The sustainable deodorant with a no-sweat approach to customer feedback

The all-natural armpit anti-odorant forecasting a €10 million turnover with less than 30 employees

  • ChallengeHow could a sustainable deodorant company understand what customers want from their product?
  • SolutionBy sending out a series of customer satisfaction typeforms, via an integration with Klaviyo.
  • ResultNuud is winning hearts, minds and armpits across Europe. Over 750,000 people have already made the switch!

If applying underarm deodorant is part of your routine that you don’t want challenged, then beware. This tale of inspiration and perspiration might complicate your life a bit.

Almost all deodorant contains tiny particles of aluminum and parabens, which form a “plug” within the sweat duct to stop your perspiration. These chemicals tested, but not on freshly shaved skin, nor for life-long daily use. There is a need for more extensive research around claims that deodorant is linked to scary health conditions.

That said, we do know these chemicals are bad for the planet, as is their packaging. For that reason alone, more and more people are turning away from chemical deodorants: zero wasters, vegans, folks with sensitive skin, for instance. But for a long time, the natural alternatives stunk, and all those darn hippies smelled like patchouli and armpit. 

Nuud is one of the next generation of BO busters. It’s an all-natural alternative to deodorant that neutralizes the smell of sweat. You only need to apply it once every three to seven days, so a 20ml tube lasts around 10 weeks. Everything from the ingredients, to the manufacturing, to the packaging and postage is rigorously sustainable. Martijn van Seters, its founder and CEO, says that’s the whole point. 

“We want to make a product that’s as sustainable as it can get. We always say the best alternative to Nuud is to not use deodorant. That's our goal: to get as close to the carbon footprint of not using deodorant as possible.”

Martijn van Seters, Founder & CEO @ Nuud

Persuading customers to choose luxury armpit care (it’s a tough crowd) 

Doing everything sustainably simply costs more, so Nuud is a premium product. For customers to be willing to pay more for something as dull as deodorant, the offer has to be exceptional. Therefore, it is important for Nuud to understand perfectly what their customer wants. 

Their solution was to create a series of customer satisfaction typeforms, which they send out using an integration with email marketing tool Klavyio. Once a customer has used Nuud for three weeks, they are automatically sent a typeform asking them how it’s going. If they decide to cancel their Nuud subscription, they're sent another one asking them what went wrong. Marketing Coordinator, Chia Emelle, finds the Typeform/Klavyio combination very convenient. 

“It's easy to use and easy to understand, I very much appreciate the seamless integration.”

Chia Emelle, Marketing Coordinator @ Nuud

Nuud had been using another tool for their customer surveys, but decided to switch to Typeform to handle the sheer volume of surveys going out. As Typeform Enterprise customers, Nuud has the ear of a dedicated Customer Outcomes Manger, Amy Carlson (who has a puppy called Gordito, by the way). Chia explained how this smoothed their setup process. 

“We had a lot of help from Amy. She was really nice — such good energy! As a brand, you work with a lot of software companies and sometimes their customer service isn’t great. It was really nice to have somebody on call who knew the product.”

Chia Emelle, Marketing Coordinator @ Nuud

The Enterprise package also makes it possible for Chia and her colleagues to collaborate on typeforms. They’ve created forms in eight different languages, and for every version of Nuud on the market. 

It all began with a 19th century Netherlandish fishing accident  

For CEO Martijn van Seters, Nuud is more than just a smart answer to a gap in the market. Its origins lie with his family. 

Martijn’s grandfather’s grandfather was a fisherman. He died young, in a tragic accident at sea, and his wife was left without money to take care of their children. To make ends meet, she opened a village shop called The Widow of Martijn, which evolved into a drugstore and passed down through generations of van Seters. 

The family of present day Martijn van Seters has sold personal care products for five generations. When devising the recipe for Nuud, he called on advice from a network of indie cosmetics makers, some of whom have known the van Seters for decades. 

All of this is to say that Nuud was founded on a very human story. Martijn made it clear that it could never be a corporate personal care brand. 

“There's personal care brands that go for the clinical look, but it's just not in our DNA.”

Martijn van Seters, Founder and CEO @ Nuud

Therefore, he and the team want anything customer-facing to speak with Nuud’s voice. There’s something vaguely silly about taking sweaty pits so seriously, so that voice is consistently tongue-in-cheek. One of the reasons they choose Typeform for all their customer surveys, is because it’s so easy to customize them with their brand identity. And as Enterprise customers, they can also have fully customized URLs for each of their typeforms. 

“We saw quite a few brands using Typeform and thought, ‘Oh wow, that looks really cool, modern. Exactly like our brand goals.’ Our brand is fun, so being able to add gifs and change the colors made a big difference. It's also very user-friendly.”

Chia Emelle, Marketing Coordinator @ Nuud

Nailing Nuud’s niche 

Nuud receives thousands of submissions to their customer satisfaction typeform every month. It’s useful to get hard numbers about what customers want, and allows them to hone their offer. For instance, the team wanted to decrease churn on their subscription service, so they sent out a typeform for people who decide to cancel Nuud. One of the questions asks directly, “what did we do wrong?”

Thousands of ex-customers responded. The typeform’s Results panel made them clear to analyze. 

“I think the analytics on Typeform’s interface are really great. They provide a lot of information for me, and it’s easy for, say, Martijn to monitor.”

Chia Emelle, Marketing Coordinator, Nuud

Looking at these analytics, Chia noticed that the most common reason people canceled their subscriptions was due to the frequency they were receiving the product. This was a valuable insight that's led the team to take some important steps to help keep customers happily subscribed for longer periods. 

“We are currently taking a deeper dive into our subscription service and looking to revamp it. That’s all because of the results from the typeform.”

Chia Emelle, Marketing Coordinator @ Nuud

A personal care revolution, one armpit at a time   

If a solution to body odor can be hot stuff, Nuud is hot stuff. They’re set to turn around 10 million euros in 2021, with a team of just 23 people. They have plans to expand into American markets.

On some level, Martijn explained, this little sugar cane tube is a challenge to the personal care industry at large.

“Right now, most products being used in the shower are around 80% water. I want to get to a place where we won’t be shipping products around the world that are 80% water. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Martijn van Seters, Founder and CEO, Nuud

Neutralizing the fruity aroma of human armpits is pretty much the biggest challenge we ask of personal care products. If a deodorant can be sustainable and also practical, then there’s probably hope for everything in our bathroom cabinets.  

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