For many, many years, buying lip balm was as simple a task as scouring aisles of your local drug store or supermarket for a tube of Chapstick. Over the years, the ingredients of the product evolved to include what was known as “active ingredients.” There were also a variety of flavors that came after the original, such as mint or cherry.
However, seven years ago, that all changed with the release of a new lip balm called EOS, which began appearing at all sorts of stores. First, you would see them at Walgreens, followed by Walmart and Target, and beauty editors and celebrities alike absolutely loved them.
Evolution of Smooth, the company behind the EOS lip balm products, is now mentioned all over beauty magazines. There is an interesting story as to its business strategy. EOS’ founders revealed how they created a $250 million company that is now making the second best-selling lip balm in the United States only after Burt’s Bees and far outselling Chapstick and Blistex, which have been around a much longer time.
According to Kline Research, EOS is singlehandedly responsible for the huge boon in the oral care category of products. Amazingly, it sells more than one million products per week, with sales for the future appearing even better as the global lip care market is believed to increase to $2 billion by 2020. In addition, more and more people are opting for products that are natural and organic, a category into which EOS lip balm products fit.
Sanjiv Mehra, cofounder and managing partner of EOS, explained that as a small startup, the focus was on making products and getting them out to market, and stressed the importance of consumers to know about the business and its values.
Previously, Mehra worked for consumer packaged goods companies. He teamed up with Jonathan Teller and Craig Dubitsky to discern how they could make a dent in the beauty industry. Although Dubitsky left prior to the company’s launch, the result was lip balm, which tends to be seen as unisex. However, over time and after some research, the team discovered that women were the ones who mostly relied on the product as part of their beauty routine.
Teller revealed that they decided to rethink lip balm and hired a clay artist to come up with a variety of shapes for the product. The goal was to offer a different perspective on the product but not turn it into a fad.
One of the ways in which EOS accomplished its goal was in offering a variety of flavors in its lip balm. In fact, the product was designed to appeal to all five senses, from feeling good in the hand, smelling and tasting nice, having bright, pleasant colors and even the case making a pleasant clicking sound when closing it. EOS’ lip balms were priced at $3 on Lucky Vitamin, enabling it to effectively compete with those already on the market.
As a whole, the company sought to create an emotional connection between the user and the product. One of the brilliant marketing moves it made was the use of the tagline, “The lip balm that makes you smile.”
Another aspect that makes EOS so successful is that it was marketed toward millennials, women between the ages of 25 and 35. Its commercials showed women who used EOS were stylish and smart, and it certainly appealed to that demographic. For more info, visit the company’s Linked in page.