Ah, Black Friday.
It’s not a surprise that the main kick-off day for the holiday shopping season is responsible for a massive yearly surge in customer spending, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. However while this is a yearly slam-dunk for big box sellers, Black Friday can bring more difficulties than advantages for small companies.
Slashing rates to make sales cuts directly into their bottom line– and with limited marketing budgets and resources, competing with huge brand names takes guts, insight, and imagination. That’s why the small businesses that stand out during the holiday season are the ones that connect with the special wants and needs of their consumers, get bold with their marketing techniques, and produce thumb-stopping material that makes sure to get people talking.
In 2015, UK-based sustainable underwear brand and Best SMM Panel client Pantee won Black Friday with a project that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse purchasing. We interviewed Pantee’s creators, siblings Amanda and Katie McCourt, to find out how they did it, what the results were, and what they have actually found out for future projects.
What is Pantee?
Pantee is an underclothing brand name making a difference: their products are used “deadstock” materials, or unsold inventory that would otherwise wind up in landfills. Designed by women, for ladies and the planet, Pantee’s items are created with comfort and style in mind, while assisting prevent unused garments from going to waste.
@pantee_uk We launched a business in lockdown! Here’s how we did it #smallbusinesslaunch #howtostartabusiness #smallbusinesscheck #whatididduringlockdown Bubble– Authorities Sound Studio
For Pantee, sustainability isn’t a buzzword or trend to get on; the brand name was founded with this function 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 shelves, tags still on them.
“It was crazy to me how many individuals had actually distributed clothes before even using them when,” says Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is how many discarded clothes we can see, just how much exists that we can’t see? Once I started looking into, I understood that we could make a difference. It’s very tough to get buying best in the fashion business with patterns and shopping cycles changing so regularly, and as a result, lots of companies overproduce. I ended up being focused on the idea of what we might do with deadstock clothes.”
The brief response to Amanda’s question on just how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion industry produces an estimated 92 million tonnes of fabric waste each year, and roughly 30% of clothes made are never ever even sold.
With a strong enthusiasm to make a distinction for our planet– and after realizing that the soft cotton tee shirt material everybody enjoys would lend itself well to underwear and cordless bras– Amanda and Katie called 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 great link in bio to read more about how we make sustainable underwear! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion elegant– milo
Considering that at first introducing 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 every order placed (leading to over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a proud member of 1% For the World.
Turning the script with a ‘Blackout Friday’ project
Leading up to the Black Friday pandemonium in 2021, Amanda and Katie had something on their minds: overconsumption. Already a concern in the fashion business throughout the regular season, Black Friday was sure to encourage customers to make unneeded purchases– much of which would go unused and end up back on racks or, even worse, in landfills.
So, while numerous small businesses faced whether to run sales and promos, Pantee asked a different question: how could they produce an effective campaign while staying true to their mission?
- The solution: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an effort encouraging customers to reconsider their purchases and prevent impulse purchasing.
- The message: Stop and think prior to you purchase. Is it something you enjoy? Is it something you need? If so, proceed– buy and enjoy your new purchase. However if you weren’t currently going to make that purchase, consider going without.
“Black Friday is the greatest impulse buying day of the year, and individuals get easily drawn into sales,” says Katie. “But the mindset should be: Is it actually a bargain if you weren’t going to spend the cash initially? Our project position was not to encourage impulse purchasing, and we saw a great deal of engagement because of the shared values and common ground it developed with our audience.”
“There is a lot overconsumption on Black Friday,” adds Amanda. “Our position wasn’t necessarily do not buy, however if you’re going to, purchase something you have actually desired for a truly long time.”
Pantee didn’t stop there. To bring the project to life and put their words into action, the seller switched off their site to all however their engaged clients, who were just able to access the website through a code they sent to their existing mailing list.
The campaign was an overwhelming success, resulting in a substantial boost in sales, social engagement and reach, brand name awareness and new customer acquisition.
- Engagement on social media doubled throughout the campaign (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 without any supported paid spend.
- Pantee’s newsletter grew by 33% in the week leading up to Black Friday.
- The success of the social project extended far beyond Pantee’s Buy Instagram Verification, with the initiative featured 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,” states Katie. “By simply 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 registering for our e-mail list. We saw a ton of brand-new, first-time customers just because they valued what we were doing.”
“Brands often think that you can have values, but they will not transform to sales,” adds Amanda. “But we think that’s altering– and this project is a terrific example of that.”
Pantee is now introducing the project for the 2nd year and eagerly anticipating a lot more remarkable results.
4 lessons gained from one non-traditional project
Whether you’re conceptualizing future imaginative campaigns, developing out next quarter’s social marketing technique or currently starting on planning for next year’s holiday, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds fantastic lessons that every marketer ought to keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their leading 4 recommendations– here’s what they stated.
1. Hone in on your purpose
“We talk a lot about our worths as a brand name,” says Katie. “And time and time again, we’ve seen that if we speak about a problem, our values, or something with substance behind it, our engagement is so much greater. That’s what individuals wish to see: something that gets them thinking.”
Amanda adds: “I believe at one point, we lost our method a bit and ended up being more product and sales heavy on our social channels, and we discovered that we weren’t getting the same reach. Pushing product overcomes email marketing and other locations of the business, but with social, we have actually seen a larger chance to educate our audience and share helpful information that they can leave with.”
2. An engaged community is everything
“There’s a substantial difference in between growing a following and growing a following that likewise has engagement,” describes Katie.” When it concerns social, what we have actually found is that people who engaged with us early on have actually ended up being advocates for our brand. We see a lot worth in neighborhood and engaging with our clients beyond getting the sale. Lots of brand names see social as a platform to get their message out, but for us, it’s a two-way street.”
3. Do not hesitate to be strong
“We found out rather early with our social that the highest peaks of engagement took place when we decided for something,” says Katie. “We have actually constantly been quite objective driven, however we like to have a good time 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. Keep in mind that there’s more to social than what you’re publishing
“Social network isn’t practically what you post, it has to do with how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” discusses Amanda. “Hanging out on your social platforms getting in touch with others, developing relationships and developing an engaged community is indispensable. We utilize our social channels for two-way discussions with both consumers and our neighborhood– there is a lot you can find out when you talk with them rather of at them.”
If there’s one takeaway that rises above all the others, it’s that social is one of the most powerful tools that brand names can utilize to spark their service, turning onlookers into faithful brand name supporters, awareness into sales, and your mission into positive, concrete modification. Just ask Pantee.
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