It’s so hard to keep track of which brands are outperforming others when it comes to digital. So many things change over time and powerhouses slip while challengers rise. Established players get the refresh they need or they fall victim to scrappy upstarts. Luckily for us, there is L2.

L2 is a research and strategy group that is a part of Gartner now and provides clients with in-depth studies about market trends around the world. They have created an index based on over a thousand data points to rank brands around the world. The brands that are found to be the top-performing in digital get the title of Genius brands.

I’m not going to go into their methodology here, just be certain that it is very comprehensive. You can have misgivings with this list, feel that certain brands have been left out, and of course a vast part of new brands might not be included in their index – so don’t get made if your startup isn’t here yet even if you’re doing amazing things in digital.

But what this list does give us is a reference point to cite brands that are particularly strong at digital, and it serves as a wonderful research tool for benchmarking or citing examples during your next interview. The list is dominated by beauty and luxury brands, along with a few hotel chains, consumer products, big retailers, and a few tech companies.

Here’s the list from 2018 in no particular order:

    • NYX
    • L’Oréal Paris
    • Benefit
    • Lancôme
    • Apple
    • MAC
    • Sephora
    • Maybelline
    • Estée Lauder
    • Garnier
    • Neutrogena
    • Dollar Shave Club
    • New Look
    • Philips
    • The Home Depot
    • Macy’s
    • Cdiscount
    • CharlotteTilbury
    • Royal Canin
    • Louis Vuitton
    • Statefarm
    • Nivea
    • Allstate
    • Coca Cola
    • BestBuy
    • Walmart
    • Argos
    • Tide
    • Starbucks
    • Yves Rocher
    • Fidelity
    • Domino’s
    • Amazon
    • Orange
    • Missguided
    • Clorox
    • Huggies
    • Pampers
    • Otto
    • Adidas
    • Gucci
    • Renken
    • Ford
    • Gillette
    • Charles Schwab
    • Liberty Mutual
    • Cartier
    • Quaker
    • Four Seasons
    • Tiffany&Co
    • Tarte
    • Seventh Generation


If one of these companies is the one you work for, congratulations! If not, take a look at what they are doing in terms of harmonized digital communication, social presence, e-commerce capabilities, and digital media spend, you will probably learn a thing or two.

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What other brands would you consider to be best in class for digital execution? 

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