Ah, Black Friday.
It’s not a surprise that the official kick-off day for the holiday shopping season is accountable for an enormous annual surge in consumer costs, 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 challenges than advantages for small businesses.
Slashing rates to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line– and with limited marketing spending plans and resources, taking on huge brand names takes nerve, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small companies that stand apart during the holiday season are the ones that get in touch with the unique desires and requires of their clients, get strong with their marketing techniques, and produce thumb-stopping material that makes certain to get individuals talking.
In 2015, UK-based sustainable underwear brand and Best SMM Panel customer Pantee won Black Friday with a project that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse buying. We spoke with Pantee’s founders, sis Amanda and Katie McCourt, to find out how they did it, what the outcomes were, and what they’ve found out for future campaigns.
What is Pantee?
Pantee is an underwear brand making a distinction: their products are made using “deadstock” materials, or unsold stock that would otherwise wind up in land fills. Created by women, for women and the planet, Pantee’s products are produced with convenience and design in mind, while helping prevent unused garments from going to waste.
@pantee_uk We released a company 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 founded with this function at its core. The idea came to life in a thrift store in 2019, when Amanda was searching pre-owned clothing stores in London and was blown away by the number of brand-new tee shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.
“It was crazy to me the number of people had actually distributed clothing before even wearing them as soon as,” states Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is how many disposed of clothes we can see, just how much exists that we can’t see? Once I began researching, I knew that we could make a distinction. It’s really challenging to get purchasing ideal in the fashion industry with trends and shopping cycles changing so often, and as a result, lots of companies overproduce. I became fixated on the concept of what we might do with deadstock clothing.”
The short response to Amanda’s concern on how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion business produces an approximated 92 million tonnes of fabric waste each year, and approximately 30% of clothing made are never ever even sold.
With a bold passion to make a distinction for our planet– and after realizing that the soft cotton t-shirt fabric everyone loves would lend itself well to underwear and wireless bras– Amanda and Katie named the business Pantee (an abridged version of “pants made from deadstock tees”) and got to work bringing the concept to life.
@pantee_uk Upcycling never ever felt so excellent link in bio to read more about how we make sustainable underwear! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion elegant– milo
Since initially releasing their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify website in February 2021, Pantee has become a successful sustainable startup– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock material in its very first 1.5 years alone. Pantee also plants one tree for each order placed (resulting in over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a proud member of 1% For the World.
Flipping the script with a ‘Blackout Friday’ campaign
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 business during the regular season, Black Friday made certain to motivate consumers to make unnecessary purchases– a lot of which would go unused and end up back on racks or, worse, in garbage dumps.
So, while numerous small businesses come to grips with whether or not to run sales and promotions, Pantee asked a different question: how could they create a successful project while staying real to their objective?
- The option: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an effort encouraging customers to reassess their purchases and prevent impulse buying.
- The message: Stop and believe prior to you buy. Is it something you enjoy? Is it something you need? If so, proceed– purchase and enjoy your new purchase. But if you weren’t currently going to make that purchase, consider going without.
“Black Friday is the greatest impulse purchasing day of the year, and people get easily sucked into sales,” states Katie. “However the mentality should be: Is it really a bargain if you weren’t going to spend the cash initially? Our campaign stance was not to motivate impulse purchasing, and we saw a lot of engagement since of the shared values and common ground it established with our audience.”
“There is so much overconsumption on Black Friday,” adds Amanda. “Our stance wasn’t necessarily do not buy, but if you’re going to, buy something you’ve wanted for a really long time.”
Pantee didn’t stop there. To bring the campaign to life and put their words into action, the retailer shut off their website to all however their engaged customers, who were only able to access the website through a code they sent to their existing mailing list.
The campaign was an overwhelming success, resulting in a considerable boost in sales, social engagement and reach, brand name awareness and new consumer acquisition.
- Engagement on social media doubled throughout the campaign (from 4 to 8%), and natural social impressions reached over 4x the overall fans at the time.
- The project organically increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 with no supported paid invest.
- Pantee’s mailing list grew by 33% in the week leading up to Black Friday.
- The success of the social project extended far beyond Pantee’s Buy Instagram Verified, with the initiative featured in top-tier press consisting of The Observer, Drapers, Reuters, The Daily Mail, and more.
“While we didn’t run a sale or any promotions in 2015, Black Friday was the greatest sales day of the year,” states 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 email list. We saw a ton of brand-new, novice consumers just because they valued what we were doing.”
“Brands frequently believe that you can have worths, but they will not convert to sales,” adds Amanda. “But we think that’s changing– and this campaign is a terrific example of that.”
Pantee is now introducing the campaign for the 2nd year and eagerly anticipating much more outstanding results.
4 lessons gained from one non-traditional campaign
Whether you’re conceptualizing future innovative campaigns, constructing out next quarter’s social marketing strategy or already getting started on planning for next year’s holiday, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds great lessons that every online marketer ought to keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their leading four suggestions– here’s what they stated.
1. Hone in on your purpose
“We yap about our worths as a brand,” says Katie. “And time and time again, we have actually seen that if we talk about an issue, our values, or something with compound behind it, our engagement is so much higher. That’s what individuals wish to see: something that gets them thinking.”
Amanda includes: “I believe at one point, we lost our way a bit and became more item and sales heavy on our social channels, and we observed that we weren’t getting the same reach. Pressing item overcomes email marketing and other areas of the business, however with social, we have actually seen a larger opportunity to educate our audience and share useful info that they can win.”
2. An engaged neighborhood is whatever
“There’s a substantial distinction between growing a following and growing a following that likewise has engagement,” describes Katie.” When it pertains to social, what we have actually discovered is that people who engaged with us early on have actually become supporters for our brand. We see so much value in community and engaging with our consumers beyond getting the sale. Numerous brand names see social as a platform to get their message out, however for us, it’s a two-way street.”
3. Do not be afraid to be bold
“We discovered quite at an early stage with our social that the greatest peaks of engagement took place when we took a stand for something,” states Katie. “We’ve constantly been rather objective driven, but we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we have actually released projects with our sustainability objective at the leading edge, the engagement has been through the roofing.”
4. Bear in mind that there’s more to social than what you’re publishing
“Social media isn’t just about what you post, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” describes Amanda. “Hanging out on your social platforms connecting with others, constructing relationships and establishing an engaged community is vital. We utilize our social channels for two-way discussions with both consumers and our community– there is so much you can learn when you talk with them instead of at them.”
If there’s one takeaway that increases above all the others, it’s that social is one of the most powerful tools that brands can utilize to spark their business, turning bystanders into devoted brand supporters, awareness into sales, and your mission into favorable, concrete modification. Just ask Pantee.
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