This year, for the first time in our five-year Digital IQ Index: Beauty study history, a record six digital ‘Geniuses’ were crowned. Along with repeat performances from global powerhouses Lancôme, L’Oréal Paris, and Estée Lauder, small, San Francisco-based Benefit Cosmetics rose through the ranks, finally graduating from the ‘Gifted’ category to the top digital tier. What is it about Benefit that makes it one of Sephora CMO Julie Bornstein’s favorites? Beyond the fun packaging and unconventional video marketing, L2’s Head of Research & Advisory Maureen Mullen says Benefit, despite its comparatively small scale, is very much “in the business of being a retailer.” In this latest video interview, Mullen discusses Benefit’s new eye toward mobile, and how, from localized content in Asia to punching above their weight class on emerging social media platforms, the company has grown to become a major force in today’s digital space.

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