Before EOS entered the market, lip balm was not a very sexy product. No one talked about the latest flavor or collector design that they recently purchased. In fact, most didn’t talk about it at all other than, perhaps telling a friend, “you need some Chapstick.” The brand Chapstick had become ubiquitous with lip balm. The defining factor was, for the most part, medicated or unmedicated.
Sanjiv Mehra, Jonathan Teller, and Craig Dubitsky thought there was a huge hole in the lip balm market. Research showed that women spent a lot on lip balm and that it was a part of their daily routine, but most found nothing interesting about it. EOS lip balm set out to stand apart from the oversaturated market with a lip balm by bringing joy to its user.
EOS hired a clay artist to model different shapes. “We were trying to make the product as imaginatively as possible,” Teller told Fast Company. The founders sought a shape that would stand apart from the market, be easy to find in a purse, and feel good in the hand. “We had to do it in a way that was not gimmicky, so that it would stand the test of time,” Mehra added.
To continue to compete with the industry leaders, EOS innovated with flavors and partnerships. Collaboration with Keds produced an EOS shoe that sold on Racked with a matching lip balm. The Alice in Wonderland collection in partnership with Disney sold out within days and can still be found for sale on eBay at collector prices.
Yet, the product remains the same. EOS is still able to innovate without becoming a gimmick. If they can continue to bring joy to their customers each season, they may even outlast Chapstick in the lip balm world. Or at the very least; longer than the Mint Chapstick stuck in your car cushions.
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