Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 02/16/2016

For people of a certain age (namely mine), “getting lit” is pretty much synonymous with being extremely inebriated. But when beauty bloggers use the term on social media, the phrase takes on a different meaning. It’s used to connote something that is superfun and exciting and of the moment.

This story first appeared in the February 16, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The explosive establishment of social media as a key form of communication has given rise to much more than a new vocabulary. The entire environment in which brands and marketers are operating has been transformed, changes that are personified by this issue’s cover subject, Katy DeGroot. Two years ago, she was an executive team leader at a Target store. Today, DeGroot is a leading social media influencer in beauty with more than 1.3 million followers on both Instagram and YouTube, a figure that is substantially higher than many established brands.

This issue of WWD Beauty Inc explores the impact and realities of the new market dynamics in depth. The past two years have given rise to a new breed of brand, born online and able to scale up quickly. At WWD Beauty Inc, we were interested in how the balance of power in the brand landscape is shifting, and decided to create our first ranking of beauty’s most powerful brands. Using a set of criteria that included sales data, brand equity analysis, digital acuity, industry awards and our own reporting and assessment of innovation, we have compiled a list of what we think are the 25 most powerful brands in beauty at the moment. Turn to “Power Up” on page 33 to see who’s on it—and who’s not.

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It won’t come as a big surprise to anyone that the list is dominated by color cosmetics brands. Thanks to platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, makeup sales are soaring. In “Culture Shock” on page 38, Rachel Brown analyzes the impact of social media on marketing and retail, from a quantitative and qualitative point of view, as well as how it will affect other categories moving forward.

Of course, beauty isn’t the only industry to be upended by the digital revolution, and I was curious to discover how other leaders in their respective categories are leading the charge for change. In “Future Forward,” on page 44, you’ll hear how the brightest thinkers in fashion, fitness and e-commerce stay ahead of the curve in a market moving at the speed of light.

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