L’Oréal (brand value up 7% to US$12 billion) reigns supreme as the overall winner in the Brand Finance Cosmetics 50 ranking. As one of the world’s most popular and well-known cosmetics brands, L’Oréal operates in over 150 countries and has a global portfolio of over 30 brands.
- L’Oréal glows as world’s most valuable cosmetics brand, valued at US$12 billion
- Maybelline and Dove are second and third fastest growing brands, up 30% and 27% respectively
- Behind the glam: Estée Lauder and its brands struggling to keep up
- Natura is sitting pretty as world’s strongest cosmetics brand, with BSI of 89.1
- Beauty meets sustainability: L’Oréal claims throne with a Sustainability Perceptions Value of US$1.24 billion
In its analysis, Brand Finance has determined that the key measures of familiarity and consideration towards L’Oréal have increased. This increase may be attributed to the company’s digital marketing strategies and enhanced online presence. By leveraging its enormous social media following, (over 10 million followers on Instagram and 438k+ followers on TikTok) the brand has enhanced its familiarity amongst younger consumers, producing visually appealing content that is often led by popular influencers. Further, L’Oréal also boasts an innovative and continually expanding product range, a key attribute identified in the investment pillar of its brand strength.
Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes over 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The world’s top 50 most valuable and strongest Cosmetics brands are included in the annual Brand Finance Cosmetics 50 2023 ranking.
Following the appointment of a new CEO in June 2022, Nicolas Hieronimus, L’Oréal has also expanded its efforts in digital transformation and sustainability. In 2023, L’Oréal unveiled two new technology prototypes at CES 2023: HAPTA, a handheld computerised makeup applicator designed for people with limited hand and arm mobility, and L’Oréal Brow Magic, an electronic eyebrow makeup applicator that provides users with customised brow looks in seconds.
Brand Finance has also ranked L’Oréal as having the highest Sustainability Perceptions Value, with an SPV of US$1.24 billion. In addition, Ethisphere has named L’Oréal as one of the world’s most ethical companies for the 14th time. In recognition of his efforts to promote environmental responsibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fragrance industry, the Fragrance Foundation will award Hieronimus with the Hall of Fame award in June 2023.
Annie Brown, Director of Brand Finance, commented:
“L’Oréal has once again come out on top, and Hieronimus has an ambitious and strategic vision for the giant’s future. TheL’Oréal brand must continue to prioritise innovation, sustainability and digital transformation as it continues to expand its influence across the globe in the coming years.”
Maybelline and Dove are second and third fastest growing brands
Maybelline (brand value up 30% to US$4 billion) is the second fastest growing cosmetics brand of the year. Owned by L’Oréal, Maybelline launched its global sustainability programme in 2022, ‘Conscious Together,’ to promote sustainability and reduce its environmental footprint. The initiative also aims to empower women by supporting organisations committed to their advancement. Maybelline’s brand image is also associated with empowering women promoting self-expression through makeup, and the company continues to leverage social media and influencer marketing to engage with its vast audience in the digital age.
Dove has recorded the third fastest growing brand value this year, increasing 27% to US$6.5 billion. Dove has celebrated strong sales across the North American market thanks to the launch of its new refillable deodorants.
China’s CHANDO (brand value up 36% to US$1.3 billion) has taken the beauty world by storm with its innovative branding and unique products and this year is the sector’s fastest growing brand. This increase may be attributed to growing Chinese and global demand for luxury products at affordable prices. The company establishes a unique brand identity by offering a diverse range of products including skincare, fragrances, and home goods. Its Himalayan-inspired branding also holds significant appeal in its local market. As a result, Brand Finance research finds that familiarity and consideration for the brand have improved in China, contributing to its increased brand value and overall ranking, at 38th in 2022 and 32nd in 2023.
Behind the glam: Estée Lauder and its brands struggle to keep up
Estée Lauder’s performance this year has presented a stark contrast to its remarkable growth of 39% last year. The brand has experienced a 10% decrease in its brand value, which now stands at US$7.2 billion. This drop in value can be largely attributed to the COVID-19 related lockdowns in China, along with currency fluctuations and the unprecedentedly high inflation rate.
Estée Lauder brands have also suffered. M.A.C (brand value down 19% to US$2.7 billion) has dropped 5 places in the ranking since 2022 and is now ranked 17th. More alarmingly, its brand value has dropped by a total of 39% from US$4.4 billion since the beginning of the pandemic period. While M.A.C has built a brand of vibrant and daring makeup options, Brand Finance research finds that demand for color cosmetics dropped during lockdowns.
Fellow Estée Lauder sub-brands Clinique (brand value US$4.8 billion) and Bobbi Brown (brand value US$772 million) are down 20% and 6% respectively.
Laurence Newell, Managing Director Brand Finance, North America, commented:
“Despite challenging circumstances, Estée Lauder remains steadfast in its commitment to providing exceptional quality and luxury to its customers. The brand continues to adapt to the ever-changing global market, with a focus on innovative and sustainable practices.
As the world still recovers from the impacts of the pandemic, Estée Lauder and its sub-brands are well-positioned to regain their strong footing in the market. With their long-standing reputation for excellence and dedication to customer satisfaction, the brand is poised for continued success in the years to come.”
Natura is sitting pretty as the world’s strongest cosmetics brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) of 89.1
In addition to calculating brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Compliant with ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from over 100,000 respondents in 38 countries and across 31 sectors.
As Brazil’s top cosmetics company, Natura (brand value down 18% to US$2 billion) is renowned for its commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. Brazilian consumers have a strong connection to the company’s South American heritage and appreciate its efforts to preserve the Amazon Rainforest. In addition to its sustainability focus, Natura has positioned itself as a cruelty-free brand. This endeavour has further solidified the company’s reputation as an industry leader in sustainability. As per Brand Finance’s research, sustainability and transparency play a crucial role in shaping the reputation of cosmetics brands. Natura’s unwavering commitment to these values is a driving force behind its continued success and popularity among consumers.
Beauty meets sustainability: L’Oréal claims the throne with a Sustainability Perceptions Value of US$1.24 billion.
As part of its analysis, Brand Finance assesses the role that specific brand attributes play in driving overall brand value. One such attribute, growing rapidly in its significance, is sustainability. Brand Finance assesses how sustainable specific brands are perceived to be, represented by a ‘Sustainability Perceptions Score’. The value that is linked to sustainability perceptions, the ‘Sustainability Perceptions Value,’ is then calculated for each brand.
Given the increasing importance of sustainability in the perception of cosmetics companies, it is unsurprising that the world’s largest cosmetics company has once again topped the rankings. Steps taken by the French giant towards sustainable innovation include promoting sustainable formulae in its products, producing environmentally friendly packaging, and reducing waste and carbon emissions across its operations.
It should be emphasised that the brand’s position at the top of the SPV table is not an assessment of its overall sustainability performance, but rather indicates how much brand value it has tied up in sustainability perceptions. L’Oréal’s Sustainability Perception Score was also relatively high, at 4.64/5. While L’Oréal may not be perceived as the most sustainable brand compared to those with sustainability embedded in their core mission, (e.g., Botanical cosmetics company, Yves Rocher, scoring 5.87/10, and Natura, scoring 5.29/10) the company has made, and is perceived as making, significant strides towards a greener future.
View the full Brand Finance Cosmetics 50 2023 report here
Note to Editors
Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes over 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The world’s top 50 most valuable and strongest cosmetics brands are included in the Brand Finance Cosmetics 50 2023 report.
Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.
The full ranking, additional insights, charts, more information about the methodology, and definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Cosmetics 50 2023 report.
pon for any reason and excludes all liability to any individual, government, or organisation.
The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance’s proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.