How EOS Became the Lip Balm of Choice for Millennial Women

In the Fast Company article “The Untold Story of How Lip Balm Upstart EOS Outdid Chapstick”, Elizabeth Segran describes how Evolution of Smooth (a.k.a. EOS lip balm) became a best-selling lip balm over the past seven years through product innovation and marketing that targeted millennial women.

Co-founders Sanjiv Mehra, John Teller, and Craig Dubitsky recognized an opportunity to break into the beauty aisle after discovering that most lip balms were almost identical to the lip products from 100 years ago.

Through consumer research, they noticed that it was mainly used by women as a part of their beauty routine. Instead of marketing it as a unisex product as its predecessors had, EOS wanted to create a lip balm made specifically for women that was still priced to compete with the industry leaders.

They chose to focus on sensory engagement such as soft, colorful packaging and a unique flavor made from organic ingredients, to create a fun customer experience that was both effective and enjoyable.

However, it was difficult to place the product in drugstores and chain stores because they were concerned that customers were loyal to their usual brand and those men wouldn’t understand the product.

But after a fateful meeting with a Walgreens buyer, EOS launched the product and quickly landed accounts with Walmart and Target, followed by online stores of eBay and Amazon. In order to scale quickly, they invested in their own equipment and created an automated production system that allowed them to compete with industry leaders like Burt’s Bees and Chapstick.

EOS also began to niche down on their target audience, focusing on millennial women between the ages of 25 and 35. In order to reach them, they began to use influencer marketing. Having beauty bloggers review the product on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube and having celebrities like Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Demi Lovato endorse the product made them one of the biggest advertisers in that category.

Within seven years, the brand became a household name, selling more than a million units each week. The company wants to keep to its evolutionary roots by continuing to innovate the beauty aisle. From shaving creams to lotions, EOS keeps setting new standards for their industry.