Ah, Black Friday.
It’s no surprise that the main kick-off day for the holiday shopping season is accountable for an enormous annual 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 obstacles than benefits for small companies.
Slashing rates to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line– and with limited marketing budget plans and resources, competing with big brands takes nerve, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small businesses that stick out throughout the holiday season are the ones that connect with the special desires and requires of their clients, get vibrant with their marketing methods, and develop thumb-stopping material that’s sure to get people talking.
In 2015, UK-based sustainable underwear brand name and Best SMM Panel customer 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 underclothing brand making a distinction: their items are used “deadstock” materials, or unsold inventory that would otherwise end up in land fills. Designed by women, for women and the planet, Pantee’s items are produced with comfort and design in mind, while assisting prevent unused garments from going to waste.
@pantee_uk We released a service 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 jump on; the brand was founded with this purpose at its core. The concept came to life in a thrift shop in 2019, when Amanda was searching pre-owned clothing 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 distributed clothes before even using them once,” states Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is the number of discarded clothing we can see, just how much is there that we can’t see? As soon as I started looking into, I knew that we might make a distinction. It’s extremely difficult to get purchasing ideal in the fashion industry with patterns and shopping cycles altering so frequently, and as an outcome, lots of business overproduce. I became focused on the idea of what we might do with deadstock clothes.”
The short 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 textile waste each year, and roughly 30% of clothing made are never even offered.
With a bold passion to make a difference for our planet– and after realizing that the soft cotton t-shirt fabric everybody loves would lend itself well to underwear and wireless bras– Amanda and Katie called the business Pantee (an abridged version of “pants made from deadstock tees”) and got to work bringing the idea to life.
@pantee_uk Upcycling never felt so good link in bio to find out more about how we make sustainable underclothing! #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 turned into a successful sustainable startup– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock fabric in its first 1.5 years alone. Pantee also plants one tree for every single order placed (resulting in over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a happy member of 1% For the Planet.
Flipping 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 concern in the fashion business throughout the routine season, Black Friday was sure to motivate customers to make unneeded purchases– much of which would go unused and end up back on shelves or, worse, in garbage dumps.
So, while many small companies faced whether or not to run sales and promos, Pantee asked a various question: how could they create a successful campaign while remaining real to their objective?
- The solution: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an effort motivating customers to reconsider their purchases and avoid impulse purchasing.
- The message: Stop and think prior to you buy. Is it something you like? Is it something you need? If so, go ahead– purchase and enjoy your new purchase. However if you weren’t already 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,” states Katie. “However the mindset should be: Is it truly a deal if you weren’t going to invest the money originally? Our project stance was not to encourage impulse purchasing, and we saw a lot of engagement due to the fact that 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 always do not purchase, however if you’re going to, purchase something you’ve desired for an actually long period of time.”
Pantee didn’t stop there. To bring the project to life and put their words into action, the seller shut off their website to all however their engaged clients, who were only able to access the website through a code they sent to their existing newsletter.
The project was an overwhelming success, causing a substantial boost in sales, social engagement and reach, brand awareness and new client acquisition.
- Engagement on social networks doubled throughout the campaign (from 4 to 8%), and natural social impressions reached over 4x the overall followers at the time.
- The project organically increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 without any 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 Verified, with the initiative included in top-tier press consisting of The Observer, Drapers, Reuters, The Daily Mail, and more.
“While we didn’t run a sale or any promos in 2015, Black Friday was the biggest sales day of the year,” states 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 e-mail list. We saw a ton of new, novice clients just because they valued what we were doing.”
“Brand names frequently believe that you can have values, however they won’t convert to sales,” adds Amanda. “However we think that’s altering– and this campaign is a great example of that.”
Pantee is now launching the project for the 2nd year and looking forward to a lot more excellent results.
4 lessons gained from one non-traditional project
Whether you’re conceptualizing future creative projects, building out next quarter’s social marketing technique or already getting started on planning for next year’s holiday, Pantee’s Blackout Friday campaign holds excellent lessons that every online marketer must keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their leading four suggestions– here’s what they said.
1. Hone in on your purpose
“We talk a lot about our worths as a brand,” says Katie. “And time and time again, we’ve seen that if we discuss a problem, our values, or something with compound behind it, our engagement is so much greater. That’s what people wish to see: something that gets them thinking.”
Amanda adds: “I believe 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 very same reach. Pushing product overcomes email marketing and other areas of the business, however with social, we have actually seen a bigger opportunity to educate our audience and share helpful details that they can win.”
2. An engaged community is everything
“There’s a big distinction in between growing a following and growing a following that likewise has engagement,” explains Katie.” When it concerns social, what we’ve discovered is that people who engaged with us early on have become advocates for our brand name. We see so much worth in community and engaging with our clients beyond getting the sale. Numerous brand names 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 vibrant
“We learned rather early with our social that the greatest peaks of engagement occurred when we took a stand for something,” states Katie. “We’ve constantly been rather objective driven, but 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 forefront, the engagement has actually been through the roofing system.”
4. Bear in mind that there’s more to social than what you’re posting
“Social network isn’t just about what you publish, it has to do with how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” explains Amanda. “Spending quality time on your social platforms connecting with others, constructing relationships and developing an engaged neighborhood is invaluable. We utilize our social channels for two-way conversations with both consumers and our community– there is so much 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 powerful tools that brand names can use to ignite their company, turning bystanders into loyal brand name supporters, awareness into sales, and your objective into positive, tangible change. Just ask Pantee.
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