Ah, Black Friday.
It’s no surprise that the official kick-off day for the vacation shopping season is responsible for a massive annual rise in consumer spending, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is a yearly slam-dunk for huge box retailers, Black Friday can bring more challenges than benefits for small businesses.
Slashing costs to make sales cuts directly into their bottom line– and with minimal marketing budgets and resources, taking on big brands takes courage, insight, and imagination. That’s why the small businesses that stand out throughout the holiday season are the ones that connect with the distinct wants and needs of their clients, get vibrant with their marketing methods, and create thumb-stopping material that makes certain to get people talking.
Last year, UK-based sustainable underwear brand name and Best SMM Panel client Pantee won Black Friday with a campaign that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse buying. We interviewed Pantee’s founders, siblings Amanda and Katie McCourt, to find out how they did it, what the outcomes were, and what they’ve learned for future campaigns.
What is Pantee?
Pantee is an underwear brand name making a distinction: their items are used “deadstock” fabrics, or unsold inventory that would otherwise end up in garbage dumps. Created by females, for ladies and the planet, Pantee’s products are developed with comfort and design 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 purpose at its core. The idea came to life in a thrift shop in 2019, when Amanda was searching second-hand clothes 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 distributed clothes prior to even wearing them as soon as,” states Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is how many disposed of clothes we can see, how much is there that we can’t see? When I started researching, I knew that we might make a difference. It’s extremely challenging to get purchasing best in the fashion business with patterns and shopping cycles changing so often, and as an outcome, lots of companies overproduce. I ended up being fixated on the idea of what we could do with deadstock clothes.”
The short answer to Amanda’s concern 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 roughly 30% of clothing made are never ever even sold.
With a strong enthusiasm to make a difference for our planet– and after realizing that the soft cotton t-shirt fabric everyone loves would provide itself well to underclothing and cordless bras– Amanda and Katie named the business Pantee (an abridged version of “trousers made from deadstock tees”) and got to work bringing the principle to life.
@pantee_uk Upcycling never felt so great link in bio for more information about how we make sustainable underclothing! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion luxurious– milo
Since at first releasing their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify site in February 2021, Pantee has actually grown into an effective 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 positioned (resulting in over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a proud member of 1% For the World.
Turning the script with a ‘Blackout Friday’ campaign
Leading up to the Black Friday pandemonium in 2021, Amanda and Katie had something on their minds: overconsumption. Already an issue in the fashion industry during the regular season, Black Friday made certain to motivate customers to make unneeded purchases– much of which would go unused and end up back on racks or, even worse, in landfills.
So, while lots of small businesses faced whether or not to run sales and promos, Pantee asked a various question: how could they produce an effective project while remaining real to their mission?
- The solution: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an initiative encouraging consumers to reassess their purchases and prevent impulse purchasing.
- The message: Stop and believe before you buy. Is it something you like? Is it something you need? If so, go ahead– buy and enjoy your brand-new purchase. However if you weren’t already going to make that purchase, consider going without.
“Black Friday is the most significant impulse buying day of the year, and individuals get quickly sucked into sales,” says Katie. “But the mentality should be: Is it actually a bargain if you weren’t going to spend the money initially? Our campaign position was not to encourage impulse buying, and we saw a lot of engagement since of the shared values and commonalities it established with our audience.”
“There is a lot overconsumption on Black Friday,” adds Amanda. “Our position wasn’t necessarily don’t make a purchase, but if you’re going to, purchase something you have actually 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 switched off their site to all but their engaged customers, who were only able to access the site through a code they sent out to their existing newsletter.
The project was an overwhelming success, resulting in a significant 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 natural social impressions reached over 4x the total fans at the time.
- The project naturally 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 campaign extended far beyond Pantee’s Buy Instagram Verified, 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 last year, Black Friday was the most significant 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 individuals registering for our email list. We saw a ton of brand-new, first-time customers even if they valued what we were doing.”
“Brands typically believe that you can have values, but they will not transform to sales,” includes Amanda. “However we believe that’s changing– and this project is an excellent example of that.”
Pantee is now introducing the campaign for the 2nd year and anticipating even more impressive results.
4 lessons gained from one non-traditional project
Whether you’re brainstorming future innovative campaigns, building out next quarter’s social marketing method or currently beginning on preparing for next year’s holiday season, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds terrific lessons that every online marketer need to keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their leading 4 recommendations– here’s what they said.
1. Focus on your function
“We yap about our worths as a brand name,” states Katie. “And time and time again, we’ve seen that if we talk about a problem, 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 believe at one point, we lost our way a bit and became more item and sales heavy on our social channels, and we saw that we weren’t getting the same reach. Pushing item overcomes email marketing and other locations of business, however with social, we’ve seen a bigger chance to inform our audience and share beneficial information that they can win.”
2. An engaged neighborhood is whatever
“There’s a huge difference between growing a following and growing a following that also has engagement,” explains Katie.” When it pertains to social, what we have actually discovered is that individuals who engaged with us early on have ended up being supporters for our brand. We see a lot worth in neighborhood and engaging with our customers beyond getting the sale. Numerous brands see social as a platform to get their message out, however for us, it’s a two-way street.”
3. Do not hesitate to be bold
“We learned quite early on with our social that the highest peaks of engagement occurred when we took a stand for something,” states Katie. “We’ve always been rather mission driven, but we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we’ve launched projects with our sustainability mission at the leading edge, the engagement has been through the roofing.”
4. Remember that there’s more to social than what you’re publishing
“Social media isn’t almost what you post, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” describes Amanda. “Spending quality time on your social platforms connecting with others, building relationships and establishing an engaged neighborhood is vital. We utilize our social channels for two-way conversations with both clients and our neighborhood– there is so much 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 one of the most effective tools that brands can use to spark their service, turning bystanders into loyal brand name advocates, awareness into sales, and your mission into favorable, tangible modification. Just ask Pantee.
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