Yahoo Finance’s Alexandra Canal crumbles next steps for Kim Kardashian West when the reality star officially joins Forbes’ coveted billionaires club.
AKIKO FUJITA: Well, Kim Kardashian West had a record year. The reality star was officially inducted into Forbes’ coveted billionaires club last week. But her upcoming divorce from rapper Kanye West could have an impact on her booming business. And Allie Canal is anything to walk us through the numbers. Allie, we didn’t talk about this or I actually thought about it, but she got her name in a lot of these brands. How significant are the effects from this point of view too?
ALEXANDRA CHANNEL: You’re right. Let’s talk about KKW Beauty, your cosmetics company. She owns 72% of this company. She sold a 20% stake in COTY last year. And it’s very heavily branded with NPP. When she married Kanye in 2014, she legally changed her name to separate him in Kardashian-West. And then that moniker, KKW, really took on a life of its own. Not only do we have KKW Beauty, they also have a perfume line, KKW Fragrance. And a lot of her fans really linked Kim Kardashian to KKW.
So I was curious to think about what if she finally decides to just go back to Kim Kardashian and drop the West name altogether? Will that affect your brand? So I spoke to a branding expert and he said it was very important for Kardashian to slow it down a bit and make sure this is a business decision, not an emotional one, especially since KKW Beauty sells both online and in stores. That creates a lot of logistical challenges. If they did a complete brand overhaul, it would affect printing and shipping as well as SEO, URLs and the website. And all of this can cost a lot of time and money.
So we said what a good middle ground if she ultimately decides to change her name is just to reuse the meaning of the W. Instead of meaning Kim Kardashian-West, the W could perhaps stand for Kim Kardashian Worldwide worldwide. This way you can keep the brand identity but also change the final meaning.
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And we’ve seen companies do this before. For example, AARP was renamed An Alley by the American Association of Retired Persons in 2013 in an effort to find real opportunities. So this is surely something that has happened before. But in the case of Kardashian, it’s not about whether she can create waves and make that change known. She has 214 million followers on Instagram. Personally, I believe that her fans will follow the path she chooses. It is more that the logistical challenges are advancing.
So we’ll see what happens. There are e-news sources that say she’s not sure yet. If she keeps it, it will be for her children. The divorce seems to be going well so far. There aren’t a lot of mud fights which is always good as these two names are huge, Kanye and Kim. But here too we just have to wait and see. I think she should just keep it simple, cut down on her losses, and keep it simple.
ZACK GUZMAN: Yes, there is nothing personal here. As we know, Kardashians are adept at making business decisions. That could be this one. We’re going to write it off as a business decision. But Allie Canal, thank you for bringing us the latest on NPP.