Fast Company was able to give an exclusive interview with the founders of the Evolution of Smooth to get the inside scoop on how the small startup grew to become a $250 million company that was the second highest seller of lip balm in the United States. For founders Jonathan Teller and Sanjiv Mehra, the road has not been without its hard work and setbacks. With dedication and the right moves, they successfully found themselves a niche within a historically well-established market.
Racked popular brands such as Burt’s Bees, Chaptsick and Blistex had not been contended in the lip balm market. Instead of being deterred by this reality, the Lip Balm Company founders saw it as a favorable time to start a business. Sanjiv Mehra had worked previously in packaged-goods companies while his partner Jonathan Teller had experience in small startups. Together, they determined the lip balm industry would be the perfect place to start. Understanding that they wouldn’t be able to compete with larger companies by producing a similar product, they began to brainstorm on a new design.
After careful product designs, the team decided on a round and soft capsule. Another important aspect of the EOS lip balm was its ability to incorporate all five senses. The circular design felt satisfying to use in the hands while the clicking of the lid was a joy to the ears. EOS also created several different colors and scents for their lip balm to enhance the smell and look of their product. Each model also includes a unique flavor.
All of these particularities were chosen in the light of appealing to EOS lip balm’ target customer base. Instead of selling to anyone and everyone, as was the strategy of the major lip balm companies, EOS instead decided to focus their marketing. They chose a millennial demographic (https://www.facebook.com/eos/)which ended up pushing them to be a leading contender in a market they helped to revolutionize.