Kim Kardashian Changed Her Name for Kanye West, so What Does that Mean for the Kardashian Brand?

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To show that her wedding to Kanye West was indeed legit, reality star and Instagram’s biggest selfie promoter, Kim Kardashian, took on her husband’s last name in her Twitter and Instagram profiles, which now read “Kim Kardashian West.” Of course, her handle still remains @KimKardashian, but I don’t think that’s for a lack of commitment but a result of Kim K being part of a much bigger brand. (Or Twitter-preservation, because if anyone saw that @KimKardashian was up for grabs you can bet someone would steal it for evil, which would be bad for the brand anyways.)

In Kanye’s supposed speech at their reception, he called the Kardashians an industry. Now as arrogant as that statement sounds, it’s undeniably true. Along with the reality show, the Sears clothing line, their stores, and the event appearances, the Kardashians are a business. Their brand name hardly applies to most of the family now, which is taken up of Jenners and swaps out as the other the actual Kardashian daughters marry and divorce, but they still function like a company, working to keep the money coming in and the celebrity going.

Three years ago, when the reality star was briefly married to Kris Humphries, she clearly didn’t want to jeopardize her brand by the last name switch, despite her then husband’s wishes, but I get where she was coming from. I mean, I love my name. I grew up with it. I own it. I can’t imagine getting a new ID, a new passport, reworking my signature, or even answering to a new name. But even beyond my hate for DMV lines, like Kim K, all of that affects me professionally. I’m a writer. My name is closely tied to blog posts, writings, emails, and tweets. I might not be on the same brand scope as Kim Kardashian, but I do want to uphold my name because it’s associated with my work.

For Kim, it’s a way bigger issue. She’s a name in headlines, she has 21.4 million followers on Twitter, and she’s part of a reality show that bears her family name. Though, when she gave birth to North, she and Kanye agreed for the baby to take on his name, and last October, Kim surprised everyone and told E! that she planned to take on West and make Kardashian her middle name in the same way her sister Khloé did when she married Lamar Odom. None of that hyphenated stuff, Kim was going to go all out.

Now, not to be unfair to Khloé and Kourtney, but Kim’s really the front and center of the Kardashians. Wouldn’t we disassociate her from everything if she became Kim West? I actually don’t think so. Like her sister, Kim’s always going to be a Kardashian. She is, after all, a name in headlines, has 21.4 million Twitter followers, and has a reality show bearing Kardashian in the title (even if not many of the family members have Kardashian as a last name). We’re still going to know who she is, and maybe it helps because it’s Kanye West she married to.

It’s a gamble for sure, but it also shows more of a commitment to building her new family, rather than upholding her TV show or her celebrity. Those are going to be just fine, because annoyingly, she’s already known. Plus, the sentimental side in me argues that she feels differently about this marriage than the one with Kris Humphries or that guy before Kris Humphries. Her name change shows that there’s more to her than a big butt and a pout. She’s doing it more for herself and Kanye.

It’s only official on her social media profiles but not her handles probably because @KimKardashianWest is too long to use on Twitter and @KimWest is already taken, so for better or worst, it looks like she’s stuck as good old @KimKardashian online.