For decades, when people thought about lip balm they thought of Chapstick. Chapstick, owned by global pharmaceutical company Pfizer, was long the standard for lip balm in the market. Not that they were an innovative or great product; after all, for nearly a century, the product offering from Chapstick had not significantly changed or kept up with the tastes of consumers.
EOS entered into this competitive landscape and began to offer lip balms that were a cut above those offered by their competition. How they were able to do so and become a giant, in their own regard, was detailed out in a Fast Company article (https://www.fastcompany.com/3063333/startup-report/the-untold-story-of-how-lip-balm-upstart-eos-outdid-chapstick) and was an insightful look at how a company outdid a larger competitor.
EOS started out by targeting one niche group of consumers who bought lip balm; women, and learned that they were not passionate or loyal to their lip balm brands. They viewed them in a utilitarian way, as something they needed to use but did not enjoy. The issues with the lip balms they applied were questions about the ingredients used, the flavor of the lip balm, and the applicator tube itself.
The applicator tube was redesigned into a neat orb that was cute, colorful, and sanitary to use. It was also easier to find in a crowded pocketbook and female consumers loved its ergonomic feel. EOS products often seen on the shelves of Walmart and Target stores nationwide.
The flavors that EOS lip balm created were a far stand from the medicine flavor that Chapstick sold. Sweet mint, strawberry sherbet, and passion fruit are just some of the varied options that EOS sells today. The ingredients used were natural and they didn’t have the fake flavor that the other brands had in their balms.
Finally, EOS concentrated on the sourcing of their ingredients and used items that were natual and organic and had a greater impact on retaining lip moisture. These higher quality ingredients paid off in the lip balm and provided for added moisture and less chapped lips than Chapstick did.
This provided EOS with a far superior product than Chapstick and the brand experienced a great uptick in sales and profitability as a result.