EOS: Evolution of Smooth Takes on Industry Giants

Evolution of Smooth (EOS) grew from a startup to the second largest seller of lip balms within 7 years. This was the result of a concentrated effort to challenge the conventional tube shape of its oldest competitor, Chapstick, and to appeal to the five senses. In fact, the company’s tagline is, “The lip balm that makes you smile.”

Sanjiv Mehra, from consumer packaged-goods companies like PepsiCo and Unilever, founded EOS with Jonathan Teller and Craig Dubitsky; Dubitsky is no longer with the company. The trio raised their own capital and did extensive marketing research to develop the product. They got their break when a female buyer from Walgreen’s loved the spherical product and put it on the shelves. The products are now available on Amazon and other online merchants.

In order to compete with the top sellers, they needed to be able to scale up instantly. EOS lip balm invested heavily in its own equipment rather than using a third-party manufacturer. When orders began pouring in, the company was able to meet demands very quickly and EOS is now a $250 million company.

Besides the spherical shape, innovative colors and flavors, EOS decided early on that all their ingredients would be organic. They selected the millennial demographic of woman between 25 and 35. This shaped their marketing and product placement strategies.

According to Fast Company, EOS not only used traditional TV and magazine ads, they exploited the online marketing machine by contacting beauty bloggers and using YouTube, Facebook and other social media. Most successfully, they partnered with celebrities through product placement and endorsements. These included appearances in Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears music videos, sponsoring Demi Lovato’s world tour, and tapping Taylor Swift to sell the product in Asian.

EOS now has 1.8 million followers on Instagram and 7 million Facebook fans. A picture of a new EOS flavor is worth 40,000 likes. https://evolutionofsmooth.ca/