Make-up routines everywhere were uprooted and re-imagined when an innovative beauty industry start-up offered their latest answer to a predictable industry unchanged and unmoved for 100 years.
EOS – born seven years ago, Evolution of Smooth – is the brainchild of experienced corporate strategist Sanjiv Mehra and start-up consultants Jonathan Teller and Craig Dubitsky. They were determined to change the buying experiences of an age old oral hygiene staple in the lip care industry.
Further upsetting an unchanged and unchallenged industry, EOS lip balm offered a different user experience with its ‘orb’ – a round, oval casing concealing a unique and appealing alternative to the tired cylindrical tubes competing in a market based on lower costs and lower prices. Not only did EOS bring a colorful collection, they also brought flavors unheard of elsewhere.
Thus, consumers embraced the new concept, and after heavy marketing based on sponsorship and product testing, EOS exploded into the old market; dominated by heavy hitters such as Chapstick and Burt’s Bees. Long before getting the products on the shelves of Ulta, Walgreens and Target – veteran Sanjiv Mehra knew they had a good thing.
If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, EOS was no doubt amused by the introduction of knock-off product attempts of corporate giants such as Sephora Beauty who understood the appeal and saw the fast climbing sales as EOS launched its campaigns around the world.
In an exclusive interview with Fastcompany.com, Sanjiv Mehra opened the doors to EOS, how it got started, and why there was so little upfront information as the product gained traction in the well-established industry.
Despite a deliberate lack of transparency, EOS was a number one contender, rising to the top with customized campaigns that combined matching KEDS shoes to a flavor/clor and Alice in Wonderland themed sets. This strategy proved to be the right move for them and catapulted EOS to the number 2 spot in record time.