Ah, Black Friday.
It’s no surprise that the official kick-off day for the holiday shopping season is responsible for a massive annual surge in consumer spending, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is an annual slam-dunk for huge box merchants, Black Friday can bring more difficulties than advantages for small companies.
Slashing costs to make sales cuts directly into their bottom line– and with minimal marketing budgets and resources, taking on big brands takes nerve, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small companies that stick out during the holiday season are the ones that connect with the distinct wants and needs of their customers, get strong with their marketing techniques, and produce thumb-stopping content that makes sure to get individuals 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 talked to Pantee’s founders, sis Amanda and Katie McCourt, to discover how they did it, what the results were, and what they have actually learned for future campaigns.
What is Pantee?
Pantee is an underclothing brand making a distinction: their products are used “deadstock” materials, or unsold inventory that would otherwise end up in landfills. Developed by females, for ladies and the planet, Pantee’s items are developed with comfort and style in mind, while helping avoid unused garments from going to waste.
@pantee_uk We introduced a company 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 shop in 2019, when Amanda was searching second-hand clothing shops in London and was blown away by the number of brand-new t-shirts lining the racks, tags still on them.
“It was insane to me the number of individuals had actually handed out clothing before 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 exists that we can’t see? When I began investigating, I understood that we might make a difference. It’s extremely difficult to get buying best in the fashion business with patterns and shopping cycles changing so frequently, and as an outcome, many business overproduce. I became focused on the concept of what we could do with deadstock clothes.”
The short answer to Amanda’s question on how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion business produces an approximated 92 million tonnes of fabric waste each year, and approximately 30% of clothing made are never even sold.
With a bold enthusiasm to make a distinction for our world– and after understanding that the soft cotton t-shirt material everybody enjoys would provide itself well to underclothing and cordless bras– Amanda and Katie named 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 excellent link in bio to find out more about how we make sustainable underclothing! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion glamorous– milo
Given that initially releasing their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify site in February 2021, Pantee has actually become an effective 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 every order positioned (resulting in 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 one thing on their minds: overconsumption. Already a concern in the fashion industry throughout the regular season, Black Friday was sure to encourage consumers to make unneeded purchases– many of which would go unused and end up back on racks or, even worse, in garbage dumps.
So, while many small companies grappled with whether to run sales and promotions, Pantee asked a various concern: how could they create an effective campaign while staying true to their objective?
- The option: Reclaim Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an effort motivating customers to rethink their purchases and avoid impulse buying.
- The message: Stop and believe before you purchase. Is it something you love? Is it something you need? If so, go ahead– purchase and enjoy your new purchase. But if you weren’t already going to make that purchase, think about going without.
“Black Friday is the greatest impulse purchasing day of the year, and individuals get easily drawn into sales,” says Katie. “But the mentality should be: Is it actually a deal if you weren’t going to spend the money initially? Our project position was not to encourage impulse purchasing, and we saw a great deal of engagement since 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 always do not make a purchase, however if you’re going to, purchase something you have actually wanted for a truly long period of time.”
Pantee didn’t stop there. To bring the campaign to life and put their words into action, the merchant switched 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 subscriber list.
The campaign was an overwhelming success, leading to a considerable increase in sales, social engagement and reach, brand awareness and brand-new customer acquisition.
- Engagement on social networks doubled throughout the campaign (from 4 to 8%), and organic social impressions reached over 4x the overall fans at the time.
- The campaign organically 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 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 greatest sales day of the year,” says 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 individuals signing up for our email list. We saw a ton of brand-new, first-time consumers even if they valued what we were doing.”
“Brand names often think that you can have worths, however they won’t convert to sales,” adds Amanda. “But we believe that’s altering– and this campaign is an excellent example of that.”
Pantee is now launching the campaign for the 2nd year and looking forward to even more impressive results.
4 lessons gained from one non-traditional project
Whether you’re conceptualizing future creative projects, developing out next quarter’s social marketing strategy or currently getting started on preparing for next year’s holiday, Pantee’s Blackout Friday campaign holds fantastic lessons that every marketer need to keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their top 4 recommendations– here’s what they said.
1. Focus on your purpose
“We yap about our worths as a brand name,” states Katie. “And time and time once again, we have actually seen that if we discuss an issue, 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 includes: “I believe at one point, we lost our method a bit and became more product and sales heavy on our social channels, and we noticed that we weren’t getting the very same reach. Pushing product overcomes e-mail 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 leave with.”
2. An engaged neighborhood is everything
“There’s a substantial distinction between growing a following and growing a following that also has engagement,” explains Katie.” When it comes to social, what we have actually found is that people who engaged with us early on have actually ended up being supporters for our brand. We see so much worth in community and engaging with our consumers beyond getting the sale. Lots of brands see social as a platform to get their message out, but for us, it’s a two-way street.”
3. Don’t be afraid to be strong
“We learned quite at an early stage with our social that the highest peaks of engagement occurred when we took a stand for something,” says Katie. “We’ve always been rather mission driven, however we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we have actually introduced projects with our sustainability mission at the leading edge, the engagement has actually been through the roof.”
4. Bear in mind that there’s more to social than what you’re posting
“Social network isn’t almost what you publish, it has to do with how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” describes Amanda. “Hanging out on your social platforms connecting with others, constructing relationships and establishing an engaged community is vital. We utilize our social channels for two-way conversations with both consumers and our neighborhood– 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 effective tools that brands can use to ignite their company, turning onlookers into faithful brand name advocates, awareness into sales, and your objective into positive, tangible modification. Simply ask Pantee.
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