According to Glossy-exclusive Launchmetrics data, the top-three premium beauty brands globally in June were MAC Cosmetics, Fenty Beauty and Huda Beauty. The top players currently make up 49% of the premium beauty market, in terms of MIV, a proprietary Launchmetrics metric standing for media impact value. MIV tracks the impact of influencers, print media, celebrities, official third-party partners and a brand’s own media channels.

While these three brands have maintained their top placements since March, Charlotte Tilbury moved from the No. 6 spot to No. 5, surpassing Benefit Cosmetics, since Glossy last reported on the category in April.

“For MAC, Fenty and Huda, it’s not about placing first, but it’s about keeping and increasing their share of value,” said Alison Bringé, Launchmetrics CMO. “In this inter-pandemic moment, brands need to do more with less. Brands need to think more efficiently [about] the voices and platforms they’re leveraging.” 

The power of influencer allies
Launchmetrics data revealed the importance of influencer positioning for brands, whether that’s through celebrity labels or influencer partnerships. “Brands that have personalities as the face typically garner a lot of media impact value,” said Bringé. As “one of the top influencer voices” for her own brand, Huda Kattan brought $3.8 million MIV. Meanwhile, Kylie Jenner garnered $2.6 million MIV for Kylie Cosmetics.

For brands that lack the inherent influence that celebrity labels hold, the data demonstrates that similar success can be found through their influencer partnerships. Charlotte Tilbury has been “able to better hone in on what’s going to drive the most value for them by using the right voice to activate their audience in a specific way,” said Bringé, who reiterated that influencers made up 56% of the brand’s MIV. Charlotte Tilbury found a loyalist in Mariale Marrero, a Venezuelan beauty vlogger with over 18 million cumulative followers on her YouTube channels and 6 million followers on Instagram, who brought $861,000 MIV with just two placements. (The average MIV per placement is $2,670, versus Marrero’s $431,000.) 

Similarly, MAC Cosmetics does a “great job of leveraging this celebrity voice to drive conversation,” said Bringé. The data shows that MAC’s top placement stemmed from its owned media, which featured rapper Lisa from South Korean girl group Blackpink. 

Where brands’ audiences live 
For MAC (@maccosmetics on Instagram), the June 8 post featuring Lisa was worth $338,000 MIV. It’s a testament to how crucial it is that brands both fine-tune their influencer strategies and understand where their audience is, which MAC has found to be in the APAC market.

There was about a “90% increase in the conversations beauty brands are creating in China” in the second half of 2020, said Bringé.

Nars’ No. 4 spot can be traced back to its top placements in mainland China — the brand’s second-largest market, which yielded $5.9 million MIV — as well as in Korea, Dubai and India.  

MAC and Bobbi Brown ranked No. 7, and they’ve found success with just one-third of their placements being on Chinese social media platforms, like Red.

“For some brands, like Huda, TikTok is working well because they know that’s a channel where their audience is,” said Bringé. The importance of knowing the location of brands’ audiences, in terms of the platforms they frequent, cannot be overstated. Sixty-eight percent of Huda Beauty’s owned media placements are on TikTok, bringing in 59% of its total owned media MIV. In comparison, 89% of Charlotte Tilbury’s owned media placements are on Twitter, which only yielded 7% of its MIV. 

“You’re not going to Twitter to look for information about beauty,” said Bringé. “It’s again [about] investing your time and money where you know you’re going to have the right output.”