The Kardashian Halo Effect

The Kardashian Halo Effect

So… I told myself I would never blog about the Kardashians. But lets face it, it’s inevitable. The dynamic family is everywhere! From their reality show, to daily headlines, and million dollar brand empire, people just cant seem to stop talking about them. One thing is for sure, the Kardashians know how to sell! Before I get into the importance of the halo effect, let’s take a look at the traditional way of selling.  finger

In the past, no one would dare to purchase a cosmetic or personal care product without testing its application. Makeup, Fragrance, and Hair Care products were usually sold in samples and full size for potential consumer. Remember walking through a department store and getting stalked by someone spraying massive amounts of perfumes on your arm or feeling intimidated to approach a make-up counter to try out the latest lipstick? I still have nightmares! With the advancement in technology and social media, brands are able to expose potential consumers to these products before they hit shelves. Sure, one could argue that Amazon, Ebay, and Home Shopping Networks were the pioneers of this, but most of the time, the consumer was still exposed to the product in stores first and then decided to go and purchase from an online marketplace for a better deal or convenience of driving to the actual store. But what if the personal care or makeup product never actually hit the shelf? Wouldn’t you be slightly apprehensive when purchasing? I must say, I’m the queen of cart abandonment (a marketers nightmare!).

The Kardashian Family has found a way to create a halo effect which has resulted in consumer purchasing behavioral shift. This shift has resulted in an unprecedented sales numbers. So, what is a halo effect exactly? Well, according to an article from, the Halo Effect is a type of cognitive bias in which our overall impression of a person influences how we feel and think about his or her character. Essentially, your overall impression of a person (“He is nice!”) impacts your evaluations of that person’s specific traits (“He is also smart!”).”

From a cognitive standpoint, many would view the Kardashians of having physical attractiveness and hence items they wear, carry and apply would result in an increase one’s physical attractiveness. Hence, the mindset, if I wear the lipstick Kim is wearing, I will feel just as attractive. Now this may not be true for all of you, but it is for their millions of fans and consumers who habitually purchase the Kardashian brands within seconds of launch. Who knew hundreds of thousands would purchase a fragrance online, without even smelling it first? Let me say that again, hundreds of thousands of people are purchasing a fragrance without even knowing how it smells! Am I the only person that think’s this is pure insanity? Not to mention, it was only promoted through Kim Kardashian’s Instagram channel and according to, it sold out in a few days!

From the looks of it, Kim’s brand team did not dump millions into promotion and advertisements, she simply posted authentic and engaging contact about her fragrance line (with the help of some great graphic designers, of course!). This launch was successful just on the mere fact that Kim’s halo effect is so strong that people will purchase it based off her likability and and influence. With roughly ten years in the game, the Kardashians halo effect is so strong and influential that I would not be surprised if hundreds of luxury manufacturers and white label companies were not knocking down their door.

So what does one take away from this? Companies need to continue to work on brand influence. In today’s digital age, the importance of having brand ambassadors particularly celebrities will only help your brand recognition and loyalty. You don’t need to spend 100K to find a celebrity to endorse your brand or product, but you do need to find ambassadors that have strong likability and following to help give your product a boost in this saturated market.

One thing is for sure, love them or hate them…the Kardashian’s know how to sell


No Comments