The Kardashians. Not so great at choosing spouses. Pretty darn good at choosing brand names.
They come by it naturally. Kris saw to it that her kore krew of daughters started off their lives with a unified naming strategy inspired by the spelling of her own name: Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall, Kylie.
What We See
If we look at all of the successful brands founded by Kardashians, we see quite a bit of variety — real words (Skims), coined names (Poosh), numerics (818), a short phrase (Good American), and of course several named after themselves (e.g. Kylie Cosmetics, Kendall + Kylie).
However, when we look at the names by the specific founder, some interesting patterns emerge. While there are exceptions, especially when now-defunct businesses are included, overall there is a clear naming architecture for the Kardashian family brands.
How It Works
Kylie has a very simple and clear structure for her brands: Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Skin, Kylie Baby, Kylie Swim. First name + descriptor — boom. Done. Her lifestyle brand founded in partnership with her sister is, of course, Kendall + Kylie.
Kim keeps things very short and starts her names off with “Sk.” Skims, Skkn, Skky Partners. The double Ks in her newest ventures nod to her initials.
Kourtney keeps things light with more playful names. Poosh is her lifestyle and wellness website; Lemme is her newly-launched vitamin and supplement brand; and she has a fashion partnership with Boohoo, whose name aligns nicely with her brand names. We’d like to give props to the name Lemme which pairs smoothly with its product descriptors (e.g. Lemme Chill, Lemme Focus.)
Khloe is currently focused on one brand: Good American. This stands out from the rest of the family portfolio as a phrasal name. We’ll be watching to see if she repeats this style with any future brands!
Kendall might not be fully on board with the overarching naming strategy. Her two most recent ventures are 818 Tequila (which we appreciate for checking off the numeric name box) and Moon. Hmm. Maybe she needs some more time to figure out how she fits into the architecture.
While the Kardashian and Jenner women learned something about naming simply by being born into a family with a strict naming convention, they’ve also had some life experience that sharpened their skills.
Together they launched Khroma Beauty in 2012, and were swiftly hit with two lawsuits for trademark infringement by Chroma Beauty and Kroma Beauty. After losing their legal battle, they renamed to Kardashian Beauty and took with them an important lesson about creating unique brand names.
Please join us in crossing fingers that they’ll continue to grow and refine their naming architecture. And if you have a connection to Kendall, please ask her to get in touch with us. We’d love to help her define a clear convention for her brand names.
Jill Stanewick is a director of naming & strategy at Tanj.