Ah, Black Friday.
It’s not a surprise that the official kick-off day for the vacation shopping season is responsible for a huge annual surge in consumer spending, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is an annual slam-dunk for huge box retailers, Black Friday can bring more obstacles than advantages for small businesses.
Slashing prices to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line– and with minimal marketing budgets and resources, competing with huge brand names takes courage, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small companies that stand apart throughout the holiday are the ones that connect with the unique wants and requires of their consumers, get bold with their marketing strategies, and create thumb-stopping content that’s sure to get people talking.
Last year, UK-based sustainable underwear brand and Best SMM Panel consumer Pantee won Black Friday with a project that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse purchasing. We interviewed Pantee’s creators, sisters Amanda and Katie McCourt, to find out how they did it, what the outcomes were, and what they have actually discovered for future campaigns.
What is Pantee?
Pantee is an underwear brand making a distinction: their items are used “deadstock” fabrics, or unsold stock that would otherwise end up in garbage dumps. Developed by ladies, for women and the planet, Pantee’s products are created with convenience and design in mind, while helping avoid unused garments from going to waste.
@pantee_uk We released a service in lockdown! Here’s how we did it #smallbusinesslaunch #howtostartabusiness #smallbusinesscheck #whatididduringlockdown Bubble– Authorities Noise Studio
For Pantee, sustainability isn’t a buzzword or pattern to get on; the brand was established with this purpose at its core. The concept came to life in a thrift store in 2019, when Amanda was browsing pre-owned clothing shops in London and was blown away by the variety of brand-new tee shirts lining the racks, tags still on them.
“It was crazy to me how many people had handed out clothing prior to even wearing them when,” states Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is how many discarded clothes we can see, how much is there that we can’t see? Once I began looking into, I knew that we could make a difference. It’s very difficult to get purchasing right in the fashion business with trends and shopping cycles altering so frequently, and as a result, lots of business overproduce. I ended up being fixated on the idea of what we could do with deadstock clothing.”
The short response to Amanda’s question on how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion business produces an approximated 92 million tonnes of textile waste each year, and approximately 30% of clothes made are never even sold.
With a strong enthusiasm to make a difference for our planet– and after understanding that the soft cotton tee shirt fabric everybody enjoys would provide itself well to underwear and wireless bras– Amanda and Katie called business Pantee (an abridged variation of “trousers made from deadstock tees”) and got to work bringing the principle to life.
@pantee_uk Upcycling never felt so excellent link in bio to learn more about how we make sustainable underclothing! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion glamorous– milo
Considering that initially introducing their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify site in February 2021, Pantee has turned into a successful sustainable startup– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock material in its first 1.5 years alone. Pantee likewise plants one tree for every single order placed (resulting in over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a happy member of 1% For the World.
Flipping the script with a ‘Blackout Friday’ project
Leading up to the Black Friday pandemonium in 2021, Amanda and Katie had one thing on their minds: overconsumption. Currently a problem in the fashion industry during the routine season, Black Friday was sure to motivate customers to make unneeded purchases– much of which would go unused and wind up back on racks or, even worse, in garbage dumps.
So, while lots of small companies come to grips with whether to run sales and promotions, Pantee asked a different concern: how could they create a successful project while remaining true to their objective?
- The solution: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an initiative encouraging consumers to rethink their purchases and prevent impulse purchasing.
- The message: Stop and think before you purchase. Is it something you enjoy? Is it something you need? If so, go ahead– purchase and enjoy your brand-new purchase. But if you weren’t already going to make that purchase, consider going without.
“Black Friday is the greatest impulse purchasing day of the year, and individuals get quickly sucked into sales,” states Katie. “However the mentality should be: Is it actually a bargain if you weren’t going to invest the cash initially? Our project position was not to motivate impulse purchasing, and we saw a great deal of engagement due to the fact that of the shared worths and common ground it established with our audience.”
“There is so much overconsumption on Black Friday,” includes Amanda. “Our position wasn’t necessarily do not make a purchase, however if you’re going to, purchase something you have actually wanted for a truly very long time.”
Pantee didn’t stop there. To bring the project to life and put their words into action, the retailer shut off their site to all but their engaged customers, who were only able to access the website through a code they sent to their existing newsletter.
The campaign was a frustrating success, leading to a considerable boost in sales, social engagement and reach, brand name awareness and brand-new customer acquisition.
- Engagement on social networks doubled throughout the project (from 4 to 8%), and organic social impressions reached over 4x the total fans at the time.
- The campaign organically increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 with no supported paid invest.
- Pantee’s subscriber list grew by 33% in the week leading up to Black Friday.
- The success of the social campaign extended far beyond Pantee’s Buy Instagram Verification, with the effort included in top-tier press including The Observer, Drapers, Reuters, The Daily Mail, and more.
“While we didn’t run a sale or any promotions last year, Black Friday was the biggest sales day of the year,” says Katie. “By simply taking a stand and leveraging social to get our message out, we drove a month’s worth of web traffic in a matter of hours and had loads of people signing up for our e-mail list. We saw a lots of new, first-time consumers just because they valued what we were doing.”
“Brand names frequently think that you can have values, but they will not transform to sales,” adds Amanda. “However we believe that’s changing– and this project is a terrific example of that.”
Pantee is now introducing the campaign for the 2nd year and looking forward to even more outstanding outcomes.
4 lessons learned from one unconventional project
Whether you’re brainstorming future imaginative campaigns, constructing out next quarter’s social marketing strategy or already starting on preparing for next year’s holiday, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds excellent lessons that every marketer need to keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their top 4 suggestions– here’s what they said.
1. Focus on your purpose
“We talk a lot about our values as a brand,” states Katie. “And time and time again, we’ve seen that if we discuss a concern, our values, or something with compound behind it, our engagement is a lot higher. That’s what people want to see: something that gets them believing.”
Amanda adds: “I believe at one point, we lost our method a bit and ended up being more item and sales heavy on our social channels, and we noticed that we weren’t getting the very same reach. Pressing product resolves e-mail marketing and other locations of business, but with social, we’ve seen a larger chance to inform our audience and share useful details that they can win.”
2. An engaged neighborhood is whatever
“There’s a substantial distinction in between growing a following and growing a following that likewise has engagement,” discusses Katie.” When it pertains to social, what we have actually discovered is that people who engaged with us early on have become supporters for our brand. We see a lot value in community and engaging with our customers beyond getting the sale. Lots of brands see social as a platform to get their message out, but for us, it’s a two-way street.”
3. Don’t hesitate to be bold
“We discovered rather early on with our social that the highest peaks of engagement happened when we decided for something,” states Katie. “We’ve always been rather mission driven, however we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we have actually launched campaigns with our sustainability mission at the forefront, the engagement has been through the roofing system.”
4. Keep in mind that there’s more to social than what you’re publishing
“Social media isn’t just about what you post, it has to do with how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” describes Amanda. “Spending time on your social platforms getting in touch with others, constructing relationships and establishing an engaged neighborhood is important. We use our social channels for two-way discussions with both consumers and our neighborhood– there is a lot you can learn when you talk with them rather of at them.”
If there’s one takeaway that increases above all the others, it’s that social is among the most effective tools that brands can use to spark their service, turning onlookers into faithful brand name advocates, awareness into sales, and your objective into positive, concrete modification. Just ask Pantee.
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