Research August 4, 2014

In the Company of Genius: Estée Lauder


In this video, Head of Research Maureen Mullen answers a frequently asked question among multibrand enterprises: How do you organize for digital? These businesses often wonder what should be done at enterprise level vs. within brand teams, centrally vs. in headquarters, and in-house vs. handed off to agencies. Mullen says Estée Lauder has done a fantastic job at managing its brands.

In 2001, Estée Lauder launched e-commerce platform in partnership with other prestige beauty players Clarins and Chanel. The site shuttered in 2007 as it was an idea before its time, but Estée Lauder used the core team to create their future online division, which centralized e-commerce among its brands. The team is now larger than 400 people, and has launched sites that brought in more than $500 million in revenue in 2013.

Another example of Estée Lauder’s Genius is Smashbox’s success. It acquired Smashbox in 2010, and Smashbox became one of the biggest winners in L2’s 2011 Digital IQ Index: Beauty with a 38% increase in Digital IQ.

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