Ah, Black Friday.
It’s not a surprise that the main kick-off day for the vacation shopping season is responsible for a huge yearly rise 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 challenges than advantages for small companies.
Slashing rates to make sales cuts directly into their bottom line– and with limited marketing budget plans and resources, competing with huge brand names takes courage, insight, and imagination. That’s why the small businesses that stand apart throughout the holiday are the ones that connect with the special desires and needs of their customers, get bold with their marketing techniques, and create thumb-stopping content that makes certain to get people talking.
In 2015, UK-based sustainable underclothing brand name 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, sis Amanda and Katie McCourt, to learn 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” fabrics, or unsold stock that would otherwise end up in landfills. Developed by ladies, for ladies and the world, Pantee’s products are created with comfort and style in mind, while assisting avoid unused garments from going to waste.
@pantee_uk We introduced 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 trend to jump on; the brand name was founded with this function at its core. The idea came to life in a thrift shop in 2019, when Amanda was searching pre-owned clothes shops in London and was blown away by the variety of brand-new tee shirts lining the racks, tags still on them.
“It was insane to me how many people had actually given away clothing before even using them as soon as,” says Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is the number of disposed of clothing 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 buying right in the fashion business with patterns and shopping cycles altering so frequently, and as an outcome, numerous companies overproduce. I ended up being focused on the idea of what we might do with deadstock clothing.”
The brief response to Amanda’s question on how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion business produces an estimated 92 million tonnes of fabric waste each year, and approximately 30% of clothing made are never even sold.
With a bold passion to make a distinction for our planet– and after understanding that the soft cotton tee shirt fabric everyone likes would lend itself well to underwear and cordless bras– Amanda and Katie named the business Pantee (an abridged variation of “trousers 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 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 turned into an effective sustainable start-up– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock fabric in its first 1.5 years alone. Pantee also plants one tree for each order positioned (leading to over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a proud member of 1% For the Planet.
Flipping 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 problem in the fashion business throughout the routine season, Black Friday made certain to motivate consumers to make unnecessary purchases– a lot of which would go unused and wind up back on shelves or, even worse, in landfills.
So, while lots of small businesses come to grips with whether to run sales and promotions, Pantee asked a different concern: how could they develop a successful project while staying real to their mission?
- The service: Reclaim Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an initiative encouraging customers to reassess their purchases and prevent impulse buying.
- The message: Stop and think before you purchase. Is it something you enjoy? Is it something you need? If so, go on– purchase and enjoy your brand-new purchase. But if you weren’t currently going to make that purchase, consider going without.
“Black Friday is the most significant impulse purchasing day of the year, and people get easily drawn into sales,” states Katie. “However the mentality should be: Is it truly a bargain if you weren’t going to invest the money initially? Our campaign stance was not to motivate impulse purchasing, and we saw a lot of engagement because of the shared worths and commonalities it established with our audience.”
“There is so much overconsumption on Black Friday,” includes Amanda. “Our stance wasn’t necessarily don’t make a purchase, however if you’re going to, buy something you’ve desired for a really long period of time.”
Pantee didn’t stop there. To bring the project to life and put their words into action, the retailer turned off their website to all but their engaged clients, who were only able to access the site through a code they sent out to their existing subscriber list.
The project was an overwhelming success, leading to a substantial increase in sales, social engagement and reach, brand awareness and new client acquisition.
- Engagement on social networks doubled throughout the project (from 4 to 8%), and organic 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 with no 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 promos last year, Black Friday was the greatest sales day of the year,” states Katie. “By just 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 registering for our e-mail list. We saw a ton of new, first-time clients just because they valued what we were doing.”
“Brand names frequently believe that you can have worths, however they won’t convert to sales,” adds Amanda. “However we believe that’s changing– and this campaign is a fantastic example of that.”
Pantee is now releasing the campaign for the second year and looking forward to much more outstanding results.
4 lessons gained from one unconventional project
Whether you’re conceptualizing future creative campaigns, developing out next quarter’s social marketing method or already beginning on planning for next year’s holiday season, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds great lessons that every online marketer must keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their top 4 suggestions– here’s what they stated.
1. Focus on your purpose
“We yap about our worths as a brand,” says Katie. “And time and time again, we’ve seen that if we discuss a problem, our worths, or something with compound behind it, our engagement is so much higher. That’s what individuals wish to see: something that gets them believing.”
Amanda includes: “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 observed that we weren’t getting the exact same reach. Pushing product resolves email marketing and other areas of the business, however with social, we’ve seen a bigger chance to inform our audience and share beneficial information that they can walk away with.”
2. An engaged neighborhood is everything
“There’s a big difference in between growing a following and growing a following that also 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 advocates for our brand. We see so much value in community and engaging with our consumers beyond getting the sale. Many brands see social as a platform to get their message out, however for us, it’s a two-way street.”
3. Don’t be afraid to be vibrant
“We found out quite early on with our social that the highest peaks of engagement happened when we decided for something,” states Katie. “We’ve constantly been quite objective 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. Bear 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,” describes Amanda. “Spending quality time on your social platforms getting in touch with others, developing relationships and developing an engaged neighborhood is invaluable. We use our social channels for two-way conversations with both customers and our neighborhood– 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 brand names can utilize to spark their company, turning onlookers into devoted brand supporters, awareness into sales, and your objective into positive, concrete modification. Just ask Pantee.
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