Ah, Black Friday.
It’s no surprise that the main kick-off day for the vacation shopping season is accountable for a huge annual rise in consumer spending, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is a yearly slam-dunk for big box merchants, Black Friday can bring more obstacles than benefits for small businesses.
Slashing rates to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line– and with limited marketing spending plans and resources, taking on big brands takes courage, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small companies that stand apart throughout the holiday season are the ones that get in touch with the unique wants and needs of their consumers, get strong with their marketing strategies, and develop thumb-stopping material that’s sure to get people talking.
Last year, UK-based sustainable underwear brand and Best SMM Panel client Pantee won Black Friday with a project that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse purchasing. We talked to Pantee’s founders, sisters Amanda and Katie McCourt, to learn how they did it, what the outcomes were, and what they have actually discovered for future projects.
What is Pantee?
Pantee is an underclothing brand name making a distinction: their products are made using “deadstock” fabrics, or unsold stock that would otherwise end up in landfills. Created by women, for females and the planet, Pantee’s items are developed with comfort and design in mind, while assisting prevent 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– Official 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 brand-new tee shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.
“It was insane to me how many individuals had actually given away clothes before even wearing them when,” states Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is the number of discarded clothes we can see, how much exists that we can’t see? Once I started researching, I understood that we could make a distinction. It’s really difficult to get purchasing ideal in the fashion business with patterns and shopping cycles changing so regularly, and as a result, numerous companies overproduce. I became fixated on the concept of what we could do with deadstock clothing.”
The brief response to Amanda’s concern on just how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion industry produces an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste each year, and around 30% of clothing made are never even sold.
With a bold enthusiasm to make a difference for our planet– and after recognizing that the soft cotton t-shirt fabric everyone likes would provide itself well to underwear and wireless bras– Amanda and Katie named business Pantee (an abridged version of “trousers made from deadstock tees”) and got to work bringing the principle to life.
@pantee_uk Upcycling never ever felt so excellent link in bio to read more about how we make sustainable underclothing! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion luxurious– milo
Because initially introducing their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify site in February 2021, Pantee has turned into a successful sustainable startup– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock fabric in its very first 1.5 years alone. Pantee also plants one tree for each order put (resulting in over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a proud 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 something on their minds: overconsumption. Already a problem in the fashion business throughout the regular season, Black Friday was sure to motivate customers to make unnecessary purchases– a lot of which would go unused and end up back on shelves or, worse, in land fills.
So, while many small companies faced whether or not to run sales and promos, Pantee asked a various question: how could they produce an effective project while staying real to their objective?
- The service: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an initiative encouraging customers to rethink their purchases and avoid impulse buying.
- The message: Stop and believe prior to you buy. Is it something you like? 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, think about going without.
“Black Friday is the biggest impulse buying day of the year, and individuals get quickly sucked into sales,” says Katie. “But the mindset should be: Is it really a deal if you weren’t going to spend the money initially? Our project position was not to motivate impulse purchasing, and we saw a lot of engagement because of the shared values and commonalities it developed with our audience.”
“There is so much overconsumption on Black Friday,” includes Amanda. “Our stance wasn’t necessarily don’t purchase, 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 seller turned off their site to all but their engaged customers, who were only able to access the website through a code they sent to their existing mailing list.
The campaign was a frustrating success, causing a substantial boost in sales, social engagement and reach, brand awareness and brand-new client 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 project organically increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 without any supported paid spend.
- Pantee’s newsletter 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 initiative included in top-tier press including The Observer, Drapers, Reuters, The Daily Mail, and more.
“While we didn’t run a sale or any promotions last year, Black Friday was the most significant sales day of the year,” states 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 registering for our email list. We saw a lots of brand-new, first-time customers just because they valued what we were doing.”
“Brand names frequently believe that you can have worths, however they will not convert to sales,” adds Amanda. “But we think that’s changing– and this project is a fantastic example of that.”
Pantee is now introducing the campaign for the 2nd year and anticipating even more excellent outcomes.
4 lessons learned from one unconventional campaign
Whether you’re brainstorming future creative campaigns, building out next quarter’s social marketing technique or already beginning on preparing for next year’s holiday season, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds terrific lessons that every online marketer need to keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their leading four recommendations– 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 talk about an issue, our worths, or something with compound behind it, our engagement is so much higher. That’s what people wish to see: something that gets them thinking.”
Amanda adds: “I think at one point, we lost our method a bit and ended up being more product and sales heavy on our social channels, and we saw that we weren’t getting the exact same reach. Pressing item works through email marketing and other areas of the business, but with social, we have actually seen a larger opportunity to educate our audience and share beneficial info that they can walk away with.”
2. An engaged community is whatever
“There’s a huge distinction in between growing a following and growing a following that also has engagement,” explains Katie.” When it comes to social, what we’ve found is that individuals who engaged with us early on have actually become supporters for our brand. We see a lot worth in neighborhood and engaging with our clients beyond getting the sale. Lots of brands 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 bold
“We discovered rather early with our social that the highest peaks of engagement happened when we took a stand for something,” states Katie. “We’ve constantly been quite mission driven, but we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we’ve released projects with our sustainability objective at the leading edge, the engagement has been through the roof.”
4. Remember that there’s more to social than what you’re posting
“Social media isn’t almost what you post, it’s about 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 establishing an engaged community is invaluable. We utilize our social channels for two-way discussions with both customers and our neighborhood– there is a lot 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 organization, turning bystanders into devoted brand advocates, awareness into sales, and your objective into favorable, tangible modification. Just ask Pantee.
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