Ah, Black Friday.
It’s no surprise that the main kick-off day for the vacation shopping season is accountable for a huge yearly rise in consumer costs, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is an annual slam-dunk for huge box retailers, Black Friday can bring more difficulties than advantages for small companies.
Slashing rates to make sales cuts directly into their bottom line– and with limited marketing budgets and resources, competing with huge brands takes nerve, insight, and imagination. That’s why the small businesses that stick out throughout the holiday are the ones that get in touch with the special wants and needs of their customers, get strong with their marketing methods, and create thumb-stopping content that’s sure to get individuals talking.
In 2015, UK-based sustainable underwear brand and Best SMM Panel customer Pantee won Black Friday with a campaign that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse purchasing. We spoke with Pantee’s creators, sis Amanda and Katie McCourt, to discover how they did it, what the outcomes were, and what they’ve learned for future projects.
What is Pantee?
Pantee is an underwear brand name making a difference: their products are used “deadstock” materials, or unsold inventory that would otherwise wind up in landfills. Designed by females, for females and the world, Pantee’s items are created with comfort and design in mind, while assisting 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 was established with this purpose at its core. The concept came to life in a thrift store in 2019, when Amanda was browsing second-hand clothing shops in London and was blown away by the variety of new t-shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.
“It was crazy to me the number of individuals had actually handed out clothes before even wearing them when,” states 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? As soon as I started researching, I understood that we might make a difference. It’s really difficult to get purchasing right in the fashion industry with patterns and shopping cycles altering so often, and as an outcome, lots of companies overproduce. I ended up being fixated 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 industry produces an approximated 92 million tonnes of textile waste each year, and approximately 30% of clothes made are never even sold.
With a strong passion to make a difference for our world– and after realizing that the soft cotton t-shirt material everyone likes would lend itself well to underwear and cordless bras– Amanda and Katie named business Pantee (an abridged variation of “trousers made from deadstock tees”) and got to work bringing the idea to life.
@pantee_uk Upcycling never ever felt so excellent link in bio for more information about how we make sustainable underwear! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion glamorous– milo
Given that at first releasing their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify website in February 2021, Pantee has actually become an effective sustainable startup– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock fabric in its first 1.5 years alone. Pantee likewise plants one tree for every order placed (leading to over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a proud member of 1% For the Planet.
Turning 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 during the routine season, Black Friday was sure to motivate consumers to make unneeded purchases– much of which would go unused and end up back on shelves or, even worse, in garbage dumps.
So, while many small companies grappled with whether or not to run sales and promos, Pantee asked a different question: how could they develop an effective project while staying true to their objective?
- The option: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an effort encouraging consumers to rethink their purchases and avoid impulse buying.
- The message: Stop and believe prior to you purchase. Is it something you enjoy? Is it something you need? If so, proceed– buy and enjoy your 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 people get quickly drawn into sales,” says Katie. “However the mentality should be: Is it truly a deal if you weren’t going to invest the money originally? Our campaign position was not to encourage impulse purchasing, and we saw a lot of engagement due to the fact that of the shared worths and common ground it developed with our audience.”
“There is so much overconsumption on Black Friday,” includes Amanda. “Our position wasn’t always do not make a purchase, but 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 site to all however their engaged customers, who were only able to access the website through a code they sent to their existing newsletter.
The project was a frustrating success, causing a considerable 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 organic social impressions reached over 4x the total followers at the time.
- The project naturally increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 without any 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 Verification, with the effort 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 biggest sales day of the year,” says Katie. “By merely 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 signing up for our email list. We saw a ton of new, novice clients just because they valued what we were doing.”
“Brand names often believe that you can have values, but they will not transform to sales,” adds Amanda. “However we think that’s altering– and this project is an excellent example of that.”
Pantee is now launching the project for the 2nd year and looking forward to even more outstanding outcomes.
4 lessons gained from one unconventional campaign
Whether you’re brainstorming future imaginative campaigns, building out next quarter’s social marketing method or already starting on preparing for next year’s holiday, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds terrific 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. Focus on your function
“We yap about our values as a brand name,” says Katie. “And time and time once again, we have actually seen that if we speak about an issue, our values, or something with compound behind it, our engagement is so much greater. That’s what individuals want to see: something that gets them thinking.”
Amanda adds: “I think at one point, we lost our way a bit and became more product and sales heavy on our social channels, and we observed that we weren’t getting the very same reach. Pushing product overcomes email marketing and other locations of business, but with social, we have actually seen a larger chance to educate our audience and share beneficial information that they can win.”
2. An engaged neighborhood is whatever
“There’s a substantial difference between growing a following and growing a following that likewise has engagement,” discusses Katie.” When it concerns social, what we have actually discovered is that individuals who engaged with us early on have become advocates for our brand name. We see a lot value in community and engaging with our customers beyond getting the sale. Numerous brands see social as a platform to get their message out, but for us, it’s a two-way street.”
3. Don’t hesitate to be bold
“We discovered rather at an early stage with our social that the greatest peaks of engagement occurred when we decided for something,” states Katie. “We’ve constantly been rather objective driven, however we like to have a good time with it and not be too preachy. When we’ve launched projects with our sustainability objective at the leading edge, the engagement has actually been through the roofing.”
4. Keep in mind that there’s more to social than what you’re publishing
“Social media isn’t just about what you publish, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” discusses Amanda. “Hanging out on your social platforms getting in touch with others, constructing relationships and developing an engaged neighborhood is indispensable. 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 rises above all the others, it’s that social is among the most powerful tools that brands can use to ignite their company, turning spectators into faithful brand advocates, awareness into sales, and your mission into positive, tangible modification. Just ask Pantee.
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