A decade ago, the main choice for keeping chapped lips at bay was the popular Chapstick brand tube of lip balm. It was the staple and household name for lip care. In 2009, EOS, or Evolution of Smooth, released colorful spheres of lip balms in a variety of flavors. Now, they are the second ranking lip balm company, beating out veteran companies Chapstick and Blistex.
EOS started by revolutionizing the lip balm industry–one that had become stagnant over the years. Among a sea of tubes that all look the same, EOS decided to offer round pots of lip balm that can be applied without using your hands. This was their key to success in appealing to young women, who they discovered are the biggest users of lip balms.
The brand designed a product that engaged all fives senses: colorful containers that draw the eye, smooth packaging, powerful scents with accompanying tastes, and even a satisfying ‘click’ when the package finally closes. EOS lip balms became an immersive experience, not just a standard beauty product. They kept their price close to competitors, but opted for organic ingredients over the chemicals found in other brands.
As a product designed for women in an otherwise unisex product area, it was difficult getting EOS onto store shelves. However, when they met with a female buyer for Walgreens, the company was able to place EOS into a store for the first time. Other chains caught on quickly, and the brand expanded to ULTA, Target and Walmart soon after.
With their growing success, EOS decided to invest in manufacturing equipment, removing the need for a third party. They created a process that is almost completely automatic, so they can keep up with consumer needs without hiring additional personnel.
To keep their business on the expanding side, they aimed their marketing at millenial women between ages 25-35. They recruited celebrities from this age range, and even partnered with other brands. A Keds promotion offered a matching lip balm to a new pair of shoes, and a Disney’s Alice in Wonderland themed set was so popular it sold out almost instantly. In the age of technology, beauty blogs and Youtube stars have more selling power than traditional advertising. EOS worked to get featured on these blogs and videos, and sales took off. The brand also worked to create their own social media presence to remain relevant and gain insight into the wants and needs of their consumers.
Their approach to connection paid off, and the brand took only 7 years to become a household name. They are now beating several of their competitors, who are trying to market their own round lip balms to become part of the trend. While other companies work to catch up, EOS is already moving on to expanding their line. They already have hand lotions and shaving creams on the market, and are looking to expand into new areas as the company grows.
The company’s founders come from backgrounds in large corporations and small start-up businesses. They say that the combination of those two aspects is what brought their success, mixing the innovation of a small company with the best practices of a large corporation.
Visit evolutionofsmooth.com and https://www.linkedin.com/company/eos-products-evolution-of-smooth- for more information about the company and their products.