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

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Ah, Black Friday.

It’s not a surprise that the official kick-off day for the holiday shopping season is accountable for a massive yearly rise in consumer spending, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. However while this is an annual slam-dunk for huge box sellers, Black Friday can bring more obstacles than advantages for small companies.

Slashing prices to make sales cuts directly into their bottom line– and with restricted marketing spending plans and resources, competing with big brands takes courage, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small businesses that stand out throughout the holiday season are the ones that connect with the special wants and needs of their consumers, get strong with their marketing methods, and develop thumb-stopping content that’s sure to get people talking.

In 2015, UK-based sustainable underclothing brand and Best SMM Panel consumer Pantee won Black Friday with a project that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse buying. We spoke with Pantee’s creators, siblings 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 making a difference: their items are made using “deadstock” fabrics, or unsold stock that would otherwise wind up in garbage dumps. Designed by ladies, for ladies and the world, Pantee’s items are developed with convenience and style in mind, while helping avoid unused garments from going to waste.

@pantee_uk We launched 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 pattern to jump on; the brand name was founded with this function at its core. The idea came to life in a thrift shop in 2019, when Amanda was browsing second-hand clothing shops in London and was blown away by the number of new tee shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.

“It was crazy to me the number of individuals had distributed clothing before even using them once,” says Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is the number of discarded clothing we can see, just how much is there that we can’t see? When I began looking into, I knew that we could make a difference. It’s really tough to get buying right in the fashion industry with patterns and shopping cycles changing so often, and as a result, lots of business overproduce. I became fixated on the concept of what we might do with deadstock clothes.”

The brief response to Amanda’s concern on just how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion industry produces an approximated 92 million tonnes of fabric waste each year, and approximately 30% of clothing made are never ever even offered.

With a bold passion to make a distinction for our planet– and after recognizing that the soft cotton t-shirt fabric everybody loves would provide itself well to underwear and wireless bras– Amanda and Katie called business Pantee (an abridged version 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 for more information about how we make sustainable underwear! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion elegant– milo

Since at first launching their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify site in February 2021, Pantee has become a successful sustainable start-up– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock material in its first 1.5 years alone. Pantee also plants one tree for each order positioned (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 an issue in the fashion industry throughout the routine season, Black Friday made sure to motivate consumers to make unneeded purchases– a number of which would go unused and end up back on shelves or, even worse, in land fills.

So, while lots of small companies come to grips with whether to run sales and promos, Pantee asked a various concern: how could they develop a successful project while staying true to their objective?

  • The service: Reclaim Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an initiative encouraging consumers to reassess their purchases and prevent impulse purchasing.
  • The message: Stop and believe before you buy. Is it something you enjoy? Is it something you require? If so, go ahead– buy and enjoy your brand-new purchase. But if you weren’t currently going to make that purchase, think about going without.

“Black Friday is the most significant impulse buying day of the year, and people get quickly drawn into sales,” states Katie. “But the mentality should be: Is it truly a deal if you weren’t going to invest the cash originally? Our campaign position was not to encourage impulse purchasing, and we saw a great deal of engagement since of the shared values and commonalities it developed with our audience.”

“There is a lot overconsumption on Black Friday,” adds Amanda. “Our position wasn’t always do not purchase, however if you’re going to, purchase something you have actually desired for a really long period of time.”

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

The results

The project was a frustrating success, causing a substantial increase in sales, social engagement and reach, brand awareness and new customer acquisition.

  • Engagement on social media doubled throughout the project (from 4 to 8%), and natural social impressions reached over 4x the overall followers at the time.
  • The project organically increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 with no 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 Verified Badge, with the initiative 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 promos 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 people registering for our email list. We saw a lots of new, newbie consumers even if they valued what we were doing.”

“Brand names typically believe that you can have values, however they will not transform to sales,” includes Amanda. “However we think that’s changing– and this project is an excellent example of that.”

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

4 lessons learned from one non-traditional campaign

Whether you’re conceptualizing future creative campaigns, constructing out next quarter’s social marketing method or currently starting on preparing for next year’s holiday, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds excellent lessons that every marketer need to keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their leading 4 recommendations– here’s what they said.

1. Hone in on your function

“We yap about our values as a brand,” says Katie. “And time and time once again, we’ve seen that if we speak about a problem, 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 adds: “I believe at one point, we lost our way a bit and ended up being more item and sales heavy on our social channels, and we noticed that we weren’t getting the very same reach. Pressing item overcomes email marketing and other areas of the business, however with social, we have actually seen a larger chance to educate our audience and share helpful info that they can walk away with.”

2. An engaged community is whatever

“There’s a huge distinction between growing a following and growing a following that likewise has engagement,” describes Katie.” When it pertains to social, what we have actually discovered is that people who engaged with us early on have ended up being supporters for our brand name. We see a lot worth in community and engaging with our customers 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. Don’t hesitate to be bold

“We discovered rather early with our social that the greatest peaks of engagement happened when we decided for something,” states Katie. “We’ve constantly been rather mission driven, however we like to have a good time with it and not be too preachy. When we have actually introduced projects with our sustainability mission at the leading edge, 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 media isn’t just about what you publish, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make people feel,” describes Amanda. “Spending time on your social platforms getting in touch with others, constructing relationships and developing an engaged neighborhood is indispensable. We use our social channels for two-way discussions with both customers and our community– there is so much you can find out when you talk with them rather 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 brand names can use to spark their company, turning spectators into faithful brand supporters, awareness into sales, and your objective into favorable, tangible change. Just ask Pantee.

Find out about the greatest patterns shaping social networks so you can remain ahead of the game– and make sure your next social campaign is a winner.

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