Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Clinique, L’Oréal Paris And M.A.C Cosmetics Top 2012 L2 Digital Iq Index®: Beauty

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L2 Index Measures Digital Aptitude of 56 Prestige Beauty Brands

Estée Lauder and Lancôme tied for number one, and are the only Genius brands in the fourth annual 2012 Digital IQ Index®: Beauty. Clinique, L’Oréal Paris and M.A.C Cosmetics capture the remaining top five spots as Gifted brands in the Index. The study, authored by Scott Galloway, NYU Stern Clinical Professor of Marketing, and a team of researchers at L2 Think Tank, benchmarks the digital competence of 56 prestige beauty brands.

Download the full rankings and key highlights from the report:

Watch the video highlighting Key Findings:

Top Ten Digital IQ Ranking:
1. Estée Lauder
1. Lancôme
3. Clinique
3. L’Oréal Paris
5. M.A.C Cosmetics
6. Aveda
6. Maybelline New York
8. Kiehl’s
8. L'OCCITANE en Provence
10. Bare Escentuals
10. Benefit
10. Clarins

“Beauty brands want out of the suicide pact signed decades ago with traditional broadcast and department stores that are losing effectiveness and sales, respectively. Digital marketing and e-commerce are enabling the sector’s most charismatic brands to establish direct relationships with the end consumer.”

  • Scott Galloway, Clinical Professor of Marketing, NYU Stern and Founder, L2 Think Tank

Index Highlights:

  •     Amazonian: Nearly half of the 56 brands in the Index now register Amazon as a top source of downstream traffic from their sites, up from 36% a year ago. Only 3 prestige brands in the Index officially sell on Amazon, but the Great White Shark of retail is purchasing brand terms on Google against 46% of the Index Prestige brands.
  •     YouTube Emerges: While Facebook remains the largest source of referral traffic for beauty brands in the study, year-over-year analysis suggests that its influence is waning. Upstream traffic from YouTube has doubled and is now a top eight source of traffic for 41% of brands.
  •     A Burning Platform: Competition for e-commerce sales is evident across the industry: 75% of brands in the study now incorporate user reviews, 39% support auto-replenish sites and 18% have introduced ongoing loyalty programs.
  •     Third-Party Handoff: Fifteen brands, primarily mass, outsource e-commerce to a third-party retailer. Nine of these allow shoppers to add products to an on-site cart, then complete checkout with a third-party retailer. Visitors spend 34% more time on sites with third-party carts than on those without.

About our Methodology
56 prestige beauty brands were evaluated on more than 900 data points across four dimensions: Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Mobile.

About L2
L2 is a think tank for digital innovation. Founded by NYU Stern professor of marketing Scott Galloway, L2 helps prestige brands navigate the digital marketing landscape through events, research, and advisory services. The L2 Digital IQ Index® is the global, seminal benchmark for digital performance of prestige brands and the largest and most robust study of its kind. Rankings are published annually across industries including Specialty Retail, Sportswear, Watches & Jewelry, Beauty, Travel, and Fragrance. For more information, visit:

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Daniella Crawley
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