Ah, Black Friday.
It’s not a surprise that the official kick-off day for the vacation shopping season is responsible for an enormous yearly surge in consumer 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 difficulties than benefits for small companies.
Slashing costs to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line– and with limited marketing budget plans and resources, taking on big brand names takes guts, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small businesses that stick out throughout the holiday are the ones that connect with the distinct desires and requires of their customers, get bold with their marketing techniques, and produce thumb-stopping material that’s sure to get people talking.
In 2015, UK-based sustainable underclothing brand and Best SMM Panel client Pantee won Black Friday with a project that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse purchasing. We interviewed Pantee’s creators, sis Amanda and Katie McCourt, to find out how they did it, what the outcomes were, and what they’ve learned for future projects.
What is Pantee?
Pantee is an underclothing brand making a distinction: their products are made using “deadstock” materials, or unsold stock that would otherwise end up in landfills. Developed by females, for females and the world, Pantee’s items are produced with convenience and style in mind, while assisting prevent unused garments from going to waste.
@pantee_uk We launched a company in lockdown! Here’s how we did it #smallbusinesslaunch #howtostartabusiness #smallbusinesscheck #whatididduringlockdown Bubble– Authorities Noise Studio
For Pantee, sustainability isn’t a buzzword or pattern to get on; the brand name was founded 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 number of brand-new tee shirts lining the racks, 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 how many disposed of clothes we can see, how much is there that we can’t see? Once I started researching, I understood that we might make a distinction. It’s extremely hard to get buying ideal in the fashion business with patterns and shopping cycles altering so regularly, and as a result, many business overproduce. I became focused on the concept of what we might do with deadstock clothing.”
The brief response to Amanda’s concern on how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion business produces an estimated 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 understanding that the soft cotton t-shirt fabric everybody loves would provide itself well to underclothing and wireless bras– Amanda and Katie named the business Pantee (an abridged variation 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 to get more information about how we make sustainable underwear! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion luxurious– milo
Considering that at first introducing their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify website in February 2021, Pantee has actually turned into an effective sustainable start-up– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock material in its first 1.5 years alone. Pantee likewise plants one tree for each order put (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 concern in the fashion business during the routine season, Black Friday made sure to encourage consumers to make unnecessary purchases– many of which would go unused and wind up back on shelves or, even worse, in landfills.
So, while numerous small companies come to grips with whether or not to run sales and promotions, Pantee asked a different concern: how could they produce an effective campaign while remaining real to their mission?
- The service: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an initiative encouraging consumers to rethink their purchases and prevent impulse buying.
- The message: Stop and believe prior to you purchase. Is it something you enjoy? 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 biggest impulse purchasing day of the year, and individuals get easily sucked into sales,” says Katie. “However the mentality should be: Is it actually a deal if you weren’t going to invest the cash originally? Our project stance was not to encourage impulse buying, and we saw a great deal of engagement because of the shared worths and commonalities it developed with our audience.”
“There is a lot overconsumption on Black Friday,” includes Amanda. “Our stance wasn’t necessarily do not buy, however if you’re going to, buy something you’ve wanted 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 consumers, who were just able to access the website through a code they sent out to their existing subscriber list.
The campaign was an overwhelming success, resulting in a considerable increase in sales, social engagement and reach, brand name awareness and brand-new consumer acquisition.
- Engagement on social media doubled throughout the campaign (from 4 to 8%), and natural social impressions reached over 4x the total fans at the time.
- The project organically increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 without any supported paid spend.
- 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 effort 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 promotions in 2015, Black Friday was the greatest sales day of the year,” says Katie. “By merely 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, first-time customers just because they valued what we were doing.”
“Brand names typically think that you can have values, however they will not convert to sales,” includes Amanda. “However we think that’s changing– and this campaign is a fantastic example of that.”
Pantee is now launching the campaign for the 2nd year and eagerly anticipating a lot more remarkable outcomes.
4 lessons learned from one unconventional project
Whether you’re brainstorming future innovative campaigns, constructing out next quarter’s social marketing strategy or currently starting on planning for next year’s holiday, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds excellent lessons that every online marketer ought to keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their top 4 recommendations– here’s what they stated.
1. Focus on your purpose
“We talk a lot about our worths as a brand,” states Katie. “And time and time once again, we’ve seen that if we talk about a problem, our values, or something with substance behind it, our engagement is a lot higher. That’s what people wish to see: something that gets them believing.”
Amanda adds: “I think at one point, we lost our method a bit and ended up being more item and sales heavy on our social channels, and we saw that we weren’t getting the very same reach. Pressing item works through e-mail marketing and other areas of business, however with social, we’ve seen a bigger chance to inform our audience and share helpful info that they can walk away 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 pertains to social, what we have actually found is that people who engaged with us early on have actually become supporters for our brand. We see a lot value 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 be afraid to be vibrant
“We discovered rather early with our social that the highest peaks of engagement occurred when we took a stand for something,” says Katie. “We’ve constantly been rather mission driven, but we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we’ve released projects with our sustainability mission at the leading edge, the engagement has been through the roofing system.”
4. Remember that there’s more to social than what you’re posting
“Social media isn’t just about what you publish, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” explains Amanda. “Spending time on your social platforms getting in touch with others, developing relationships and establishing an engaged neighborhood is vital. We use our social channels for two-way conversations with both consumers and our community– there is a lot 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 one of the most powerful tools that brands can use to ignite their service, turning bystanders into devoted brand advocates, awareness into sales, and your mission into positive, concrete modification. Just ask Pantee.
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