How This Underwear Brand Won with an Anti-Black-Friday Social Project

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Ah, Black Friday.

It’s no surprise that the main kick-off day for the vacation shopping season is responsible for a huge annual surge in customer costs, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is a yearly slam-dunk for huge box sellers, Black Friday can bring more challenges than benefits for small companies.

Slashing rates to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line– and with restricted marketing spending plans and resources, competing with huge brands takes courage, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small businesses that stand out during the holiday season are the ones that get in touch with the unique desires and requires of their consumers, get vibrant with their marketing methods, and develop thumb-stopping material that makes sure to get people talking.

In 2015, UK-based sustainable underwear brand and Best SMM Panel client Pantee won Black Friday with a campaign that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse purchasing. We interviewed Pantee’s founders, sisters Amanda and Katie McCourt, to discover how they did it, what the results were, and what they’ve found out for future projects.

What is Pantee?

Pantee is an underclothing brand making a distinction: their items are made using “deadstock” fabrics, or unsold stock that would otherwise end up in landfills. Developed by women, for ladies and the planet, Pantee’s items are developed with comfort and style in mind, while assisting avoid unused garments from going to waste.

@pantee_uk We launched a business in lockdown! Here’s how we did it #smallbusinesslaunch #howtostartabusiness #smallbusinesscheck #whatididduringlockdown Bubble– Authorities Noise Studio

For Pantee, sustainability isn’t a buzzword or trend to get on; the brand was established with this function at its core. The concept came to life in a thrift store in 2019, when Amanda was searching second-hand clothing shops in London and was blown away by the variety of new t-shirts lining the racks, tags still on them.

“It was insane to me the number of people had actually handed out clothes before even using them when,” states Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is how many disposed of clothing we can see, just how much is there that we can’t see? When I started looking into, I knew that we could make a distinction. It’s extremely tough to get buying best in the fashion business with patterns and shopping cycles changing so often, and as a result, many business overproduce. I ended up being focused on the concept of what we might do with deadstock clothes.”

The short 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 fabric waste each year, and approximately 30% of clothes made are never ever even sold.

With a vibrant enthusiasm to make a difference for our planet– and after recognizing that the soft cotton tee shirt material everyone loves would lend itself well to underwear and wireless 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 felt so excellent link in bio to get more information about how we make sustainable underclothing! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion elegant– milo

Given that at first launching their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify site in February 2021, Pantee has turned into an effective sustainable startup– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock fabric in its very first 1.5 years alone. Pantee likewise plants one tree for every order placed (resulting in over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a happy member of 1% For the World.

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. Already a problem in the fashion business throughout 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 land fills.

So, while lots of small businesses grappled with whether to run sales and promos, Pantee asked a various question: how could they produce a successful project while staying real to their objective?

  • The service: Reclaim Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an effort encouraging customers to reassess their purchases and prevent impulse buying.
  • The message: Stop and think before you purchase. Is it something you enjoy? Is it something you need? If so, proceed– buy and enjoy your brand-new purchase. But 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 people get quickly drawn into sales,” states Katie. “However the mentality should be: Is it actually a bargain if you weren’t going to invest the cash originally? Our project position was not to encourage impulse purchasing, and we saw a lot of engagement because of the shared values and common ground it established with our audience.”

“There is so much overconsumption on Black Friday,” adds Amanda. “Our position wasn’t always do not make a purchase, but if you’re going to, buy 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 seller turned off their site to all but their engaged clients, who were only able to access the site through a code they sent out to their existing mailing list.

The outcomes

The campaign was an overwhelming success, leading to a considerable increase in sales, social engagement and reach, brand name 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 overall fans at the time.
  • The project naturally 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 campaign extended far beyond Pantee’s Buy Instagram Verified, with the initiative featured 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 most significant sales day of the year,” says Katie. “By simply 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 people registering for our e-mail list. We saw a ton of brand-new, first-time clients even if they valued what we were doing.”

“Brands often believe that you can have values, but they will not transform to sales,” includes Amanda. “However we believe that’s changing– and this project is a terrific example of that.”

Pantee is now launching the campaign for the 2nd year and looking forward to a lot more outstanding outcomes.

4 lessons learned from one non-traditional campaign

Whether you’re conceptualizing future creative campaigns, developing out next quarter’s social marketing strategy or currently getting going on planning for next year’s holiday season, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds fantastic lessons that every online marketer should keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their top 4 recommendations– here’s what they stated.

1. Hone in on your function

“We yap about our values as a brand name,” states Katie. “And time and time again, we’ve seen that if we speak about a concern, our worths, or something with substance behind it, our engagement is a lot higher. That’s what individuals wish to see: something that gets them thinking.”

Amanda includes: “I think at one point, we lost our way a bit and ended up being more item and sales heavy on our social channels, and we observed that we weren’t getting the exact same reach. Pushing item resolves email marketing and other areas of business, but with social, we’ve seen a bigger chance to educate our audience and share beneficial details that they can win.”

2. An engaged neighborhood is whatever

“There’s a big difference in between growing a following and growing a following that also has engagement,” discusses Katie.” When it pertains to social, what we have actually discovered is that individuals who engaged with us early on have actually become advocates for our brand name. We see so much worth in neighborhood and engaging with our clients beyond getting the sale. Numerous 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 vibrant

“We found out quite early on with our social that the greatest peaks of engagement occurred when we decided for something,” states Katie. “We have actually always been quite objective driven, however we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we have actually released projects with our sustainability mission at the forefront, the engagement has actually been through the roofing system.”

4. Keep in mind that there’s more to social than what you’re publishing

“Social network isn’t just about what you post, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make people feel,” explains Amanda. “Hanging out on your social platforms getting in touch with others, developing relationships and developing an engaged community is important. We use our social channels for two-way discussions with both consumers and our community– there is so much you can discover 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 brand names can use to ignite their service, turning spectators into loyal brand name advocates, awareness into sales, and your mission into favorable, concrete modification. Simply ask Pantee.

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