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 accountable for a massive annual surge in consumer spending, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is an annual slam-dunk for big box retailers, Black Friday can bring more difficulties than benefits for small companies.

Slashing costs to make sales cuts directly into their bottom line– and with limited marketing spending plans and resources, taking on big brand names takes guts, insight, and imagination. That’s why the small companies that stick out throughout the holiday season are the ones that connect with the unique desires and needs of their clients, get strong with their marketing strategies, and produce thumb-stopping content that makes sure to get people talking.

In 2015, UK-based sustainable underwear brand name and Best SMM Panel customer Pantee won Black Friday with a campaign 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 learned for future campaigns.

What is Pantee?

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

@pantee_uk We released 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 jump on; the brand name was established with this purpose at its core. The idea came to life in a thrift shop in 2019, when Amanda was searching pre-owned clothes stores in London and was blown away by the number of new tee shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.

“It was insane to me how many individuals had handed out clothes before even wearing them once,” states Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is the number of disposed of clothing we can see, how much is there that we can’t see? When I began researching, I understood that we might make a distinction. It’s really difficult to get purchasing best in the fashion business with trends and shopping cycles altering so regularly, and as an outcome, many companies overproduce. I ended up being fixated on the concept of what we could do with deadstock clothing.”

The short response to Amanda’s concern on just 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 even offered.

With a strong passion to make a distinction for our world– and after understanding that the soft cotton tee shirt material everybody likes would lend itself well to underclothing and wireless bras– Amanda and Katie named 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 good link in bio to read more about how we make sustainable underclothing! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion glamorous– milo

Given that at first launching their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify website in February 2021, Pantee has turned 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 placed (resulting in over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a proud member of 1% For the Planet.

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. Already a problem in the fashion business during the regular season, Black Friday was sure to encourage customers to make unneeded purchases– a number of which would go unused and wind up back on shelves or, even worse, in garbage dumps.

So, while numerous small businesses come to grips with whether or not to run sales and promotions, Pantee asked a different concern: how could they develop an effective campaign while remaining real to their objective?

  • The option: Recover Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an effort motivating customers to rethink their purchases and prevent impulse purchasing.
  • The message: Stop and believe prior to you purchase. Is it something you love? Is it something you need? If so, go ahead– 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 purchasing day of the year, and individuals get quickly sucked into sales,” says Katie. “However the mentality should be: Is it really a deal if you weren’t going to invest the cash originally? Our campaign position was not to motivate impulse buying, and we saw a lot of engagement because of the shared values and common ground it developed with our audience.”

“There is a lot overconsumption on Black Friday,” adds Amanda. “Our stance wasn’t always don’t purchase, but if you’re going to, buy something you have actually wanted for a truly long time.”

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

The results

The campaign 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 media 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 invest.
  • Pantee’s newsletter grew by 33% in the week leading up to Black Friday.
  • The success of the social project extended far beyond Pantee’s Buy Instagram Verification, with the effort 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 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 e-mail list. We saw a lots of new, first-time customers even if they valued what we were doing.”

“Brand names typically think that you can have worths, however they won’t transform to sales,” includes Amanda. “However we believe that’s changing– and this campaign is a great example of that.”

Pantee is now launching the project for the 2nd year and eagerly anticipating a lot more outstanding results.

4 lessons learned from one unconventional project

Whether you’re brainstorming future imaginative campaigns, developing out next quarter’s social marketing method or currently getting started on planning for next year’s holiday, 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 leading 4 suggestions– here’s what they said.

1. Focus 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 discuss a problem, our values, or something with substance 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 method 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 item overcomes e-mail marketing and other locations of the business, but with social, we have actually seen a larger opportunity to educate our audience and share useful info that they can walk away with.”

2. An engaged neighborhood is everything

“There’s a big distinction in between growing a following and growing a following that likewise has engagement,” explains Katie.” When it comes to social, what we’ve discovered is that individuals who engaged with us early on have actually ended up being supporters for our brand name. We see so much worth 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 vibrant

“We learned quite 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, however we like to have a good time with it and not be too preachy. When we’ve launched projects with our sustainability mission at the forefront, the engagement has been through the roofing.”

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

“Social media isn’t practically what you publish, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make individuals feel,” discusses Amanda. “Hanging out on your social platforms getting in touch with others, developing relationships and establishing an engaged community is vital. We utilize our social channels for two-way conversations with both customers and our community– there is so much you can find out when you talk with them instead of at them.”

If there’s one takeaway that rises above all the others, it’s that social is among the most effective tools that brands can use to ignite their organization, turning onlookers into devoted brand advocates, awareness into sales, and your objective into positive, tangible change. Simply ask Pantee.

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