EOS: The Story of How One Start-up Dominated Their Market in Seven Years

Evolution of Smooth, or EOS, has revealed the strategy that took them to the top of the lip balm industry in an exclusive interview with Fast Company.

The major players in the lip balm market have been mostly silent on how they became successes before now.

But everyone knows of them. The egg-shaped, pastel-colored lip balm orbs are everywhere. From the aisles of Target and Wal-Mart to Kim K’s purse, everyone has at least seen an EOS lip balm.

The company has only existed for seven years though. So how did they become one of the top sellers in the century-old industry in such a short amount of time?

It began with an idea to shake up the stale lip balm industry. The short tubes that most lip balms come in have been the standard, basically unchanged, for around a century. The team needed to come up with something new without creating a gimmick or a passing fad.

It seems they have been successful. EOS sells 1 million units per week, is worth $250 million, and is only outsold by Burt’s Bees. The brand is also on track to be worth $2 billion by 2020.

The strategy involved more than just a re-design, though. EOS also selected millennial women as their demographic. The reason? Women are the primary purchasers of lip balm despite the relatively unisex nature of the packaging and marketing that most brands take.

Getting their products in stores was a little more challenging, but they found their big break when Walgreens decided to give them a shot. It wasn’t long after that mass merchandisers like Target and Wal-Mart ( and even online thru Luckyvitamin and Ulta, now EOS can be found practically anywhere.

Find out more about the company’s success story in Fast Company’s interview here.


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