Wednesday was a busy day for Kim Kardashian: She discussed the forthcoming West Baby Number Three on "Ellen," drank a sardine smoothie on "The Late Show With James Corden" and launched three new perfumes — the first under her own brand, KKW Fragrance — which casually netted $10 million within the first 24 hours, reports TMZ.
This shouldn't exactly come as a surprise, especially considering that Kardashian's debut cosmetics collection under the KKW Beauty brand sold out within minutes, bringing in $13.5 million in sales. In fact, it's somewhat par for the course for the family's burgeoning beauty empire. Kylie Jenner's makeup company Kylie Cosmetics routinely sells out in minutes; Jenner's birthday collection, which launched in August, brought in $10 million in one day, while the brand's holiday collection netted more than $18.9 million in the same time frame last November, bringing the company's total sales numbers to $420 million in just 18 months.
To state the obvious: That is absolutely insane by industry standards. Compare those figures to sales of Estée Lauder-owned Tom Ford Beauty, which, according to WWD, was said to have reached $500 million in sales after a full decade, or Jo Malone and Bobbi Brown, each of which took 25 years to reach the billion-dollar mark. Meanwhile, Lancôme hit the billion-dollar milestone in 2015, after 80 years of existence.
What's more, Kardashian and Jenner are accomplishing these staggering sales numbers without traditional marketing. Why spend on print ad campaigns or TV commercials when you can simply promote the products to millions directly via social media? Why offer samples or scented magazine tear-outs when shoppers are just as eager to scoop up the perfumes without ever taking a single whiff?
So, are the traditional trappings of the perfume industry — glossy magazine spreads, department store associates ambushing shoppers with spritzes, free gifts with purchase — no longer the best way to sell a scent? Just as Jenner has disrupted the traditional sales and marketing models of the cosmetics industry by focusing on direct-to-consumer sales and social marketing, Kardashian appears to be in the process of changing the fragrance game, too, all before our eyes.