The Clean Getaway Club Soap Subscription Box and How it Evolved Over Time

Danielle Vincent

Posted on June 15 2017


Russ making soapI wanted to give presents.

The whole idea behind the Clean Getaway Club soap subscription box was that I wanted to send care packages to strangers with the hopes that their day would somehow be made more joyful or exciting.

I didn't want it to be fancy, just some stuff I put together as a little "thinking of you."

I mean, yeah, I didn't necessarily specifically know each subscriber, so I wasn't technically thinking of them specifically, but I feel like in general, days kind of blend together and so receiving something special might put a kick in people's step. And sending someone a care package out of the blue, at least to me, is like saying "Hey, I want you to have a cool day."

But it's expensive to send presents to a hundred people out of the blue, so I knew we'd have to charge something for 'em. But how do you charge for something you don't know what is? How do you even determine costs on that? How about shipping?

As with everything, the Clean Getaway Club soap subscription box had a pretty sharp learning cliff to ascend.

It turns out there's no way to know what the weight of "whatever sounds interesting and fits in the budget" is, and the post office doesn't have a good shipping option for "somewhere between 5 oz and 5 lbs." Charging a set amount every other month for an unknown box was going to be challenging.

And it also turns out that people want what they want, especially if they're paying for it. So if you send them a bunch of stuff they don't want, pretty soon they don't want to pay for it anymore.

For a time, we included a really beautifully designed and incredibly well-researched and written (by a professional writer who wasn't myself) pamphlet that detailed some specific Outlaw-related skill, and commissioned a friend to make custom (and incredibly designed) "merit badges" for the subscribers. Combined, these added about $5 to the cost of the box. I thought it was worth it, but I started hearing that people were keeping the soap and throwing everything else away. It broke my heart, both because the pamphlet and badge were so cool and creative, and because I want people to feel like they're getting their money's worth in our products. Ending up with money in the garbage doesn't suit anyone.

But you know what we do get?

We get a lot of requests for new kinds of soap (and other products).

People want us to try new things. Our customers love the general direction of our product innovation, and want us to drive that innovation forward, forward, forward!

But as you know from my long post about how to make body wash in one million easy steps, new product development is costly and difficult.

After four years of trying to give subscribers what I wanted, we decided to give them what they wanted... so we started making special soaps and commissioning special products for the subscription boxes.

And now we're basically riding the mechanical bull of new product innovation for the Clean Getaway Subscription boxes! You get what you want, and we get to innovate product!

This month, Russ made a new soap we're affectionately calling the Rough Start. It has some rough stuff in it (those're the coffee grounds), a little coffee scent, and some of the newest whiskey scent we're trying out. He also is making Fight Club soap that looks like the actual soap from the poster for Fight Club (appropriate, right?). And as a grand finale, we're including some special new spray cologne in Fire in the Hole scent, since it's 4th of July and what a better way to celebrate the 4th than by smelling like an explosion?

If this, and the whole product innovation concept, sounds good to you, sign up for the Clean Getaway Subscription Box.

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