For almost a century, lip balms were stuck in an unchanging environment. The major makers of lip balm, Pfizer who made the Chapstick brand and Blistex, were not augmenting or innovating their products in any meaningful way. Customers were satisfied with their lip balms but viewed them in a purely utilitarian manner. They were not enthralled or excited about the lip balm that they were buying.
An article in Fast Company details how a new market entrant, EOS, changed all that. EOS lip balm envisioned the market from the ground up by seeking to understand what modern customers wanted in a lip balm and how this differed from the products that were currently available in the market.
The founders of EOS who had considerable experience buying and marketing for major brands like Pepsi and Unilever started to explore the customers wishes. They were seeking higher quality ingredients over the unnatural petroleum jelly based lip balm used in the past and EOS introduced oils like she’s butter into their lip balms. While this higher quality ingredient cost more money, customers proved to be willing to pay up for a luxury ingredient when the final cost of the lip balm was only $3 an orb at Lucky Vitamin.
About the orb; well EOS lip balm found that women customers were tired of losing their lip balm in their hand bag and designed a unique orb that was still sanitary to apply but which provided a luscious application. Bright colors on the case made it easy to find even in a crowded hand bag while interesting flavors kept customers trying new options and flavors.
All of this led to a marked success for EOS which has become in just seven years a $250 million in revenue enterprise that is now starting to branch out into other personal health care products.