How This Underwear Brand Name 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 holiday shopping season is responsible for a huge yearly surge in consumer costs, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is a yearly slam-dunk for huge box retailers, Black Friday can bring more challenges than benefits for small businesses.

Slashing prices to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line– and with restricted marketing budgets and resources, competing with big brand names takes nerve, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small companies that stick out throughout the holiday season are the ones that get in touch with the unique wants and requires of their clients, get vibrant with their marketing methods, and produce thumb-stopping material that’s 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 buying. We talked to Pantee’s founders, sisters Amanda and Katie McCourt, to discover how they did it, what the results were, and what they have actually learned for future projects.

What is Pantee?

Pantee is an underwear brand making a distinction: their items are used “deadstock” materials, or unsold inventory that would otherwise end up in landfills. Designed by females, for ladies and the world, Pantee’s products are developed with convenience and style in mind, while assisting prevent unused garments from going to waste.

@pantee_uk We released 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 established with this function at its core. The concept came to life in a thrift store in 2019, when Amanda was browsing second-hand clothing stores in London and was blown away by the number of new t-shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.

“It was crazy to me how many individuals had given away clothing prior to even using them once,” states Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is how many disposed of 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 really difficult to get buying ideal in the fashion business with trends and shopping cycles altering so often, and as an outcome, numerous companies overproduce. I ended up being focused on the concept of what we might do with deadstock clothes.”

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

With a strong passion to make a difference for our planet– and after realizing that the soft cotton tee shirt fabric everybody loves would provide itself well to underwear and wireless bras– Amanda and Katie called the business Pantee (an abridged version of “pants 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 underclothing! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion luxurious– milo

Given that initially releasing their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify website in February 2021, Pantee has grown into a successful sustainable start-up– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock fabric in its first 1.5 years alone. Pantee also plants one tree for every order put (leading to over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a proud 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 industry throughout the routine season, Black Friday was sure to encourage customers to make unneeded purchases– a lot of which would go unused and end up back on shelves or, even worse, in garbage dumps.

So, while lots of small businesses come to grips with whether to run sales and promotions, Pantee asked a various question: how could they produce a successful project while remaining true to their objective?

  • The option: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an effort motivating consumers to rethink their purchases and avoid impulse buying.
  • The message: Stop and believe prior to you buy. Is it something you love? Is it something you need? If so, proceed– buy and enjoy your brand-new purchase. But if you weren’t currently going to make that purchase, consider going without.

“Black Friday is the most significant impulse buying day of the year, and individuals get easily sucked into sales,” says Katie. “But the mindset should be: Is it truly a bargain if you weren’t going to invest the money initially? Our project position was not to motivate impulse buying, and we saw a lot of engagement due to the fact that of the shared values and commonalities it established with our audience.”

“There is a lot overconsumption on Black Friday,” includes Amanda. “Our position wasn’t necessarily don’t buy, however if you’re going to, purchase something you have actually desired for an actually very long time.”

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

The results

The campaign was an overwhelming success, leading to a significant increase 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 natural social impressions reached over 4x the total followers at the time.
  • The campaign 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 project extended far beyond Pantee’s Buy Instagram Verified, 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 greatest sales day of the year,” states Katie. “By merely deciding 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 consumers just because they valued what we were doing.”

“Brands typically believe that you can have worths, but they will not transform to sales,” includes Amanda. “However we think that’s changing– and this campaign is a fantastic example of that.”

Pantee is now introducing the project for the 2nd year and anticipating even more remarkable results.

4 lessons learned from one non-traditional project

Whether you’re brainstorming future creative projects, building out next quarter’s social marketing strategy or already getting going on preparing for next year’s holiday season, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds excellent lessons that every online marketer need to keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their top 4 recommendations– here’s what they said.

1. Focus on your function

“We talk a lot about our worths as a brand name,” says Katie. “And time and time again, we’ve seen that if we discuss an issue, our values, or something with substance behind it, our engagement is a lot greater. That’s what people wish to see: something that gets them believing.”

Amanda adds: “I believe at one point, we lost our way a bit and became more product and sales heavy on our social channels, and we noticed that we weren’t getting the exact same reach. Pressing product resolves email marketing and other locations of business, but with social, we have actually seen a bigger chance to educate our audience and share useful info that they can win.”

2. An engaged neighborhood is whatever

“There’s a huge difference in between growing a following and growing a following that likewise has engagement,” explains Katie.” When it concerns social, what we have actually found is that people who engaged with us early on have actually become supporters for our brand name. We see so much value in community and engaging with our customers 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. Do not hesitate to be bold

“We learned quite early with our social that the greatest peaks of engagement occurred when we took a stand for something,” says Katie. “We have actually always been quite mission driven, but 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.”

4. Remember that there’s more to social than what you’re posting

“Social media isn’t just about what you publish, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” explains Amanda. “Spending time on your social platforms getting in touch with others, constructing relationships and establishing an engaged neighborhood is invaluable. We use our social channels for two-way discussions with both consumers and our neighborhood– there is so much 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 spark their company, turning bystanders into loyal brand name supporters, awareness into sales, and your mission into positive, concrete modification. Simply ask Pantee.

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