Lip balms were for an incredibly long period, dominated by tubes of Chapstick and other similar products. Brands were competing based on price and customers had limited options available to choose between. Flavors were pretty much bland or cherry and all had very medicinal flavors associated with them.
Then EOS happened. EOS lip balm started seven years ago and quickly revolutionized the industry after showing up in major retailers like Walgreens, Walmart, and Target. Customers and market observers started to notice the new brand and over time has developed into a powerhouse which sells over one million units of lip balm each week.
How they were able to do so is part of article in Fast Money. EOS’ co-founder Sanjiv Mehra elaborated the steps that they took to develop their brand starting as a small start up and developing into the behemoth.
What EOS did was re imagine the lip balm industry given that the brands in the market were not differentiating themselves in any noticeable way. Lip balm was considered to be a commoditizied product with the market players competing on price rather than on product differences. According to evolutionofsmooth.ca, they stepped in an began to design products for the major buyers of lip balm; women, and developed a product that was increasingly organic, all-natural, had creative flavors and applicator tubes to deliver it. More so than anything else EOS’ choice of an orb as an applicator tube has allowed the brand to become differentiated in the eyes of their customers.
Overall, what EOS set to do, according to Mehra, was create a product that women enjoyed using and were excited to use, and certainly succeeded in doing so. Further, EOS created a lasting product and brand that has allowed the brand to continue to stand out and succeed despite the presence of emulations by the existing competitors in the industry and new start-ups.