When people think of start-ups and emerging products they tend to focus on technology or emerging biotech companies. But there is money to be made by revolutionizing existing industries, and EOS did just that with their entrance into the lip balm industry.
Lip balm may not sound like a great market to jump into, but EOS saw a possibility and went for it. The market was dominated by the giants, like Chapstick, Burts Bees, and Blistex. Furthermore, some of those brands are financed and supported by their parent corporations, Clorox owns Burts Bees and Pfizer own Chapstick.
Despite the odds, EOS grew and gained a large slice of the market, and equal their much larger competition in sales.
Today, EOS is a $250 million company and, according to Kline Research, they sell over a million units a week. The Target market for lip balm products is expected to increase to $2 billion by the year 2020. The demand for EOS products stems from their unique colors, flavors, and consumer’s interest in organic products. Currently, EOS outperforms Chapstick and Blistex and is second only to Burts Bees. Facebook and social media marketing, celebrity endorsements from Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus and Christina Aguilera confirmed the product’s authenticity.
How They Did It
EOS was founded by Sanjiv Mehra, Jonathon Teller, and Craig Dubitsky because they saw an industry that was stagnant and could use some modernization and innovation. After all, nothing spectacular had really changed in lip balm in over 100 years.
They started by offering modern flavors, colors, and unique packaging. To overcome their established competitors, they used a combination of traditional advertising along with social media and fashion bloggers. Their strategy worked and soon they were being carried in major stores like Target, Walmart Walgreens, and Racked.
There is an excellent article in Fast Company magazine that gives a great in-depth report of how EOS achieved their success and what the future hold for the company.