When EOS — Evolution of Smooth — decided to enter the lip balm business, the small startup faced daunting opposition. For decades the market had been dominated by two household names: Chapstick and Blistex. Taking them on, and eventually coming out on top, would be one of the great business success stories of the early twenty-first century. See, https://www.fastcompany.com/3063333/startup-report/the-untold-story-of-how-lip-balm-upstart-eos-outdid-chapstick.
EOS approached the market with a very clear agenda. Their product had been meticulously designed with female shoppers in mind, and their chosen demographic was style-conscious millennial women aged 25-35.
To reach their demographic, EOS lip balm began to advertise aggressively. Samples were sent to beauty editors at magazines like Cosmo and Allure, as well as to bloggers and online celebrities who talked up the product on social media. EOS’s iconic spherical cases were seen in music videos, sponsoring world tours, and featured on billboards across America and Asia.
The company worked with other brands as well, harnessing the marketing clout of Keds shoes, designer Rachael Roy, and Disney. Their social media following swelled to 1.8 million on Instagram, and nearly 7 million on Facebook. EOS was the largest advertiser in their category, and it paid off.
Currently valued at over $250 million, EOS (evolutionofsmooth.com) enjoys sales of over a million units per week and rising, in a market predicted to be worth $2 billion by 2020. EOS has long surpassed the sales of its old rivals Chapstick and Blistex, and is now second only to Clorox’s Burt’s Bees — a staggering accomplishment for such a small startup. Today it’s hard to avoid EOS’s colorful balls in supermarkets and drugstores, and that’s exactly the way the founders planned it.