EOS Lip Balm and the Rise of A Smoother Revolution
The early 2000s were dominated by the cylindrical, roll-up tubes of lip balm known as Chapstick. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be too much longer before pastel-shaped orbs, portable spheres spanning every flavor of the fruit bowl, would practically go viral. These little candy-colored bulbs would be known simply as “EOS”, an acronym for the founding company’s full title, Evolution of Smooth, and they’d soon become the second best-selling lip balm in the country, only behind Burt’s Bees.
But besides the aesthetically pleasing, eye-catching packaging (not to mention the equally pleasing formula or the host of celebrity fans like Miley Cyrus And Kim Kardashian), what drove EOS to such household name status so quickly? In an exclusive interview for Fast Company, https://www.fastcompany.com/3063333/startup-report/the-untold-story-of-how-lip-balm-upstart-eos-outdid-chapstick. The founders recently discussed their strategy to success. Everything from innovation to marketing is spilled, including how a single idea to revolutionize the concept of lip balm came to form a $250 million company that has surpassed even the most well-established lip care entities, like Chapstick and Blistex.
The first step was to look at what the market had a need for, and what the public had voiced in wanting. A rising demand for natural and organic products –EOS’s specialty– was where the franchise first found its leverage. Currently, EOS lip balm sells about 1 million units of the signature lip product a week. These stats are projected to grow as the demand for natural and organic products also continue to grow.
After making sure what was on the inside was good, the next step? Taking to the outside. Sanjiv Mehra, one of the company’s cofounders, had previously spent his career dabbling in consumer packaged-goods firms, like PepsiCo and Unilever. He joined forces with Jonathan Teller and Craig Dubitsky, and together, they brainstormed innovative ways to shake up drugstore beauty aisles. Thus, the idea of a pot-like packaging shape was born, but this one, unlike previous ventures, wouldn’t call for messy, and potentially unhygienic finger application; it would still function in a rolling tube fashion, like classic balm shapes.
Everything from the exterior’s pretty springtime palette, to the flavors and smells (think summery fruits like grapefruit and honeydew, sorbet, and blueberry acai), to the very way the orb felt in people’s hands was tailored to a T. Fast forward several years and a few flavor expansions later, and it’s clear to see that the attention paid simply to what the consumer’s wanted paid off– and consumer still want it! The company has not only seen immense success with the demand of their lip care products, but has since introduced both lotions and shaving creams to the scene. EOS plans to branch into other categories, all while sticking to their aim of spreading the smooth evolution.