User reviews, social media boost beauty brands' 'digital IQ'

Clinique, MAC, Lancome, Aveda, and L'Oréal Paris are the most "digitally intelligent" beauty brands, according to a ranking released by the New York-based Luxury Lab.

The Digital IQ Index of Beauty Brands, whose publication followed the October release of its Digital IQ Index of Luxury Brands, quantifies the digital competence of 40 beauty brands by accessing brand websites, digital marketing strategies, social media initiatives and mobile applications.

Clinique received accolades for being one of the first beauty brands to include user reviews. Moreover, its "My Skin Consultation" feature on its website brings the experience of the beauty counter to life, with an animated beauty saleswoman that helps web users identify customized skin-care solutions. In addition, Clinique boasts a strong social media presence and is the only brand in the category with a globally targeted Facebook page (Clinique UK, Clinique France, Clinique Australia, etc.).

MAC was ranked second, thanks to its creative social media initiatives. With 1.39 million fans, it is the most-followed beauty brand on Facebook today. It mans a constantly updated YouTube channel, in which MAC professional artists demonstrate how to achieve the hottest looks of the season, as well as a strong Twitter presence - 32 artists have tweeted for the company since 2008. 

Lancome won brownie points for leveraging the Web fan base of YouTube beauty guru and vlogger Michelle Phan, who boasts nearly a million subscribers and 50 million upload views on her channel. In February, the 23-year-old Vietnamese-American art student was chosen as the brand's official Video Makeup Artist.

Last but not least, Aveda was praised for its highly interactive site, which offers live chat and a bevy of beauty advisory features, while L'Oréal Paris earned "digital genius" points for its innovative YouTube channel featuring tips from Web gurus using L'Oréeal branded products.

Top Ten Beauty Brands with the highest digital IQ (as ranked by Luxury Lab):

1. Clinique

2. MAC

3. Lancome

4. Aveda

5. L'Oréal Paris

6. Bare Escentuals

7. Perricone M.D.

8. Bobbi Brown

9. Avon

10. Benefit


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