Last year, Anastasia Beverly Hills invested mainly in social media – particularly Instagram, where it accounts for a third of interactions with Beauty brands despite posting just 8% of content. This year, the brand has gone beyond that initial social success to invest in new dimensions of digital. Its site now boasts instant search and improved merchandising options such as texture swatches, and the brand has gained major visibility when it comes to searches for brow and contouring terms, signaling increased attention to SEM.

Like Anastasia, many indie brands that became popular through social media are now investing in other digital dimensions. The only two enterprises with improved scores in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty this year were LVMH and the cohort of indie brands, which surged a staggering 15% to place third, behind just L’Oréal Group and Estée Lauder. By reinvesting retailer growth dollars into those digital arenas, these small brands are transforming into formidable competitors.

Beauty Digital IQ by Parent Company

That also makes them ripe targets for acquisition. This year Estée Lauder bought coveted brands BECCA Cosmetics and Too Faced, while competitor L’Oréal took ownership of IT Cosmetics. As Beauty enterprises vie to acquire growing brands and learn from their formulas for success, the competition to identify the next indie star can only intensify.


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