Beauty brands Glossier, Curology, Beautycounter, and Madison Reed make 2018 Direct Brands Worth Watching list

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Beauty brands Glossier, Curology, Beautycounter, and Madison Reed make 2018 Direct Brands Worth Watching list

Related tags Cosmetics Human skin color Advertising

The list of 250 direct-to-consumer brands was compiled by the Interactive Advertising Bureau in partnership with business insights company Dun & Bradstreet. Some 30 cosmetics, fragrance, hair, and personal care brands are included in the list of brands to watch in the US economy.

The 2018 Direct Brands Worth Watching list is the first Direct Brands Worth Watching list. Retail in the US is at a critical point and the list acknowledges that direct-to-consumer brands are influencing the economy in substantial way. And clearly, beauty services and brands of every manner are a part of this movement.

The group behind the list—The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)—is set to publish a report called The Rise of the 21st Century Brand Economy that identifies “supply chain, consumption, communications, and data trends that are shifting the center of growth in the American consumer economy,” ​according to a media release from IAB.

Describing the importance of this shift and the brands-worth-watching list, Chris Kuist, senior vice president of research and impact at IAB, emphasizes that “this list of 250 disruptors just scratches the surface of what the direct brand revolution is unleashing on the consumer landscape.”

He goes on: “Taking a deeper look at these diverse businesses, it becomes clear that their methods for engaging customers with genuine two-way relationships are a guidepost. Their strategies will inform the future of the consumer economy.”

Beauty and beyond

Glamsquad, the site that delivers hair, makeup, and nail services to the consumer anywhere, anytime, made the list.

As did Beautycounter, Birchbox, Boxycharm, Curology, eSalon, FabFitFun, FaceTory, Fatco, function of beauty, Glossier, GlossyBox, Harry’s, Hush, Julep, Kopari, Madison Reed, Memebox, Oars + Alps, Pinrose, REN Clean Skincare, Rodan+Fields, Teadora, and Walker and Company.  

These are beauty box sampling / retail platforms, personalized product makers, and pioneering solutions. They sell color cosmetics, skin care, hair care, hair color, fragrance, men’s grooming, and more.

Looking at the collection of direct-to-consumer brands on the inaugural IAB list, CEO Randall Rothenberg, remarks, “We have entered a new era of brand creation—one in which ‘Direct Brands’ are not just nipping at the heels of traditional brands, but forging strong customer relationships, winning meaningful marketing share, and reshaping the way startups and incumbents alike are taking consumer goods and services to market.”

“The ‘IAB 250 Powered by Dun & Bradstreet’ will be a vital resource in tracking those ‘Direct Brand’ companies that are excelling across various categories, whether selling bed linen or pet food or eyeglasses,”​ he says in the group’s media release. “These are businesses that all brands, publishers, technology companies, and data providers need on their radar in order to thrive in the new direct brand economy.”



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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