How Kevin Hart Built A Massive Brand + Tips & Lessons

Building a personal brand is not as straightforward as it appears. You are promoting someone you know inside out – yourself. So how hard can it be, right? Well, that’s where the tricky part is. Getting people to like your personality without hard selling might seem challenging. But when planned and executed right, personal branding can take you places. And in this Kimp blog, we are going to talk about a global icon who has become a paragon of personal branding, Kevin Hart. 

Kevin Hart illustration
Illustration by Kimp

Stand-up comedian, Hollywood actor, the face of many big brands, entrepreneur – Kevin Hart dons many capes. And as of 2022, Kevin Hart’s net worth is valued at $450 Million. So, how does he juggle his many roles and yet balance his personal brand? How has his strong personal branding helped him reach these heights? What kind of branding and personal branding lessons can we learn from his journey so far? Let’s find out all this and more in this Kimp blog on Kevin Hart. 

How Kevin Hart rose from humble origins and became a household name 

Before we talk about the personal branding strategies of this actor and his many ventures, let’s also talk about where he started. 

  • To Kevin Hart, humor was an escape from the reality of his troubled family life. And today he has grown to become a leading stand-up comedian and also has his own media company focusing on comedy and entertainment, Hartbeat. 
  • Kevin Hart once worked as a shoe salesman in Massachusetts. Fast-forward a few years – Kevin Hart’s exclusive sneaker line in collaboration with Nike hit the shelves. Now that’s what growth looks like! 
  • Kevin Hart did not make it to the game overnight. His early days in stand-up comedy were not exactly “bright”. From being hollered away by his audience to having a chicken wing thrown at his face, Kevin Hart faced multiple stumbling blocks in his early career. From there to his comedy tour, “What Now? Tour” becoming the biggest comedy tour of all time shows the strength of his personal brand. This journey shows how consistent efforts can make your idea work. 

“I love it when people ask me, ‘why so many?’ Well, why not? Why wouldn’t I try to do as much as I can? Doors are made to be opened,”

– Kevin Hart 

Now, shall we get to the actual part where we talk about the marketing finesse of Kevin Hart? 

Kevin Hart – lessons in marketing and personal branding 

1. Embrace growth, embrace the evolution of your brand 

You might have an idea, an expectation of how you want your business to progress. But the moment you execute your idea, depending on how the market treats your business, how your customers receive your idea, and other aspects, you might have to take a diversion here and there. 

Kevin Hart earlier had two different production companies Laugh Out Loud and Hartbeat Productions. Laugh Out Loud was about digital comedy content. And Hartbeat productions focused on TV projects and films. 

Early 2022 saw the merger of both these companies. Hartbeat combines the idea of creating content for digital platforms and experiential comedy. And today there are three segments in Hartbeat to deal with TV shows and film production, other forms of entertainment including gaming and events, and also branded partnerships. 

Considering how the scope of each of his businesses has been expanding and how there are new opportunities opening up in the world of entertainment, Kevin Hart merged his ventures. This was a brilliant move since Hart now has one brand, one name to work on. And this can greatly enhance the reach, the performance. Also, with the streamlined approach, branding becomes more practical. 

Kimp Tip: When you are planning a new step in the M&A realm, you need to be prepared to revamp your branding and marketing strategies. From your logo to other brand identity designs, several things change in order to accommodate the new business model. However, you should be sure that you keep your audience in the loop. You should keep them informed of all the changes happening. That’s how you make the transition easy for them. 

And if you need help with promotional graphics for your rebranding campaign, the Kimp team is here to help. 

2. Partnerships are indispensable in branding 

Back from the time Kevin Hart had still not launched his own business ventures he has been actively endorsing several brands without diverging from his personal brand. He had had endorsement deals with brands like Hyundai, Old Spice, Nike, and others. Now that he has his own media company, his brand partnerships continue, but they take a different approach. 

Now, these brand partnerships preserve the identity and personality of Hartbeat and the respective brand partner too. 

There are norms defined on how brands work and partnerships work. But, sometimes, flexing your creative muscles and evolving partnerships can be your way forward. And that’s what Kevin Hart does with his venture called Pulse which is part of Hartbeat. 

Pulse is about brand collaborations, creative partnerships. 

Kevin Hart’s brand partnerships both as a celebrity ambassador of a brand and as a part of Hartbeat partnerships have been about values and traits he stands for and Hartbeat stands for as well. 

For example, let’s look at the partnership between Old Spice and Kevin Hart. Old Spice and “witty” go hand-in-hand. And anyone who has been following Old Spice’s social media and traditional campaigns knows this. Kevin Hart is an embodiment of “witty” so this partnership is a no-brainer. 

Before Hartbeat, Kevin Hart has been endorsing Old Spice. 

Old Spice is the official sponsor for the talk show Cold as Balls hosted by Kevin Hart. With his ever-evolving brand strategy, Kevin Hart has been able to make partnerships work both as a celebrity and as an entrepreneur running his own business. 

Your promotional content for the partnership campaigns should capture a bit of both the brands involved. If you are looking for an easy way to create graphics for your brand partnership campaigns, choose Kimp Graphics

3. Find a niche that feels like home 

Anybody can launch a business. But not everybody can run it successfully and sustain in the game. The difference here lies in passion. When you find your passion and convert it into a business idea you know what you are doing and you end up doing it well. That’s exactly what Kevin Hart has been doing. 

If we have to frame this idea in marketing terminology, you should know your “niche”. The topic or the segment that you feel a deep connection to. That’s when you will be able to put your full effort into it. And you should be clear about your niche. 

Yes, venturing into different product lines or branching out into many niches works sometimes. But even the most successful brands started out with a single product, a single idea, and built over it. 

Kevin Hart has always identified stand-up comedy as his niche, his “identity. Or as Kevin Hart puts it – 

“Stand-up comedy is mine: it’s my entity; it’s my brand; I own it. I do it when I want to do it.” 

– Kevin Hart

And as the shrewd entrepreneur that he is, he stuck with his niche when he launched his recent venture, Hartbeat. 

The brand aspires to “build the biggest entertainment brand in the world and keep the world laughing, together”. By not deviating from his niche, Kevin Hart manages to keep the connection between his personal brand and Hartbeat intact and evident to the audience. 

4. It all begins with great content 

Kevin Hart, as we discussed earlier, has played several roles but everywhere he has focused on the quality of content delivered. Good entertainment, after all, is about great content. In fact, the brand values of Hartbeat define that “engaging content and comedy” can change the world. 

The Studios division of Hartbeat fully focuses on the financing of content production in entertainment. Live events, comedy shows, and digital streaming content like TV shows and movies are all backed up by Hartbeat. In short, the brand takes content marketing to a whole new level. 

So, even as Kevin Hart moves ahead and explores new paths, he continues to focus on delivering great content to keep his audience engaged. 

5. Know your market and grab the moment 

Have you heard about the fast-food chain by Kevin Hart? 

Let’s give you an overview here. 

Over half of American youth in the age group 24-39 identify themselves as flexitarians. For those who do not yet know what this term means, flexitarians are what you can call semi-vegetarians. They prioritize a plant-based diet but they might also include meat occasionally. Considering that more than half the young population in America belongs to this category, products targeting them make good business. 

KFC introduced its plant-based chicken line in January 2022. Chipotle also had its share in the game in the form of plant-based Chorizo and lifestyle bowls. 

Summing up – the rise of flexitarianism, the fact that several people are ready to swap to a plant-based diet if it tastes good, and the fact that big food chains have already jumped on the bandwagon makes the plant-based food products business a profitable idea. 

The fact that Kevin Hart decided to tap into this industry is proof enough that he understood the market and grabbed the opportunity at the right time. 

Not to forget, Kevin Hart has been endorsing Beyond Meat, a plant-based food company! Naturally, when he launched his own business in the same segment, it shows how he sticks with his ideologies. And that’s good for personal branding. 

Kimp Tip: 

If testing the waters before you execute your business idea feels like a challenge, keep your eyes peeled and learn from your competitors. Or from the big brands that have already established themselves in the market. After all, when you adopt a trend right when it’s new, you become a trendsetter. A good understanding of your target market and the right timing is just what you need to get a headstart. 

6. Keep a close eye on emerging trends 

Kevin Hart isn’t someone who just scratches the surface. When he goes, he goes all in. And we can’t stop admiring his knack for observing the trends and focusing on the right ones. One of these is his recent entry into the Metaverse with his NFTs. 

NFTs have not just helped designers gain more popularity but also brands expand their reach. And we have seen several brands dive into the NFT world recently. Kevin Hart’s Confessions from The Hart NFT collection marks his official entry into the Metaverse. From Metaverse experience privileges to exclusive access to content, a lot of perks were announced for the holders of Kevin Hart’s NFTs. 

This is one way that Kevin Hart is exploring new audience groups to gain better exposure for his business and his personal brand as well. 

Implement your Kevin Hart-inspired marketing ideas with Kimp 

From building his personal brand to promoting his business, Kevin Hart has been using social media to enhance his reach and engage his audience. In the ads promoting his own businesses as well as those from brands he advocates you will always see a subtle Kevin Hart- flavor. This includes mild humor in the copy or a mention of things that Kevin Hart stands for. There are several such ways to keep your brand alive no matter what kind of campaigns you plan and what kind of business partnerships you get into. For all such campaigns, if you wish to come up with designs that reflect your strong brand identity, the Kimp team is here to help you. With a designated design team and the option to add unlimited brands to your dashboard, you can easily manage all your marketing designs in one place.

What are you waiting for? Sign up for a free trial today.