Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

Cultural Anthropology, Consumer Engagement and Fancy Soap

In Insight on April 27, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Back in November I wrote about some Il Frutteto di Nesti soap we have in our house and the fact that we had never actually opened it. The soap was so beautifully packaged that my wife didn’t want to use it. Here’s what it looks like:

Those are some pretty fancy soaps

Those are some pretty fancy soaps



 After that original post, Brian Bidinger, who works for (or is a N. American distributor for?) Nesti Dante s.r.l. posted a comment recommending that we in fact try the soap. Even with that I was hesitant to rip them open. Finally, about a week and a half ago I got tired of looking at the soaps and opened one up. You’d think I had suggested we sell our first child. Man, was my wife angry. Now, I may be dumb, but I’m no fool. I got in touch with Brian and told him my situation. Several days later, a couple of new bars arrived and I’m no longer sleeping in the doghouse. 

I think there are a couple of great lessons here. First, Brian and the people at Nesti Dante may want consumers to use their soaps, but the consumer has the final say on that matter. My initial feeling was that the soaps were too precious. Take a look at the copy on the back of this bar:


Too good to use?

Too good to use?

It says right on the label that it is precious. No wonder we didn’t want to use it.

Perhaps now that we have multiple bars we’ll start using one. I wholeheartedly recommend you try it. It is beautifully packaged, smells lovely, and if you ask Brian, he’ll tell you, it’s great to use too.

The other lesson is in consumer engagement. Brian did everything right from initial engagement to follow through on his word. As a result, there’s only one soap I’d talk about to people, Nesti Dante. Is their soap better than any other soap in the world, or even better than just any soap I’ve used? I don’t know, but I do know that Brian has given me every reason to tell other people about his product.

  1. Interesting post. My sister is the same way with “fancy soap.” Buys it for the “looks” and never uses it… she’s a rare repeat customer in the fancy soap market. I don’t really have anything much to say other than the post is interesting. 🙂

  2. Hi, I was “tipped off” to read your post because my online boutique, Bella Figura USA, carries Nesti Dante soap!

    You’re so right, it is gorgeously packaged – some of the most stunning around. And while personally, I’ve never hesitated to “rip it open” let me tell you my husband’s story.

    When I first gave him some Nesti Danti to try, he looked at it rather suspiciously, as though it were too “chichi.” But I told him to try it out – I needed a male perspective.

    Well, he not only loved it (he loves the hefty size of the individual bars) he asked me to reserve a “six pack” of the Philosophia Scrub just for him. (The Scrub is probably the most “manly” of the soaps, although I use it all the time too.)

    Needless to say, I was delighted with his response. So, now he tells his friends about the soap! He’s become my best “salesman” when it comes to Nesti Dante.

    Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts about the soap; and I’m delighted you and your wife are using them!

    All the best,
    Patricia Campbell

  3. Patricia,

    I really looking forward to using the soaps. I’ll definitely have a follow up post on my “user experience.” Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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