When you think of lip balm you are likely significantly more brand loyal than people were just a decade ago. For long, the lip balm market was ignored by many of the larger players in the industry such a Chapstick and Blistex, both subsidiaries of larger organizations. These entities were not changing around their lip balm formulas to meet changing customer tastes and preferences and few customers were excited or passionate about their lip balm.
For a new competitor to the market this looked like an opportunity, and EOS, an acronym of the Evolution of Smooth, capitalized on this opportunity to gain foothold into a large market. The founds of the company, as detailed in a Fast Company article, were able to use their experience in other large companies like Pepsi a Unilever, to spot a market need and work to meet it.
EOS lip balm did so by understanding that women bought most of the lip balm and were looking for products with more original and tasty flavors other than the largely medicine tasting varieties sold by Chapstick. These customers were also seeking out a lip balm that was had organic and natural ingredients that were of better quality than the petroleum jelly products sold by their competition.
EOS designed a lip balm that met these needs but found it initially challenging to create a lip balm that stood out to customers. To do so they created an applicator orb that was safe and sanitary, but easier to find in a women’s purse, as well as in stores. They then inked distribution agreements with several major retail chains and online merchants such as eBay and Amazon and began to be widely distributed.
The superiority of their product and the better identification with customers began to pay off and EOS saw monumental growth n addition to the market disruption that they caused. Ultimately, EOS was able to exploit a market opportunity by catering to their Facebook fan base and crafting a unique product that allowed them to stand out in the market.