Everyone has seen the pastel-colored orbs of lip balm at the checkout lanes, in fact, a majority of people have tried this innovative form of lip balm called EOS. For over a century, lip balm was something people searched for in a plain cylindrical tube, and there wasn’t anything special about it. Sure, there were a few flavors, but it was all the same at the end of the day. EOS took a different approach and this company entered an already flooded market and managed to come out on top.
EOS, or full name Evolution of Smooth, can be found at most stores and in magazines. The company snuck on the scene, intentionally not building up much information about the new product. EOS began as a small startup and all their focus and financing went towards creating the products as well as distributing them instead of into marketing.
Lip balm was often treated as a unisex item, but through research EOS lip balm discovered it was most commonly used by women. Through research, it was found that most users liked the idea of lip balm pots, something that had recently entered the market, but consumers found it unhygienic to apply with their fingers. After all their research, EOS decided to create a product that could engage all five senses. The soft round orb feels good in the hands, they come in bright colors, they have delightful smells and tastes, and the orb even has a satisfying click when it’s closed.
EOS was certainly a creative product and differed from their competitors, but they needed something else to compete with lip balm giants like Chapstick (owned by Pfizer) and Burt’s Bees (owned by Clorox). EOS was lucky enough to land a meeting with a female buyer for Walgreens who fell in love with the product. She was their first account and after that successful launch, they were able to convince Walmart (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Eos-Sweet-Mint-Lip-Balm-0.25-oz/15136069) and Target to sell their product. Online retailers like ULTA and eBay began selling the EOS products too.
They began advertising in magazines and on TV, but knew the way to win the market was to create a buzz. They contacted beauty bloggers and had them review the product and discuss it on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Suddenly, EOS was everywhere. Celebrities like Britney Spears and Demi Lovato were seen using the product.
In just seven years EOS has become a household product. It has even spawned copycat products by brands like Bistex and Revo as well as generic store brands. For more background information on EOS, check out this article at Fast Company.