EOS, an acronym of the Evolution of Smooth, has an interesting history as revealed in an recentarticle.
The article talks about how the founders of EOS studied the lip balm market and spotted an opportunity in the marketplace when they found that many of their competitors hadn’t changed their products in many years and appeared vulnerable to new competition. The largest competitor is Chapstick which is currently owned by Pfizer who has massive resources behind it. Few thought that a new start up like EOS lip balm would be able to compete against large competitors like Chapstick and Blistex, but it has and is now ranked the number two lip balm maker in the world behind Burt’s Bees which is currently owned by Clorox.
EOS was able to differentiate itself by designing itself from the ground up and creating itself as a brand for women. It started by listening to what women are looking for in a lip balm including a non reliance on the standard lip balm tube which was easily lost in their purses. Instead, they designed an orb that is still sanitary but provides an smooth application. Further, they created unique and colorful flavored lip balms that work well, use all natural ingredients, and avoid the additives that many competitors use. They begin to sell their products on Walmart and stores like Racked follow immediately.
All told, EOS was able to create an company that sells $250 million of lip balm and has branched out into other personal care products. Their success story is one that shows how listening to their customers and creating a quality product can disrupt much larger and well established competition and is an excellent business case study for those looking for a way to compete in crowded markets.
The best compliment is emulation and many new lip balms are emulating EOS’ products now, all while EOS continues to innovate and grow their business.