Black Friday has long been associated with crazy shopping trends, unbelievable discounts, often crashing online retailers, and traffic-stopping foot traffic in-store. It’s evident our consumer buying behavior becomes excessive in the hunt to find a bargain. However, for conscious brands that prioritise sustainability, ethics, and social responsibility, participating in Black Friday sales can be challenging.
While many brands position themselves at this time with a competitive advantage and don’t want to miss this prime buying time to reach a wider audience, I believe above all else it is imperative to maintain your brand’s values and commitments.
So, how do we strike a balance between profitability and responsibility?
Know Your Values
Before you dive into Black Friday sales, clearly define your goals and values as a conscious brand. Ask yourself what you aim to achieve with this event. Is it about increasing sales, clearing out old inventory, or reaching new customers? By knowing your objectives, you can ensure that your strategies align with your brand’s mission and ethos without losing your brand’s integrity. And if your values do not align with frenzied buying behavior, it is clear that it’s not worth trading your brand’s reputation to adhere to trends. Your loyal customers will thank you for it.
Black Friday doesn’t have to be all about mindless consumption. Encourage your customers to make mindful choices. Highlight the importance of quality over quantity and the positive impact of supporting ethical and sustainable brands. Use your marketing to educate and inspire your audience about conscious consumerism rather than encouraging them to be a part of the chaos.
If you are going to participate in Black Friday sales, it’s important to be transparent about your discounts. Avoid inflating prices ahead of Black Friday to make the discounts seem more significant. Customers appreciate honesty, and misleading tactics can harm your brand’s reputation. Instead, focus on offering genuine discounts on selected products.
Highlight Your Ethical Practices
During the Black Friday sales, take the opportunity to showcase your brand’s ethical practices and commitment to sustainability. Feature stories about your suppliers, the artisans behind your products, and the impact of your sustainable choices. Share these stories on your website, social media, and through your email and other marketing channels.
Donate a Portion of Sales
As a conscious brand, instead of reducing the price of your products or services, consider donating a portion of your sales over the Black Friday weekend to a charitable cause aligned with your values. This not only demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility but also attracts customers who share the same philanthropic interests.
Engage with your customers during Black Friday and beyond. Ask them what they want. Would they prefer the sale price, or would they prefer to donate the savings portion to a nominated charity? By giving your customers this choice, you can learn more about their buying behavior and motives and can adapt your future marketing strategies accordingly.
After Black Friday, continue to communicate with your customers about your brand’s values. Show appreciation for their support and update them on your efforts and progress toward the sustainable and ethical practices that your business holds.
We understand the pressures of a competitive market, especially at a time when buyers are more conscious about their spending; however, we believe it’s essential to remain true to your values and overall long-term objectives as a business. What might be a quick influx of sales today could cost you a number of loyal customers in the process. It’s so important to not only understand your audience but yourself – what your business stands for and what type of impact you want to make on the world.