In our 2012 Digital IQ Index: China, prestige beauty brand Estée Lauder takes the top spot, beating out 99 other brands across more than 800 data points in four main areas — site, digital marketing, social media, and mobile. The brand has invested significantly in China to build a robust digital ecosystem that engages and sells to their fans. Below we highlight how Estée Lauder’s sophisticated in-market digital activations, strong social media presence, and leading e-commerce site propelled it to the top of this year’s ranking.

It’s certainly been a very social year for Estée Lauder as the brand grew its presence from three to six platforms in China, now yielding a community of more than 1.6 million fans. In addition, the brand operates its own popular BBS, EL-Lady, to encourage fan engagement and drive traffic to its e-commerce site. EL-Lady simultaneously hosts multiple sampling campaigns year-round, enabling the brand to capture consumer data and encourage its fans to share their content. A recent, highly integrated sampling campaign for the Optimizer product line featured international Chinese model and Estée Lauder spokesperson Liu Wen and attracted over 1 million visitors to the BBS and generated a quarter million mentions on Sina Weibo. To promote awareness for the campaign, the brand purchased ads on search, video, relevant third-party sites, social media, and mobile.

Estée Lauder’s also operates a best-in-class e-commerce site, featuring a strong educational component tailored to the Chinese market. The site incorporates user reviews and ratings, live chat, interactive diagnostic tools and online makeup trials. The site even dedicates a portion to educating consumers on the benefits of online shopping and addressing common concerns. Hoping to capitalize on the 10.3 billion USD skincare and cosmetics market, Estée Lauder also recently launched a home-grown sister brand, Osaio , specifically developed to target the Chinese consumer.

For more information on the Digital IQ Index: China, download an excerpt of the report here.

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