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

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Ah, Black Friday.

It’s not a surprise that the official kick-off day for the vacation shopping season is responsible for a massive yearly surge in customer spending, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. However while this is an annual slam-dunk for big box sellers, Black Friday can bring more obstacles than benefits for small businesses.

Slashing prices to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line– and with minimal marketing budget plans and resources, taking on huge brand names takes guts, insight, and imagination. That’s why the small companies that stick out during the holiday season are the ones that get in touch with the unique wants and requires of their clients, get vibrant with their marketing strategies, and develop thumb-stopping material that’s sure to get people talking.

In 2015, UK-based sustainable underclothing brand name 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 creators, sisters Amanda and Katie McCourt, to find out how they did it, what the results were, and what they have actually found out for future campaigns.

What is Pantee?

Pantee is an underwear brand making a distinction: their products are made using “deadstock” materials, or unsold inventory that would otherwise wind up in landfills. Developed by ladies, for females and the world, Pantee’s items are produced with comfort and design in mind, while assisting avoid unused garments from going to waste.

@pantee_uk We introduced an organization 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 jump on; the brand name was founded with this purpose at its core. The idea came to life in a thrift shop in 2019, when Amanda was browsing second-hand clothing stores in London and was blown away by the variety of new t-shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.

“It was insane to me how many individuals had actually distributed clothing prior to even wearing them once,” says Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is how many disposed of clothing we can see, how much exists that we can’t see? Once I started looking into, I understood that we could make a difference. It’s extremely challenging to get purchasing right in the fashion industry with trends and shopping cycles altering so often, and as an outcome, numerous business overproduce. I ended up being fixated on the concept of what we could do with deadstock clothing.”

The brief answer to Amanda’s concern on how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion business produces an approximated 92 million tonnes of textile waste each year, and roughly 30% of clothes made are never even offered.

With a strong enthusiasm to make a difference for our world– and after understanding that the soft cotton tee shirt fabric everyone enjoys would provide itself well to underclothing and wireless bras– Amanda and Katie called the business Pantee (an abridged version of “trousers made from deadstock tees”) and got to work bringing the principle to life.

@pantee_uk Upcycling never felt so good link in bio to find out more about how we make sustainable underclothing! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion glamorous– milo

Considering that at first releasing their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify site in February 2021, Pantee has actually grown into a successful sustainable start-up– 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 (leading to over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a happy member of 1% For the World.

Turning 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. Currently a concern in the fashion business during the routine season, Black Friday was sure to motivate customers to make unneeded purchases– many of which would go unused and wind up back on shelves or, worse, in land fills.

So, while many small businesses come to grips with whether or not to run sales and promotions, Pantee asked a various question: how could they create a successful campaign while remaining true to their objective?

  • The solution: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an effort encouraging consumers to reassess their purchases and avoid impulse buying.
  • The message: Stop and think prior to you buy. Is it something you love? Is it something you require? If so, go on– buy and enjoy your new purchase. However if you weren’t already going to make that purchase, consider going without.

“Black Friday is the biggest impulse buying day of the year, and people get easily drawn into sales,” says Katie. “However the mentality should be: Is it truly a deal if you weren’t going to invest the cash initially? Our campaign stance was not to encourage impulse purchasing, and we saw a great deal of engagement since of the shared values and common ground it developed with our audience.”

“There is so much overconsumption on Black Friday,” adds Amanda. “Our stance wasn’t always don’t make a purchase, however if you’re going to, purchase something you have actually wanted for a really very long time.”

Pantee didn’t stop there. To bring the project to life and put their words into action, the merchant shut off their site to all however their engaged consumers, who were just able to access the site through a code they sent out to their existing mailing list.

The outcomes

The project was an overwhelming success, leading to a substantial boost in sales, social engagement and reach, brand name awareness and new client acquisition.

  • Engagement on social networks doubled throughout the project (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 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 Verified, 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 last year, Black Friday was the biggest 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 signing up for our email list. We saw a ton of new, novice consumers just because they valued what we were doing.”

“Brand names often think that you can have values, but they won’t convert to sales,” includes Amanda. “However we believe that’s changing– and this project is a great example of that.”

Pantee is now releasing the campaign for the second year and looking forward to a lot more excellent results.

4 lessons gained from one unconventional campaign

Whether you’re brainstorming future innovative projects, constructing out next quarter’s social marketing method or currently getting going on preparing for next year’s holiday, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds great lessons that every online marketer need to keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their leading 4 suggestions– here’s what they said.

1. Hone in on your function

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

Amanda includes: “I believe at one point, we lost our way a bit and became more product and sales heavy on our social channels, and we saw that we weren’t getting the same reach. Pressing product overcomes email marketing and other areas of the business, but with social, we’ve seen a larger opportunity to educate our audience and share beneficial info that they can leave with.”

2. An engaged neighborhood is whatever

“There’s a huge difference between growing a following and growing a following that also has engagement,” describes Katie.” When it pertains to social, what we’ve discovered is that people who engaged with us early on have actually ended up being advocates for our brand. We see a lot worth in community and engaging with our customers beyond getting the sale. Many brands see social as a platform to get their message out, however for us, it’s a two-way street.”

3. Don’t hesitate to be strong

“We discovered rather early with our social that the greatest peaks of engagement happened when we decided for something,” says Katie. “We have actually always been rather objective driven, however we like to have a good time with it and not be too preachy. When we’ve released projects with our sustainability objective at the forefront, the engagement has been through the roof.”

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

“Social media isn’t almost what you publish, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” describes Amanda. “Hanging out on your social platforms getting in touch with others, building relationships and developing an engaged community is invaluable. We utilize our social channels for two-way conversations with both clients and our community– there is a lot 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 powerful tools that brands can utilize to spark their organization, turning onlookers into loyal brand supporters, awareness into sales, and your objective into positive, tangible modification. Simply ask Pantee.

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