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Agencies Operating Behind the Scenes of Beauty's Buzziest Brands

Published September 12, 2023
Published September 12, 2023
Ami Colé

Awards in the beauty and wellness sphere often focus on the brands and founders, but behind the scenes are communications, design, and strategy experts who are very often a crucial part of their success. Their supporting role is sometimes overlooked. BeautyMatter's NEXT Awards are designed to recognize people and businesses across the entire value chain that raise the bar and define the future of beauty. 

The criteria applied by our judges while evaluating submissions included: 

  • Capabilities, leadership, achievements, and impact
  • Contribution to employees, community, society, and the industry at large
  • Achievements and the ability to positively impact the industry
  • Consideration of the quality, innovation, and execution of the agency's work
  • Consideration of the agency in the context of competitors

The Judges: 

Meet the 2023 NEXT Award Finalist in the Agency category.

Best Design + Branding Agency: Recognizes agencies responsible for crafting best-In-class brand strategies and the execution of design services.

1r Agency is a global full-service agency with a multidisciplinary team of designers, developers, strategists, digital marketers, and technologists who work in close collaboration with innovators and creators to power commerce. Working across a wide range of verticals, they use the power of design and technology to maximize a brand's digital potential by creating unique experiences that blend best-in-class e-commerce features and functionality with beautiful, tactile designs to tell rich brand stories.

The agency's main pillars are comprised of eight departments providing service offerings spanning: website design; development and integrations; branding and art direction; business analysis, UX, and  strategy; creative production; paid social; paid search; email / SMS Campaigns; and SEO

Client Snapshot: Sally Hansen, Burberry, Westman Atelier, Clairol, Makeup by Mario, Gucci, Philosophy, MAC, Live Tinted, Coty

Free The Birds describes themselves as a "brand elevation agency"  

with beautiful thinking at the heart of their approach. For them, design isn't just a pretty face; it has the power to give brands direction and focus while creating differentiation. Specializing in beauty, health, and wellness, they work with brands at any stage, from revitalizing heritage brands to helping new ones launch.

The agency's services span brand identiyty through to packaging and communication. They build strategic platforms for brands, turn them into compelling, unifying ideas, and then in turn, develop the central idea into packaging design and structures, communications campaigns, and all manner of assets such as content for the digital space, social media, point of sale, and online or broadcast films.

Client Snapshot: Avon, Erno Laszlo, Hydrafacial, Sunday Riley, Olay, Loum, FFS, Vice Reversa, The Fellowship, No.7, Richelet, Rodan + Fields, Charlotte Mensah, Sebastian 

Front Row partners with leading beauty, wellness, and consumer brands leveraging capabilities and proprietary technology to design, market, distribute, and accelerate a brands' e-commerce on a global scale. The agency collaborates with brands at any stage of their lifecycle, catering to their diverse commerce needs and applying their understanding of the intersection between marketplace management, creative, and overarching e-commerce strategy.

Their collective capabilities range from strategy and design, content creation, digital consumer marketing, digital B2B marketing, marketplace partnerships, e-commerce management, and business intelligence.

Client Snapshot: Versed, Rae, La Mer, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, Makeup By Mario, Kosas, Womaness, Glow Recipe, Youth to the People, Elemis, Rare Beauty, Obagi, HigherDOSE, DevaCurl, Soap & Glory, Olaplex, Rimmel London, Summer Fridays

Best Digital Agency: Recognizes agencies that provide best-in-class strategic direction, creative design, and technical development for screen-based products and services. 

Iced Media is focused on the intersection of beauty and paid social. Their deep understanding of beauty products and shoppers allows them to leverage tools and technology within the paid social media ecosystem to create full user journeys from discovery in feed to checkout onsite to drive meaningful business growth for clients.

They build strategies by remixing existing content, leveraging and mining user generated and creator content, and briefing and producing new paid social media content. An AI-powered tech stack, fueled by Salesforce and Datorama, offers precision, fluidity, benchmarking, and transparency.

This year, they launched Beautymark by Iced, a quarterly rankings and trends report with the industry’s first paid social benchmarks.

Client Snapshot: Flower, Hairitage, La Roche Posay, Maybelline, Naturopathica, Redken, Revlon, Skinsceuticals, Vichy, CoverFX, Kiehl's, Morrocan Oil, Paula's Choice, StriVectin, Babyganics, Elizabeth Arden, Louis Vuitton

Rebel360 delivers cutting-edge retention marketing solutions that revolutionize the traditional growth model. Using an omnichannel strategy and flipping the funnel, they disrupt the status quo, enabling businesses to supercharge their growth in today's complex and competitive digital marketplace.

Their diverse team combines high-end brand design with meticulously optimized strategies to augment revenue and enhance customer lifetime value. Their services are email marketing, website design, AI-generated art, strategic growth consulting, and direct mail.

Client Snapshot: Studio10, GP Nutrition, INNOCOS, 35 Thousand

Best Public Relations Agency: Recognizes agencies for developing and executing best-in-class communication strategies across media and content platforms. 

Creative Media Marketing (CMM) is a full-service New York City-based public relations and influencer marketing agency specializing in beauty and lifestyle marketing with a satellite office in LA. Since 1999, they have developed compelling 360-degree communication and media strategies that consistently move the needle, create maximum impact, and deliver ROI. The team of state-of-the-art storytellers, over-the-top creatives, and analytic experts works as an extension of a brand's marketing and branding teams.

Client Snapshot: La Roche Posay and Biologique (18 years), ColorProof (11 years), Henkel (16 years), KVD and Ole Henriksen (5 years), EOS (4 years)

Foundation is in the business of building beauty brands supporting the industry's top founders, building images, and driving growth. They are a forward-thinking agency that gets social by listening to the conversations and getting people talking. Dissemination of 360 PR and marketing launches for their clients have an omnichannel approach reaching the press in creative ways via a beautifully designed IG post, a 10-second TikTok, or an engaging email campaign.

To align with the rapidly changing beauty industry the agency offers influencer marketing, digital marketing, and creative services as well as crisis management and executive leadership PR services.

Client Snapshot: Nécessaire, Hero Cosmetics, Briogeo, Ellis Brooklyn, Homecourt, Cocokind, Good Light Cosmetics, Hally, Patrick Ta Beauty, and Youth To The People 

Factory PR has roots planted in traditional PR, evolving into a full-service communications agency working across multiple verticals, making them experts at crafting stories to reach diverse audiences. Functioning as a larger agency with various divisions, they operate like a nimble boutique shop, giving the same time, attention, and resources to each brand in their arsenal, whether big or small. 

They work with clients across all aspects of media and consumer-facing visibility—including messaging and asset development; strategy and positioning; media and influencer relations; and events, activations and partnerships. They navigate the oversaturated beauty landscape with unique, hypertailored programs that combine a brand's real-world allure with future-facing relevance.

Client Snapshot: Ourself, Dr. Naomi Skin, Ever/Body, Henry Rose, Not Your Mother's, Kora Organics, Parlux

Best Social Media + Influencer Agency: Recognizes agencies responsible for developing social media strategies, campaign execution, content creation, and connecting influencers with brands.

Red Ant Asia is a creator-led, commerce-centred marketing agency for China’s "Generation Now"—tech-savvy, well-traveled millennials/Gen Zs having honed their ability over 12 years of helping brands reach local consumers while maintaining global brand integrity. With a unique understanding of the culture and behavior in the market, a team of predominantly young, socially conscious and tech-savvy Chinese nationals helps brands navigate China’s social media landscape through campaigns that resonate and deliver real ROI. They intuitively understand how to capture Chinese consumers' hearts, minds, and loyalty.

This year, they launched Kurator, an innovative influencer database of handpicked qualified creators. The platform combines key opinion leader stats with qualitative insights to enable brands to find a match based on objectives, values, and brand identity. They also launched Snack, a bi-weekly ‘zine helping readers understand Chinese Netizen slang, translating popular new phrases into English with definitions, case studies, and advice for using it in social content.

Client Snapshot: Supergoop, Creed, Charlotte Tilbury, Lush, Byredo, Amika

Creatable is a one-stop shop for the complete omnichannel solution enabling brands to meet consumers where they are and measure campaign performance throughout the sales funnel. They offer a network of creators, a comprehensive turnkey service, and a technology platform to launch, run, measure, and complete influencer marketing campaigns that generate impactful content shared by the creator and dynamically distributed to the brand's e-commerce website with high-converting, shoppable video experiences. Creatable manages content usage rights and generates first-party data and full-funnel analytics.

Winners will be announced on October 26, 2023, at the BeautyMatter NEXT Summit: The Future of Beauty in Los Angeles, CA. Find out more here.


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