How A Small Startup Turned the Lip Balm Industry On Its Head

The lip balm industry has been turned upside down by the Evolution of Smooth. When EOS introduced their orb-shaped lip balm, consumers went nuts. On a weekly basis, the company is now selling upwards of one million units. What started out as a small business has grown to become the second best-selling lip balm in the nation. The founders of EOS opened up for the first time about the efforts that grew their $250 million business to major success.

Before designing a product, EOS founders conducted some research on the lip balm market. They discovered that although lip balm was considered a unisex product, women comprised a large majority of the consumer market. Instead of continuing to market lip balm for both genders, EOS lip balm decided to create a product exclusively for women. They hired a sculptor to help brainstorm some design ideas. They decided on a round, orb shape that felt good in the hands of users. Combined with several colorways, a variety of scents and a satisfying clicking sound when closed, EOS had created a product that appealed to multiple senses.

Once the team had successfully designed a product, they now turned their efforts towards marketing and sales. EOS’ first big break came with a purchase from Walgreens. The units sold better than anyone had expected, generating interest from other vendors such as Target and Walmart. Online retailers Luckyvitamin and Ulta immediately followed. The growing demand propelled EOS to establish their own manufacturing facility. To help keep the demand consistent, EOS began to invest in sound marketing strategies. They utilized traditional methods of advertisement such as magazines and television in addition to more targeted means. EOS took extra pains to understand the interests of their target demographic. They reached out to beauty bloggers and millennial celebrities to help further promote their new lip balm.