Procter & Gamble announced this week it the sale of digitally gifted brand Frédéric Fekkai, which placed 11 of 61 brands in L2’s 2014 Digital IQ Index: Hair Care. While large ad buys propelled industry heavyweights to the forefront of the Index (Pantene, L’Oréal) Fekkai managed to score far above its weight class. Fekkai owned less than 1% of the U.S. Hair Care and Color market share in 2013, yet its Digital IQ score lagged just slightly behind Dove and Redken.

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Examples of Fekkai’s innovations in communicating with consumers: It was one of two brands to launch live chat during the study time period and sent an average of 1.1 emails per week, maintaining consistency but steering clear of the spam territory.

hair-care-and-color-2014-brand-site-investments-2013-vs.-2014Fekkai has leveraged Birchbox, which has proven extremely useful for mall brands. For example, Fekkai and Miss Jessie’s have 1209 and 656 reviews on the Birchbox site respectively vs. one and zero reviews on their brand sites. Benefits of Birchbox experimentation can go beyond reviews, as half of Birchbox consumers purchase full-size products on the site.

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