The story of entrepreneurs taking on an established company’s product and trying to outsell it doesn’t always end successfully. But this one does. The word chapstick was almost like the word kleenex in that both words could be substituted for the words lip balm and tissue. That was the challenge for Jonathan Teller and Sanjiv Mehra, founders of EOS lip balm. Mehra’s background is working with big business and Teller’s is marketing startups.
Ten years ago the two came up with the idea of creating a new product to compete with some other beauty product sold in Target supermarket, drug stores and discount chains. They settled on the idea of re-thinking lip balm. EOS is an acronym for Evolution of Smooth. At first the two founders were partnered with Craig Dubitsky who left the group before the lip balm was launched. Through a lot of market research they realized a few things about the lip balm people were buying.
The tube shape of competitor’s lip balm was overdone and needed revamping. They analyzed the shape and hired a clay artist to come up with a more attractive shape, the orb. The orb is easier to find in a purse and feels better in the hand. The “active ingredients” on most other products was also a turn off, so EOS contains only natural ingredients. Also, they thought that appealing to all the senses was a good idea. The shape of the colorful container feels and looks better. The choices of scents and tastes of the balm itself are new too. Even the click the orb makes when closed is more appealing.
After a lot of test marketing, smart product placement and social media influx, EOS is now a $250 million dollar success story. EOS outsells Chapstick and Blistex and is second only to Burt’s Bees. For more info, visit the EOS Facebook page.