For decades, the lip balm aisle at discount stores was dominated by a few major brands. Large companies such as Chapstick and Blistex had a monopoly on the design, manufacturing and marketing of lip balm products. There were other companies in the market, but none of them proved to stand as competition against these brands. The Evolution of Smooth was able to turn the old-fashioned lip balm market into a trendy and fashionable scene. It was this evolution that projected them to the top of the competition as one of the most profitable companies in their market. The entrepreneurs behind EOS sat down with Fast Company for an exclusive interview revealing the strategies they utilized to build such a successful company.
Sanjiv Mehra and Jonathan Teller have backgrounds in packaged-good companies and start ups respectively. Together, they helped to grow EOS lip balm from a small start-up into a multimillion dollar company. The team saw the stagnant lip balm market as the perfect opportunity to introduce a revolutionary product. The first step in their strategy was to create a new and improved design for the lip balm case. The archaic cylinder design that had dominated the market wasn’t exciting or fashionable enough for the team. Instead, EOS decided to sell their lip balm in an orb-shaped container. Furthermore, they manufactured several different colors and flavors to make the product fun and appealing to use.
Next, EOS lip balm focused their attention on getting their product into stores. After many failed attempts, a buyer from Walgreens agreed to stock shelves with EOS’ new product. Target, Well and Walmart promptly followed suit after seeing the new design fly off of the shelves. Mehra and Teller soon decided to develop their own manufacturing facility in order to increase their oversight on production and quality control. Additionally, their Facebook and social media marketing techniques greatly improved their sales.