Can a simple tube of lip balm be made even more functional and easier to use? Isn’t it already the epitome of portability and simplicity? Yes … except for one thing. That pesky cap. Here’s a package from Canada that eliminates that component.
K2 Endurance Lip Balm
We’ve seen companies expand and improve on the lip balm category, but it’s always been in regards to formulation. Burt’s Bees, for example, offers tinted varieties with all-natural ingredients such as honey. But the package form for any of these new formulas is exactly the same as every other—pull off the cap, twist up the balm, and apply. Now, a company called Outside Labs offers a fairly standard lip balm in a unique package that claims true one-hand usability.
While this product is specifically positioned to athletes (especially extreme athletes), it has a much broader appeal. And that’s a good thing, as extreme sports are only engaged in by 5% to 6% of the U.S. population, according to Mintel’s research. There’s an opportunity here for companies with lip balms that offer other types of benefits (e.g., color, flavor, treatment) to enhance or expand their brands with a more convenient package. In addition, this type of package could work for some types of lipstick.
There’s no standard cap on this tube of balm. Instead, when consumers give it a twist, an aperture at the top splits and opens, reminiscent of a camera lens. Further twisting brings the balm stick up through the aperture so that it can be applied. Twist the other way, and it retracts and recloses.
Why we love it
It’s simple, effective, and easy to use. The functionality is intuitive and likely to grab consumers’ interest. Though the impact of the functionality needs to be experienced in hand to be best understood, the package graphics do a good job of conveying how it works.
We have seen some one-handed lipsticks on the market in the past. One from Avon stands out in retrospect, but the mechanism on that one could be potentially activated while in a handbag (yikes!). This more rugged design seems to have a stronger future, either for more sports-focused products or quite simply for everyday convenience.
Contents: SPF 30 lip balm
Size: 4.25g (0.15 oz)
Goals: Apply lip balm with one hand
Target: Extreme sports enthusiasts and wannabes
Decorative Process: Silkscreen
Lynn Dornblaser (email@example.com) is the director of CPG Trend Insight at Mintel International.