How Kylie Jenner Used Social Media to Build a $900M Cosmetic Empire

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How Kylie Jenner Used Social Media to Build a $900M Cosmetic Empire

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Kylie Cosmetics is a cosmetics company founded and owned by the youngest crew of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kylie Jenner. Three years ago, at the age of just 18 Kylie Jenner launched her makeup brand initially under the name of Kylie Lip Kits. Due to vast amounts of success and growth, the company was renamed Kylie Cosmetics in 2016 with launches ranging far beyond only lip products. Today, this company has a valuation of upwards of $900M, resulting in Kylie Jenner’s name as the youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes in 2018.

Forbes naming Kylie Jenner self-made has drawn a lot of criticism, given that she grew up in an environment with many more privileges and connections than the average person in the United States. While I do agree that her family’s view in the public eye contributed to her company’s recognition, facts are facts. And the fact is that she has successfully built a company from the ground up- without spending a penny on paid advertising.

Kylie has gone on record and said that her company does not save room in their budget for advertising, and they never have. Kylie Cosmetics’ marketing efforts are based purely through Kylie’s personal and company Instagram and Snapchat accounts. When comparing the Kylie Cosmetic’s Instagram page to other large cosmetic brands such as MAC Cosmetics, their Instagram following is relatively similar- between 18-20M followers. However, Kylie’s personal account with a platform consisting 112M followers and counting, contributes significantly to the success and awareness of her brand.

She is also the most followed person on the entire Snapchat platform, where she frequently posts teasers of her new makeup releases and collaborations. She uses a combination of her business and personal accounts to reach maximum audiences and makes sure to build anticipation and interest with every release her brand makes. By using this strategy, fans remain intrigued to see what she will come up with next- and in turn be more inclined to buy her products. Kylie Cosmetics is just one brand of many that exemplifies today’s shift from traditional to digital advertising, and the benefits that come along with it.


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