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

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Ah, Black Friday.

It’s no surprise that the official kick-off day for the holiday shopping season is responsible for an enormous annual rise in consumer costs, 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 challenges than benefits for small companies.

Slashing rates to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line– and with limited marketing budget plans and resources, taking on big brands takes guts, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small businesses that stand apart during the holiday season are the ones that connect with the special wants and needs of their consumers, get strong with their marketing techniques, and produce 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 campaign that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse buying. We talked to Pantee’s founders, 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 underclothing brand making a distinction: their products are used “deadstock” fabrics, or unsold inventory that would otherwise wind up in land fills. Designed by women, for ladies and the world, Pantee’s products are produced with comfort and design in mind, while assisting avoid unused garments from going to waste.

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

For Pantee, sustainability isn’t a buzzword or trend to jump on; the brand name was established with this purpose at its core. The idea came to life in a thrift store in 2019, when Amanda was searching second-hand clothes shops in London and was blown away by the number of brand-new tee shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.

“It was crazy to me how many individuals had handed out clothes prior to even using them when,” states Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is the number of discarded clothing we can see, how much is there that we can’t see? Once I started investigating, I knew that we might make a distinction. It’s very challenging to get purchasing best in the fashion industry with patterns and shopping cycles altering so often, and as an outcome, many companies overproduce. I became focused on the concept of what we might do with deadstock clothing.”

The short answer to Amanda’s question 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 clothing made are never ever even sold.

With a strong enthusiasm to make a distinction for our world– and after recognizing that the soft cotton t-shirt fabric everybody enjoys would lend itself well to underwear and cordless bras– Amanda and Katie called the 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 underwear! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion luxurious– milo

Considering that 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 start-up– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock material in its very first 1.5 years alone. Pantee likewise plants one tree for every order put (resulting in over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a happy member of 1% For the Planet.

Flipping 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. Currently an issue in the fashion business throughout the routine season, Black Friday made sure to motivate customers to make unneeded purchases– many of which would go unused and end up back on shelves or, worse, in landfills.

So, while many small businesses come to grips with whether to run sales and promos, Pantee asked a various question: how could they develop a successful campaign while remaining true to their objective?

  • The option: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an effort motivating consumers to reconsider their purchases and avoid impulse buying.
  • The message: Stop and believe before you buy. Is it something you love? Is it something you require? 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 most significant impulse purchasing day of the year, and people get quickly drawn into sales,” says Katie. “But the mentality should be: Is it truly a deal if you weren’t going to invest the money originally? Our campaign position was not to encourage impulse purchasing, and we saw a lot of engagement because of the shared values and common ground it developed with our audience.”

“There is so much overconsumption on Black Friday,” includes Amanda. “Our position wasn’t always do not make a purchase, however if you’re going to, purchase something you have actually wanted for an actually long time.”

Pantee didn’t stop there. To bring the campaign to life and put their words into action, the merchant turned off their site to all however their engaged customers, who were only able to access the site through a code they sent out to their existing newsletter.

The outcomes

The project was a frustrating success, leading to a significant boost in sales, social engagement and reach, brand awareness and new client acquisition.

  • Engagement on social networks doubled throughout the campaign (from 4 to 8%), and natural 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 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, 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 promotions in 2015, Black Friday was the biggest 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 brand-new, novice customers even if they valued what we were doing.”

“Brands frequently think that you can have worths, however they will not convert to sales,” adds Amanda. “However we believe that’s altering– and this project is an excellent example of that.”

Pantee is now releasing the project for the 2nd year and looking forward to much more impressive outcomes.

4 lessons gained from one unconventional project

Whether you’re conceptualizing future creative campaigns, building out next quarter’s social marketing strategy or currently getting going on planning 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 four recommendations– here’s what they stated.

1. Focus on your purpose

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

Amanda includes: “I think at one point, we lost our way 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. Pushing product resolves e-mail marketing and other areas of the business, but with social, we’ve seen a larger opportunity to inform our audience and share beneficial info that they can win.”

2. An engaged neighborhood is everything

“There’s a big distinction in between growing a following and growing a following that also has engagement,” explains Katie.” When it concerns social, what we’ve found is that people who engaged with us early on have ended up being supporters for our brand name. We see so much worth in community and engaging with our consumers beyond getting the sale. Lots of brand names see social as a platform to get their message out, however for us, it’s a two-way street.”

3. Don’t be afraid to be vibrant

“We found out rather early on with our social that the greatest peaks of engagement occurred when we took a stand for something,” says Katie. “We’ve always been quite mission driven, but we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we have actually released campaigns with our sustainability objective at the forefront, the engagement has actually been through the roofing.”

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

“Social network isn’t just about what you publish, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” discusses Amanda. “Spending time on your social platforms getting in touch with others, building relationships and establishing an engaged neighborhood is vital. We use our social channels for two-way discussions with both clients and our neighborhood– there is a lot you can discover 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 one of the most effective tools that brand names can utilize to ignite their business, turning onlookers into loyal brand name supporters, awareness into sales, and your objective into favorable, tangible modification. Simply ask Pantee.

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