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Kim & Kris Speech: The Kardashian Empire

Watch this famous The Kardashian Speech. Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian West talked to Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times DealBook Conference on November 6, 2019. Kim Kardashian West and Kristen Jenner are American media personalities, models, businesswomen, socialites, actresses, and authors. Mother and daughter rose to fame, starring in the reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Enjoy our Speeches with subtitles and keep your English learning journey.

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Kim Kardashian Quote:

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“I urge people to learn from the mistakes of others.” Kim Kardashian

Kim & Kris Kardashian full TRANSCRIPT:

Host: You guys, both of you have created a remarkable Empire. That’s why I wanted to talk to you because I think you have changed the culture. You’ve changed social media, you changed marketing, and you changed the way we all think about so much of this, just to give everybody a little bit of some stats here. Kris has trademarked momager as it manager between Kim Khloe, Kourtney Kylie and Kendall. There are 600 million Instagram followers for this family. Kylie’s business is worth a billion dollars. You just started skims, and I’m told sold two million dollars of product in literally the first couple minutes of it going live. And it’s just an extraordinary thing that has happened over these past close to 20 years that so many of us have watched you grow up frankly on TV and now social media and so where I wanted to start with you, in terms of how you’ve built this and it’s not just you’ve done it once you’ve done it now many times as the ‘momager’ of this family and with so many things that you’ve been doing is, what the plan was or was there ever a plan for this to happen?

Kris Jenner: Well, I think you know, I think it’s important to remember that when we first got started and started filming our show back in the early 2000s, there was barely Twitter, and I remember Ryan Seacrest calling me up and saying, “You got to tell Kim about this little thing called Twitter because she might find it really helpful and you know some business stuff.” And Kim really was the first one in my family that really taught the rest of us how to navigate that platform and then all the other ones that were out at the time and, we were just my kids were barely off this thing called a two-way. That was the phone and pagers and all this other stuff. It was so funny because the technology was happening so fast. So, when we first started and we realized that the show was going to be a success. That was basically the foundation for everything else that we were able to do, and Kim and I would sit at the end of….

Kim Kardashian: Remember you said that, and then when you guys see season 18, please all tweet her and remind her said that our show was the…

Kris Jenner: Foundation.

Kim Kardashian: The foundation. Things have changed.

Host: Let me ask you about that foundation and the change because one of the things we’ve been talking about a lot recently is this issue of a fragmented media. You guys started, and I think to some degree, created a franchise on TV traditional linear TV first. Right?

Kris Jenner: Yes.

Kim Kardashian: Yes.

Host: And I wonder if you were to do it today using just social media, whether you think it would work, whether we work the same, whether it would be different?

Kim Kardashian: I’m guessing my mom would say it would work the same. She is a big fan of, like building a brand and social media and using your voice and believing in yourself that you can make it happen through that platform. I think I’m a little bit more traditional, where I think there was some magic of us starting on TV, and; really building up an audience and then the magic of timing of being around at the same time that social media was created I think there was just like a hit with the TV and then another hit with social media and so when I choose to promote a product where some people I think maybe younger generations will just use social media I love doing traditional TV.

Host: What would Kylie do?

Kim Kardashian: She would probably do just social media. If she’s launching a product, it would be strictly on social media. I love to go and do the rounds and do the night shows. I mean, I was, I was talking to Kendall and Kylie about, you know the days of Leno and Letterman, and they looked at me and was like, who? And I was like mortified. I was so mortified. And, but it’s really funny, and it just shows you know.

Kris Jenner: But there is something to be said about, the way we started the audience that we have now and the people that follow us, and the consumers that buy our things, are the people that became emotionally invested in the family. And there was always a family member that somebody either, you know, loved or you know wanted to watch their journey. And everybody saw the kids grow up on TV for the last decade or so.

Host: Well, that’s what’s so interesting to me. Because it’s generational. Right? I mean you…

Kris Jenner: Totally. Yes.

Host: And you’ve actually now, sort of almost segmented out. If you will, so many different demographic markets in terms of both age and all sorts of, and just how people approach the family. So that’s what I was thinking when you guys create products now. Do you guys sit around and say my brand might, the Kim brand represents this. The Kylie represents this. The Chloe brand represents, they’re all spaced out. How does this work?

Kris Jenner: Well, they’re all separate businesses for sure. And I think everybody has their own completely different demographic. And even if you think about Kim and Kylie, for example, they’re what 16 years apart, and you know that’s 2, 17, there’s two different generations basically. And, so I think that we do examine and I treat it like an absolute CEO or COO of the family brand because you do. We have so much incoming and things to choose from and banks and…

Kim Kardashian: but they’re all very separate as well.

Kris Jenner: Yeah!

Kim Kardashian: I don’t say…

Kris Jenner: Separate.

Kim Kardashian: ….and discuss with Khloe or Courtney. I mean, to give advice absolutely. But as far as like the day-to-day managing of our own brands and what we’re naturally drawn to and how we operate our businesses is completely individual.

Host: You feel like you’re competing against each other?

Kim Kardashian: No. We really, honestly, don’t we’re very supportive. I mean Kylie and I both have beauty brands. If we happen to be at each other’s houses and see products laying around, we’ll discuss it, but otherwise, well, we’re very mindful and on our calendars; to not launch a product on the same time. But, if she’s launching concealers and I’m launching concealers. They would actually be such a different product. We have different you know skin, age, demographic, exactly what she was talking about. So we use our products so differently that there has not been any competition, even in sales-wise. We can see our analytics; there hasn’t been any crossover.

Host: How does this work? I’m assuming there are hundreds of companies that are coming to you every day saying I want you to do a paid post on Instagram, or I want you to invest in my thing, or become the spokeswoman. All of these people are coming. How do you sort of, sort it out? What do you accept that you want to do? What don’t you want to do? Take us inside the Kardashian-Jenner Empire.

Kim Kardashian: Well. For a paid post, I am really cautious about like, what I spend. So if I overspend on something and a paid post happens to come in at that time, I’ll weigh it out and think okay. Well, I have to pay for X, Y, and Z. So this paper…

Host: You mean your own personal?

Kim Kardashian: Yes. My own personal expenses. Or if I’m even like, okay, you know, we have schooling projects, and now it’s a little bit more personal for me. If I have a paid post that comes in and I think okay, well, this can fund X amount of people that are behind bars that can help free them with simple legal fees that they just can’t afford. Then that would be worth it to me even if the post might be a little bit off-brand for me. I really weigh out different things now than I used to.

Host: What’s on-brand for you?

Kim Kardashian: Umm, any beauty as long as it doesn’t compete Fitness, health stuff, maybe just any health products. If I you know, when I mentioned I was having a CBD baby shower, because I needed some calm before the storm of a fourth kid coming. Every CBD company on the planet reached out, and you just, it’s you know it’s kind of this joke also that I do if I really want something and I’m a bit lazy, I can tweet, “I’m loving Oriya. I’m craving Oreos right now.” And then, on my doorstep later, Oreo will show up.

Kris Jenner: it’s true with her name on each cookie.

Host: So are there other companies though that come to and you say look, I just this is not, this is not me? And I’m not going to do it, or I just can’t do it for whatever reason.

Kris Jenner: Well, absolutely. I mean, I think we’ve really learned by trial and error to an experience. I mean there was a time, when I was about to say earlier that Kim and I, in the beginning, would sit and have these goals. We would write down for the year, and what we really wanted to do the first thing that we talked about, and Kim’s passion was, from the very beginning, was fragrance, and that was so just her thing, was fragrance. Growing up, she loved fragrance so that was one of our first goals that we wrote down and something that we were able to accomplish. And that felt so good. I’ll never forget, her and I, sitting at the Beverly Hills Hotel at this meeting and the guy handed us a check and…

Kim Kardashian: We went in the bathroom stall, shut the door, we’re screaming,

Kris Jenner: We’re screaming like woohoo! And it was so exciting and satisfying, and rewarding. But there’s been a lot of, you know we’ve kissed a lot of frogs along the way and thrown a lot of spaghetti at the wall. You know there…

Host: What hasn’t worked for you?

Kris Jenner: Well, I mean listen, one-one great example that I like wanted to tell you the other day was the Goat Milk campaign. I thought Kim would be so great in like, a goat milk campaign. Remember, like everybody did these goat milk campaigns and I thought, Oh, well she’s like perfect for that. I don’t know where that came from, and I’m sure I was a lot more excited and enthusiastic about this idea. Then the goat milk people were so; that really, never came to fruition and then at the end of the day. A couple years ago, Kim was in a music video and she was taking a milk bath and I thought, you did it Kim! You got milk all over that body. So that was kind of like a fun thing. But there’s been things that talk about off-brand. In the very beginning, the girls did, Oh!

Kim Kardashian: We did everything.

Kris Jenner: Quick trim, and at the end of the day, you really just wanted to be curvy.

Kim Kardashian: Cupcakes.

Kris Jenner: Exactly.

Kim Kardashian: We did everything you could possibly imagine if someone came to us with a product. We were just so excited that they were interested that we would do things that were really off brands, and I think that even that stage in our life. I look back and think that was such a learning, a growing process for us, and I feel like. In the last few years, I finally found my voice on what to say, no to. What to really stand up for, how to really focus in. There could be amazing deals that come our way, financially, on-brand. Everything you know fits my criteria, but if there’s just no time like now, I feel like there’s a power in saying no and having a little bit of time, you know, for my family and self and everything else, to have a balanced act…

Kris Jenner: That, you have to have that brand work, to be able to put that kind of energy and time and creativity into a brand or an idea that somebody wants you to be a part of and if, what; they’re you know if she’s signing up for something that she’s never going to have time to do. It’s only going to be a disservice to everyone.

Host: So how does this work, though? So did somebody calls you and say I’ll pay you X amount of money for a post? Is there, what’s the market, what’s the market right now, for an Instagram post?

Kris Jenner: Hmm, Well…

Kim Kardashian: I don’t know this kind of money.

Kris Jenner: I think that what we do have is, I started to say earlier, is this great incoming of offers and deals that come through whether it’s a private equity, a brand, a VC, a bank, you know, there’s just so much coming in that. We and she, my kids, all have to be their own CEO. I might act as the CEO of a bigger picture and just weigh each thing that comes in if it’s.

Kim Kardashian: I would say a cute story since my husband’s here. So, there was a fast-fashion brand. A few of them, and they would knock off easy. All the time, his color palette designs and so this fashion fast fashion brand offered me a million dollars for an Instagram post. And I thought okay, well that’s you know, easy just to wear clothes that, you know, I can pick anything that I wanted it’s a quick post, and when I told him about it, he asked me not to do it, and said you know without respect, I don’t think that we should be giving them everything they copy. Everything. It’s, you know. I completely understood why he said no. I gladly said no. And then for Mother’s Day he handed me an envelope, and it was a check for a million dollars saying, “Thank you for not posting before the other brands,” and then, I don’t know if I’m supposed to say this or if I have and, a contract to be an owner is easy as a thank you so.

Kris Jenner: Yeah! Kanye.

Kim Kardashian: So, there is power and saying no sometimes.

Host: There is some power saying, you know. How do you think about your influence on the marketplace broadly in terms of, what you project out to the public, and the reason I ask is and you know when Kylie tweeted at one point if you saw this, that she tweeted that she did when she didn’t use snap anymore? I stopped using snap market value literally dropped by 1.3 billion dollars.

Kris Jenner: Oops!

Host: More than Oops, but; so when you post or when you speak, I mean it’s hard to sometimes probably remember, who you are to some degree what the influence is.

Kim Kardashian: Yeah, this is always something that I struggle with. Because I believe that people should be themselves. Even if it’s not what you agree with, even if it’s not your beliefs and values. I believe in being yourself and so, when you start thinking about how you have to censor yourself so much. Because it could; I mean, I personally might not say bad things about people unless I’m provoked. And I have to stand up for, you know family. But generally, I try not to talk about like, other brands. If I didn’t like a particular ice cream or something you know, that I feel like could hurt a brand. I just kind of stay away from it.

Kris Jenner: It’s a big responsibility.

Kim Kardashian: However, I do believe that people should speak freely, and if that’s not what Kylie was doing and that was authentic to her, then I don’t think that there’s something wrong with that. So but I struggle with that because it’s like, I do, I always really do care about people’s feelings, and I’m really compassionate about a headline like that. I would feel bad about it. But you also just have to be yourself at the same time.

Host: How much you think about your brand and his brand. And I’m looking at Kanye right now, in terms of how you guys work together and I know that you were part of really actually remaking the way Skims actually turned out.

Kim Kardashian: Yeah, I mean our brands, we respectfully let each other have our own voices and our own brands and create our own brands, but we’re very much together in every last decision and detail that we make so like for Skims. You know he drew the logo; he, our packaging was one way and I thought it looked amazing and then he walked in and had about a two-hour conversation with my whole Skims team about why it was not so amazing. But it was really inspiring, and really when you look back, it was really trendy. The old packaging. And it I would have been sick of it by now and he really gave us like, amazing advice on how we want it to be classic and timeless and all the packaging that the team was bringing us of other products in the marketplace. They were saying, “isn’t this better than that?” and Kanye’s main advice was, “why don’t you go get packaging that is, that you think is the best of all time?” It doesn’t have to even be in the marketplace, but any product and you should strive to be on that level. Why are you striving to be better than the worst? And it really clicked to the whole team. We all went back to work and he picked like our photographer was involved in the castings for the models for skims and colorways. I mean everything you could think of. So we really are, he’s like my ghost stylist and my ghost creative director. And it’s amazing to have someone that you really respect and value their creative opinion.

Host: What do you think about your impact on culture? And the reason I say the impact on culture is, there is a sense, and social media has been a big part of it. But I think a lot of people have looked at you and your family as role models in many ways. Where people, where everything is now just exposed. You put it all out there, and there’s something very authentic about that. But I think there’s also people, especially of different age groups who have misgivings about that and sort of where the line is for privacy and how much to really share or to overshare?

Kris Jenner: Well, I think from the beginning, one of the things that we said to ourselves was, we wanted to have a successful show. If we were gonna do this and put ourselves out there, then we really needed to do that. And so we said, let’s just show everything and just be ourselves and…

Kim Kardashian: Can’t you guys remember that episode, I’m talking about better audio for this. I need this on a loop too…

Kris Jenner: Oh my God!

Kim Kardashian: When this episode comes out.

Kris Jenner: Okay, I had a bad week a couple weeks ago. Just remember that too. Okay, guys!

Kim Kardashian: Few months.

Kris Jenner: Yeah. So this is going to turn into a family feud. So, in the beginning, we and that’s I think was, you know, this whole thing is the perfect storm. I think being able to work with the family and having everybody on board. But all at the same time willing to show, you know, the good the bad and the ugly.

Host: What do you think we’re going to talk to Kevin Systrom in just a little bit who co-founded Instagram, and there’s lots of questions about mental health-related to social media? Whether it’s giving people good or bad body images, in terms of how they, how they think about themselves? Whether liking is actually a good thing?

Kris Jenner: Right!

Host: You know there’s so many people, I mean, young people today, who say I just want to get famous as quickly as possible; get as many followers as possible, and I’m going to figure out a way to monetize that.

Kris Jenner: And nobody has a Plan B. That’s the problem. If you really put all of your eggs in this basket. You know, I tell everybody that I speak to, is really have to have something to hang your hat on and create something for yourself that sustainable, and a business that can grow it’s just not about being famous. For us, we happened to be lucky enough and blessed enough to have a show, and that kind of started everything else.

Okay, don’t say it again. So, umm, you know that’s very valuable, and that’s something that continues to be very successful in almost 200 countries around the world and as many languages. So we got very lucky.

Kim Kardashian: It is kind of tricky, and it is, you know, I think about when I raised my kids and screen time, phone time, what to post, what not to post. You know even posting things in real-time. I learned from a bad experience that I had. When I was robbed that, people really knew my every move they knew what I had, they knew where I was, what I was doing, you know, and that to me really changed maybe the things that I post, and I still want people to feel like they’re along that journey with me. But I might video something and then post it like 30 minutes later when I’ve left the location, more for privacy. But as far as mental health, I mean it’s something that you know I think taking the likes away and taking that aspect away from it would be really beneficial for people and I know that the Instagram team has been having lots of like, inner conversations with a bunch of people to get everyone’s take on that, and it’s taking it really seriously, and that makes me happy.

Host: Do you read all your comments?

Kim Kardashian: I do not. But I find myself to be extremely mentally strong, and I have people, friends that are obsessed with reading the comments, and I find that to be really unhealthy. So I have to. I struggle with like having to step outside of how I feel and thinking about like, what if one of my children was like one of my friends that wasn’t as mentally strong and would really be affected by the comments. That would really affect me.

Kris Jenner: Can we get some water?

Host: We’ll get you some water for you. Get some water. I had a separate question which relates to this a lot of a conversation we’ve been having this morning is about CEOs; thank you so much, about CEOs who have felt like they are now taking or being pushed to take positions either political positions or positions in terms of culture and what’s happening in society in a way that, perhaps they didn’t, just a couple of years ago, you’ve gotten very involved in the mass incarceration topic. But I’m curious actually from as a form a brand perspective and terms of how far you think you’re willing to go on, you know we’ve had people we’re going to talk about gun violence in a minute actually, after this after this session. But you know whether it’s immigration or all these other issues that are very political and we live in this sort of very politicized world. You’ve now spent some time with the white house. How do you think about that?

Kim Kardashian: I am a really firm believer that you should be who you are. Believe in what you want to believe in, and as a brand, I’m the type of person that I could separate political beliefs from brands, and I believe that people should have the right to believe in whatever they want to believe in. And so if I don’t really push politics on my brands, I also believe that like Kim Kardashian-West is also a person not just like the KKW brand. So I will speak up personally on politics when I have to and when I want to.

Host: Did you get pushback, though? There’s some people who like the president, and there’s some people who can’t stand the president?

Kim Kardashian: Yeah. I mean, for me, I focus on prison reform, and the president has done amazing things in prison reform. I will also speak up when I feel like something is not how I feel like the world should be, and that could be immigration or other things. I’m very focused there’s a lot that we have to get done in prison reform, and I believe I will be more beneficial if I just focus on that at the moment. So I’m grateful for that relationship in that area, and I focus on that. But that was a big thing where people, so many people advise me, don’t go to the White House. And it didn’t, that didn’t make sense to me because I was like a life, if someone can get out of, you know, prison and get their life back versus my reputation of going to the White House, where there is only one person on this planet that can make the decision, and that would be the president, and that was even a question of, you know, for the media. That just absolutely didn’t make sense to me. I would go see anyone in power that would have that decision to change someone’s life.

Host: Please join me in thanking Kim and Kris and Kanye.”[/read]

Kim & Kris Kardashian Speech

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