For a century, Chapstick was nearly synonymous with lip balm. The old standard-bearer had a medicinal feel to it, a throwback to the days when appeal to medical authority was used to sell all kinds of products. Fast forward to the 21st century, and the Chapstick is no longer the number one brand. Burt’s Bees is. The number two brand, EOS (Evolution of Smooth), however, is a Lip Balm Company that was founded less than a decade ago and has grown into a $250 million business.
EOS managing partner Sanjiv Mehra, whose resume includes stints at Unilever and Pepsi co, teamed up with Jonathan Teller and Craig Dubitsky, https://www.fastcompany.com/3063333/startup-report/the-untold-story-of-how-lip-balm-upstart-eos-outdid-chapstick, two veterans of the incubator scene. What the team realized was that lip balm was being marketed as unisex product despite the fact that users were overwhelmingly female. Their research also showed that the existing packaging in the market was an issue since women tended to misplace tube applicators in their purses, and many women found the prospect of applying lip balm with their fingers unappealing. Most importantly, they found that most women didn’t find the process of applying lip balm to be enjoyable.
“EOS makes you smile,” was the slogan they decided on to capture the sense of enjoyment they wanted to convey. The company currently sells 1 million orbs of EOS per week and is the top brand of lip balm among Facebook active millennial.
Getting the product into stores was not easy, and the company was met by skepticism among potential retailers. However, as soon as they were able to get their product in front of people, EOS took on a life of its own.