Ah, Black Friday.
It’s not a surprise that the main kick-off day for the vacation shopping season is accountable for a huge yearly surge in consumer costs, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is an annual slam-dunk for big box sellers, Black Friday can bring more difficulties than benefits for small businesses.
Slashing costs to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line– and with limited marketing budgets and resources, competing with big brand names takes nerve, insight, and imagination. That’s why the small businesses that stick out during the holiday are the ones that connect with the distinct wants and needs of their consumers, get bold with their marketing strategies, and produce thumb-stopping material that makes certain to get individuals talking.
Last year, UK-based sustainable underwear brand and Best SMM Panel consumer Pantee won Black Friday with a campaign that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse buying. We talked to Pantee’s creators, sis Amanda and Katie McCourt, to find out how they did it, what the results were, and what they’ve discovered for future projects.
What is Pantee?
Pantee is an underclothing brand name making a difference: their items are used “deadstock” materials, or unsold inventory that would otherwise end up in land fills. Designed by women, for women and the world, Pantee’s items are created with convenience and style in mind, while assisting avoid unused garments from going to waste.
@pantee_uk We introduced a business in lockdown! Here’s how we did it #smallbusinesslaunch #howtostartabusiness #smallbusinesscheck #whatididduringlockdown Bubble– Official Noise Studio
For Pantee, sustainability isn’t a buzzword or trend to jump on; the brand name was established with this function at its core. The idea came to life in a thrift shop in 2019, when Amanda was searching second-hand clothing stores in London and was blown away by the number of new t-shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.
“It was crazy to me how many individuals had actually handed out clothes prior to even using them as soon as,” states Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is how many disposed of clothing we can see, how much is there that we can’t see? When I began investigating, I knew that we might make a difference. It’s extremely hard to get buying best in the fashion industry with patterns and shopping cycles altering so regularly, and as a result, many companies overproduce. I ended up being fixated on the idea of what we could do with deadstock clothes.”
The brief response to Amanda’s concern on how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion business produces an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste each year, and around 30% of clothes made are never even offered.
With a bold enthusiasm to make a distinction for our planet– and after realizing that the soft cotton tee shirt material everyone likes would lend itself well to underclothing and cordless bras– Amanda and Katie named business Pantee (an abridged version of “trousers made from deadstock tees”) and got to work bringing the principle to life.
@pantee_uk Upcycling never ever felt so excellent link in bio to learn more about how we make sustainable underclothing! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion luxurious– milo
Because initially launching their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify site in February 2021, Pantee has actually turned into a successful sustainable start-up– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock fabric in its first 1.5 years alone. Pantee likewise plants one tree for every order put (resulting in over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a proud member of 1% For the Planet.
Turning 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 throughout the routine season, Black Friday made sure to motivate customers to make unneeded purchases– many of which would go unused and wind up back on shelves or, worse, in landfills.
So, while lots of small companies grappled with whether to run sales and promos, Pantee asked a various question: how could they create a successful campaign while remaining true to their objective?
- The solution: Reclaim Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an initiative motivating customers to reassess their purchases and avoid impulse purchasing.
- The message: Stop and think before you buy. Is it something you like? Is it something you need? If so, proceed– purchase and enjoy your new purchase. However if you weren’t already going to make that purchase, consider going without.
“Black Friday is the most significant impulse purchasing day of the year, and individuals get quickly sucked into sales,” states Katie. “However the mentality should be: Is it actually a deal if you weren’t going to invest the cash initially? Our campaign stance was not to motivate impulse buying, and we saw a great deal of engagement due to the fact that of the shared worths and commonalities it developed with our audience.”
“There is a lot overconsumption on Black Friday,” includes Amanda. “Our position wasn’t necessarily do not purchase, however if you’re going to, buy something you’ve desired for an actually very long time.”
Pantee didn’t stop there. To bring the campaign to life and put their words into action, the seller switched off their website to all however their engaged clients, who were only able to access the site through a code they sent to their existing newsletter.
The campaign was a frustrating success, resulting in a substantial increase in sales, social engagement and reach, brand awareness and brand-new client acquisition.
- Engagement on social networks doubled throughout the project (from 4 to 8%), and natural social impressions reached over 4x the overall fans at the time.
- The project naturally increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 without any supported paid spend.
- Pantee’s mailing 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 initiative 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 in 2015, Black Friday was the biggest sales day of the year,” says Katie. “By merely deciding 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 even if they valued what we were doing.”
“Brands often think that you can have values, however they will not convert to sales,” includes Amanda. “However we think that’s changing– and this project is a great example of that.”
Pantee is now introducing the project for the 2nd year and anticipating even more impressive outcomes.
4 lessons learned from one non-traditional campaign
Whether you’re brainstorming future creative projects, constructing out next quarter’s social marketing technique or currently starting on preparing for next year’s holiday season, Pantee’s Blackout Friday campaign holds excellent lessons that every online marketer should keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their top four suggestions– here’s what they stated.
1. Hone in on your function
“We yap about our values as a brand,” says Katie. “And time and time once again, we’ve seen that if we talk about an issue, our worths, or something with compound behind it, our engagement is so much greater. That’s what individuals want to see: something that gets them believing.”
Amanda includes: “I think at one point, we lost our way a bit and became more product and sales heavy on our social channels, and we saw that we weren’t getting the exact same reach. Pressing product resolves e-mail marketing and other areas of business, however with social, we have actually seen a bigger chance to inform our audience and share beneficial info that they can win.”
2. An engaged neighborhood is everything
“There’s a big difference between growing a following and growing a following that also has engagement,” explains Katie.” When it concerns social, what we have actually discovered is that individuals who engaged with us early on have become supporters for our brand name. We see so much worth in community and engaging with our clients beyond getting the sale. Many brand names 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 found out quite at an early stage with our social that the highest peaks of engagement occurred when we took a stand for something,” says Katie. “We have actually constantly been rather objective driven, but we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we have actually introduced campaigns with our sustainability mission at the leading edge, the engagement has actually been through the roof.”
4. Keep in mind that there’s more to social than what you’re publishing
“Social media isn’t almost what you post, it has to do with how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” explains Amanda. “Spending time on your social platforms connecting with others, developing relationships and establishing an engaged neighborhood is indispensable. We utilize our social channels for two-way discussions with both clients and our community– there is a lot 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 among the most effective tools that brands can utilize to ignite their service, turning spectators into loyal brand name advocates, awareness into sales, and your objective into favorable, concrete modification. Just ask Pantee.
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