How do you get celebrities like Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, and Demi Lovato to endorse your product? It helps if your product is innovative and fun, but it also requires a coordinated marketing mix and elbow grease.
Seven years ago, Sanjiv Mehra teamed up with Jonathan Teller and Craig Dubitsky to disrupt the beauty industry. At the time, they didn’t know what category they would choose. They felt confident that Mehra’s experience in consumer product design and Teller and Dubitsky’s startup experience at incubators would be a good match to innovate.
Their research led them to the lip balm market. A category that had never been disrupted and had existed in the same state for a century. Lip balm was ruled by market giants Pfizer and Clorox with Chapstick and Burt’s Bees, respectively. The new product had to be more than innovative to attract a market that most eBay and Amazon buyers considered, “creatures of habit who were loyal to their existing lip balm brand,” according to an article by Fast Company on EOS Lip Balm.
In order to compete Mehra and Teller (Dubitsky left before the product launched) decided to build their own manufacturing plant. They attended engineering tradeshows to hire engineers to build their fully automated machinery. Owning their own equipment and automating the process allowed EOS lip balm to produce their lip balm fast enough to meet the demand.
As a part of their marketing plan, EOS courted beauty bloggers to showcase their product in blogs, on video, over Facebook and other social media platforms. The awareness gained momentum and soon they were featured in major beauty magazines before they ended up in the tabloids, literally in the hands of celebrities.
How do you end up in the hands of celebrities? Become a really big deal that pushes the major players out of the way by understanding a market need.