Before 2011, if you had made a list of markets known for innovative products and ideas, ‘lip care’ wouldn’t have made an appearance. For more than 100 years, almost nothing had changed. Lip balm was something that came in little tubes, likely with ‘Chapstick’ or ‘Blistex’ on the labels. These brands dominated so much of the market that their names had almost become synonymous with lip balm itself.

Most companies saw lip care as a dead market and focused on attracting customers by cutting production costs to produce cheaper and cheaper products. Sanjiv Mehra, Jonathan Teller, and Craig Dubitsky, the co-founders of Evolution of Smooth (EOS for short) saw a market ripe for something radically different. In a recent interview with Fast Company, they explained exactly how they set out to create it.

The now-familiar spherical EOS lip balms started with in-depth research. EOS lip balm quickly realized that women used the product as part of their beauty routines, and the company made the critical decision to create a lip balm that catered to this need. From the color and texture of the container to the flavors of the balm itself, the entire experience of using EOS lip balms was designed to be fun and engaging, something that appealed to the company’s Target market of choice: millennial women.

This targeted marketing also influenced the way EOS advertised its products. In addition to traditional print and television ads, EOS developed an impressive social media presence, reaching out to social influencers like beauty bloggers and celebrities to create an online buzz about the new eBay sold lip balm.

The strategy has paid off. Today, EOS is a $250 million dollar company, outselling every other lip balm producer with the exception of Burt’s Bees. With the lip care market expected to continue to grow, EOS now seems poised to dominate a market that only seven years ago had never even heard of it.

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