How EOS Outsold Chapstick When All Other Competitors Failed

Chapstick has been such a popular lip balm for so many years that many people began referring to any lip balm as Chapstick, whether it was produced by the brand or not. After being on the market for over 100 years, no other brand of lip balm managed to become anywhere near as popular as Chapstick … until EOS lip balm hit the market less than a decade ago. How did EOS manage to compete with a brand that was so popular it became a household name and even outsell the Chapstick brand many years? Read on to find out how they did it and why EOS succeeded when all other Chapstick rivals failed.

Breaking Free of the Standard Lip Balm Tube

One of the co-founders of Evolution of Smooth, the full company name that is more commonly known by its acronym EOS, is Sanjiv Mehra. While his name may not sound familiar, you are likely very familiar with the big name brands he has worked with, including Unilever and Pepsi.

When discussing product ideas with EOS partners Jonathan Teller and Craig Dubitsky, they came to a unilateral agreement that lip balm was in desperate need of a makeover. Before they created EOS lip balm, virtually every other lip balm on the market came in the same tube as Chapstick and even had very similar label designs.

After doing market research, they also discovered that lip balm was much more popular among females, and despite this important fact, most lip balm makers on the market made products that were not tailored to either gender.

Further research also revealed that while there were a few lip balms that came in small pots targeted to female consumers, most women disliked having to use a finger to apply them, since it required hand-washing before application.

Another key fact they learned during market research that affected the final EOS lip balm design was that women disliked small lip balms that could easily get buried in their purses.

After considering what the market research revealed, the founders quickly got to work developing a product design they thought women would love, and according to how well EOS has performed in sales, they were right.

Embracing the Organic Market

When EOS lip balm was in development stages, the public was showing an increasing interest in organic products, including organic beauty products.

Due to the expected growth of the demand for even more organic products and the higher price-point they can be sold at compared to non-organic ones, it made the decision to choose an organic lip balm formula easy for the founders.

Getting EOS on Store Shelves

Once the partners had developed a great product, their next challenge to tackle was getting into stores. They found that male store buyers typically just didn’t “get” the product and whether the design that was so different than other lip balms on store shelves would help or hinder its sales.

However, when they met a female buyer for Walgreen’s, she embraced the product and truly understood how it would appeal to women, especially millennials. Soon after, Walmart and Target also agreed to carry EOS lip balm in their stores.

After getting into several stores, the founders then made the decision to begin producing the product themselves in their very own production facility.

Amping Up Their Marketing Efforts

After EOS lip balm was on store shelves, the founders then focused their efforts on marketing to their target buyers, who were women from ages 25-35.

While they did invest in traditional television commercials and magazine advertisements, they also embraced the then-new world of social media marketing. EOS had beauty bloggers discussing the product on YouTube, Linked In, Facebook, Pibterest ( and their blogs.

Additional marketing investments in product placement and celebrity endorsements led to EOS being the most highly marketed lip balm in history. Thankfully, those investments paid off and EOS now sells over 1 million lip balms each week. Visit the evolutionofsmooth website for more details.