Ah, Black Friday.
It’s no surprise that the main kick-off day for the vacation shopping season is accountable for a massive yearly rise in customer spending, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is an annual slam-dunk for big box merchants, Black Friday can bring more challenges than advantages for small businesses.
Slashing prices to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line– and with restricted marketing budget plans and resources, competing with huge brand names takes nerve, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small businesses that stick out during the holiday are the ones that connect with the unique wants and requires of their clients, get strong with their marketing strategies, and create thumb-stopping content that makes certain to get individuals talking.
In 2015, UK-based sustainable underwear brand and Best SMM Panel consumer Pantee won Black Friday with a project that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse buying. We spoke with Pantee’s creators, siblings Amanda and Katie McCourt, to discover how they did it, what the results were, and what they have actually discovered for future projects.
What is Pantee?
Pantee is an underwear brand making a distinction: their products are used “deadstock” materials, or unsold inventory that would otherwise wind up in land fills. Developed by women, for women and the planet, Pantee’s products are created with comfort and design in mind, while helping prevent unused garments from going to waste.
@pantee_uk We released 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 pattern to jump on; the brand was established with this function at its core. The concept came to life in a thrift store in 2019, when Amanda was browsing second-hand clothes stores in London and was blown away by the number of brand-new t-shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.
“It was insane to me how many individuals had handed out clothing before even wearing them once,” 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 started looking into, I understood that we could make a distinction. It’s extremely challenging to get buying right in the fashion business with trends and shopping cycles changing so frequently, and as an outcome, numerous business overproduce. I became fixated on the concept of what we might do with deadstock clothes.”
The brief answer to Amanda’s question on how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion industry produces an approximated 92 million tonnes of fabric waste each year, and roughly 30% of clothing made are never even sold.
With a bold enthusiasm to make a difference for our planet– and after understanding that the soft cotton tee shirt material everyone loves would provide itself well to underwear and wireless bras– Amanda and Katie named the business Pantee (an abridged variation of “pants made from deadstock tees”) and got to work bringing the idea to life.
@pantee_uk Upcycling never ever felt so great link in bio to learn more about how we make sustainable underclothing! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion luxurious– milo
Since at first introducing 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 material 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.
Turning 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 industry during the routine season, Black Friday made sure to encourage consumers to make unneeded purchases– a number of which would go unused and end up back on shelves or, worse, in landfills.
So, while many small companies faced whether or not to run sales and promos, Pantee asked a different question: how could they develop an effective campaign while remaining real to their objective?
- The option: Reclaim Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an effort motivating customers to reconsider their purchases and prevent impulse purchasing.
- The message: Stop and think prior to you buy. Is it something you enjoy? Is it something you require? If so, go on– buy and enjoy your new purchase. However if you weren’t already going to make that purchase, think about going without.
“Black Friday is the greatest impulse buying day of the year, and individuals get quickly sucked into sales,” says Katie. “However the mindset should be: Is it actually a bargain if you weren’t going to invest the money initially? Our campaign position was not to motivate impulse purchasing, and we saw a lot of engagement because of the shared worths and commonalities it developed with our audience.”
“There is so much overconsumption on Black Friday,” includes Amanda. “Our position wasn’t always don’t buy, but if you’re going to, purchase something you have actually desired for a truly 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 site to all but their engaged consumers, who were just able to access the website through a code they sent out to their existing newsletter.
The project was an overwhelming success, resulting in a substantial boost in sales, social engagement and reach, brand name awareness and brand-new consumer 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 organically increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 with no supported paid spend.
- Pantee’s subscriber 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 Verification, with the effort 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 in 2015, Black Friday was the biggest sales day of the year,” says Katie. “By just 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 individuals signing up for our email list. We saw a ton of new, novice clients just because they valued what we were doing.”
“Brands often believe that you can have worths, however they won’t transform to sales,” includes Amanda. “However we think that’s changing– and this project is a fantastic example of that.”
Pantee is now launching the project for the second year and looking forward to even more outstanding outcomes.
4 lessons learned from one unconventional project
Whether you’re brainstorming future innovative projects, building out next quarter’s social marketing strategy or already beginning on preparing for next year’s holiday season, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds terrific lessons that every marketer must keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their leading 4 suggestions– here’s what they stated.
1. Focus on your function
“We talk a lot about our values as a brand,” states Katie. “And time and time again, we’ve seen that if we discuss an issue, our values, or something with compound behind it, our engagement is a lot higher. That’s what people wish to see: something that gets them thinking.”
Amanda includes: “I believe at one point, we lost our method a bit and became more item and sales heavy on our social channels, and we discovered that we weren’t getting the same reach. Pressing item resolves email marketing and other areas of the business, but with social, we’ve seen a bigger chance to educate our audience and share useful details that they can walk away with.”
2. An engaged neighborhood is whatever
“There’s a huge distinction in between growing a following and growing a following that also has engagement,” explains Katie.” When it pertains to social, what we have actually found is that people who engaged with us early on have ended up being supporters for our brand name. We see a lot worth in community and engaging with our consumers beyond getting the sale. Numerous 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 vibrant
“We discovered quite early on with our social that the greatest peaks of engagement took place when we took a stand for something,” states Katie. “We have actually constantly been rather mission driven, however we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we have actually released campaigns with our sustainability objective at the forefront, the engagement has been through the roof.”
4. Keep in mind that there’s more to social than what you’re publishing
“Social network isn’t just about what you post, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make people feel,” describes Amanda. “Spending time on your social platforms connecting with others, developing relationships and developing an engaged community is indispensable. We utilize our social channels for two-way discussions with both customers and our community– there is so much you can find out 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 use to ignite their business, turning bystanders into faithful brand supporters, awareness into sales, and your mission into favorable, concrete modification. Just ask Pantee.
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