partner of luxury brands. Now you can find Skims in high end retailers like Nordstrom and Harrods. I’m sure partnering with a prestigious brand like Fendi helped move the needle quite a bit. The collab with Team USA for the Olympics put them on a global stage and demonstrated their ability to tap into sports apparel. Can you collaborate with a leader in your industry or someone in your community who has a pull?
4. Leverage Cultural Moments. Whether it’s Snoop Dogg’s family in their Christmas Campaign, Supermodels from the 90s, or The White Lotus Stars in Skim’s latest V-Day Campaign. Kim K. knows how to use iconic moments to her advantage keeping her brand relevant.
5. Inclusivity. Since its inception Skims demonstrated inclusivity when it came to skin color ranges and sizes. That’s how they originally won over customers. They took a Fenty Beauty approach and applied it to shapewear. Can you apply this concept to your brand?
6. Influencer Marketing. Obviously Kim Kardashian is the Social Media Influencer of our generation and it doesn’t hurt to have sisters and bffs with very large audiences either. But compared to other brands Skims didn’t invest in traditional channels (like TV and radio) until last year when it came to advertising. That’s how she really changed the game and tapped into different audiences. Companies have tremendously increased their influencer marketing spend. She used a great mix of mid (50k-500k followers), macro (500k to 1mil followers), and mega (1mil+ follower) influencers to really blow up her brand. This built not only brand awareness, but also trust and credibility when the co-sign didn’t come straight from the Kardashian-Jenner clan and its affiliates. Are you the only one talking about your brand? Can you get anyone else to brag about your business?
7. Involve the Audience in the process. Kim Kardashian basically documented why she created certain products. E.g. she couldn’t find shapewear for high slit dresses, so she would just cut off one leg of her shaping shorts. She knew the market was missing something so that’s how the Solution Short #2 was created. People feel connected to her journey and remember the stories she shared while developing Skims. It makes her extremely relatable and highlights the solutions she offers to the problems we all face. How can you be more transparent with your audience and give them a behind-the-scenes view into developing your products? Focus more on the solution you offer versus the product itself. Some brands even go as far as asking their audience for design ideas.
I know that most of us don’t have Kim Kardashian’s funding, social media following, or connections. But all these 7 points are keys to running a dominating business in the industry. Challenge yourself to apply these concepts on a smaller scale and you will see how it will pay off.
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XOXO, Dynamically Branded