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

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Ah, Black Friday.

It’s not a surprise that the main kick-off day for the holiday shopping season is responsible for an enormous annual surge in consumer costs, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is an annual slam-dunk for big box merchants, Black Friday can bring more challenges than benefits for small businesses.

Slashing rates to make sales cuts directly into their bottom line– and with restricted marketing budget plans and resources, taking on big brands takes nerve, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small businesses that stick out during the holiday are the ones that connect with the unique desires and requires of their customers, get vibrant with their marketing strategies, and develop thumb-stopping material that makes certain to get individuals 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 founders, sisters Amanda and Katie McCourt, to discover how they did it, what the outcomes were, and what they have actually learned for future campaigns.

What is Pantee?

Pantee is an underwear brand name making a difference: their items are made using “deadstock” fabrics, or unsold stock that would otherwise end up in land fills. Created by women, for females and the planet, Pantee’s items are produced with comfort and design in mind, while helping prevent 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 established with this purpose at its core. The concept came to life in a thrift store in 2019, when Amanda was searching second-hand clothing shops in London and was blown away by the variety of brand-new t-shirts lining the racks, tags still on them.

“It was crazy to me how many individuals had actually given away clothing prior to even wearing them when,” 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 began researching, I understood that we could make a difference. It’s really difficult to get purchasing right in the fashion business with patterns and shopping cycles altering so regularly, and as a result, lots of companies overproduce. I became focused on the concept of what we might do with deadstock clothes.”

The brief response to Amanda’s question 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 approximately 30% of clothing made are never even sold.

With a bold passion to make a distinction for our planet– and after realizing that the soft cotton t-shirt material everybody loves would lend itself well to underclothing and cordless 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 ever felt so great link in bio to find out more about how we make sustainable underwear! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion glamorous– milo

Considering that initially introducing their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised ₤ 11,000) and Shopify site in February 2021, Pantee has actually become a successful sustainable start-up– upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock fabric in its very first 1.5 years alone. Pantee also plants one tree for every order placed (leading to over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a happy 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 something on their minds: overconsumption. Currently a concern in the fashion industry throughout the regular season, Black Friday made sure to encourage consumers to make unnecessary purchases– a number of which would go unused and wind up back on racks or, worse, in garbage dumps.

So, while many small companies come to grips with whether to run sales and promos, Pantee asked a different question: how could they produce an effective project while remaining real to their objective?

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

“Black Friday is the greatest impulse buying day of the year, and people get quickly sucked into sales,” says Katie. “But the mentality should be: Is it truly a bargain if you weren’t going to invest the money initially? Our campaign stance was not to motivate impulse buying, and we saw a great deal of engagement due to the fact that of the shared worths and commonalities it developed with our audience.”

“There is a lot overconsumption on Black Friday,” adds Amanda. “Our stance wasn’t always don’t purchase, 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 retailer turned off their site to all however their engaged clients, who were just able to access the website through a code they sent out to their existing mailing list.

The results

The project was an overwhelming success, leading to a substantial increase in sales, social engagement and reach, brand awareness and brand-new consumer acquisition.

  • Engagement on social networks doubled throughout the project (from 4 to 8%), and natural social impressions reached over 4x the overall followers at the time.
  • The project naturally increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 without any supported paid spend.
  • Pantee’s subscriber 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 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 most significant sales day of the year,” says Katie. “By just 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 signing up for our e-mail list. We saw a lots of new, newbie consumers just because they valued what we were doing.”

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

Pantee is now introducing the campaign for the second year and anticipating even more outstanding outcomes.

4 lessons gained from one non-traditional campaign

Whether you’re conceptualizing future creative projects, building out next quarter’s social marketing technique or currently getting going on planning for next year’s holiday season, Pantee’s Blackout Friday project holds great lessons that every online marketer ought to keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their top 4 suggestions– here’s what they stated.

1. Focus on your function

“We yap about our worths as a brand,” states Katie. “And time and time once again, we have actually seen that if we speak about an issue, our values, or something with compound behind it, our engagement is a lot higher. That’s what individuals wish 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 observed that we weren’t getting the exact same reach. Pressing item overcomes email 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 win.”

2. An engaged neighborhood is whatever

“There’s a big difference between growing a following and growing a following that likewise has engagement,” describes Katie.” When it comes to social, what we’ve found is that individuals who engaged with us early on have become advocates for our brand. We see a lot value in neighborhood and engaging with our consumers beyond getting the sale. Numerous 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 vibrant

“We learned quite early on with our social that the highest peaks of engagement took place when we decided for something,” states Katie. “We have actually constantly been rather mission driven, however we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we have actually launched campaigns with our sustainability mission at the forefront, the engagement has actually been through the roofing system.”

4. Bear in mind 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,” describes Amanda. “Spending time on your social platforms connecting with others, building relationships and establishing an engaged community is invaluable. We utilize our social channels for two-way conversations with both consumers and our community– there is so much you can discover 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 brand names can utilize to ignite their business, turning onlookers into faithful brand advocates, awareness into sales, and your mission into positive, tangible change. Simply ask Pantee.

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