Black Friday : the ethical way
In the last few years, the anti-Black Friday movement has risen starting many discussions about why this "Holiday" should be banned.
Black Friday is the ideal capitalist Holiday promoting overconsumption and rewarding with huge discounts stepping on others (literally). It represents a lot of things going wrong in the industry. Convincing consumers they need always MORE and that it's the only way to get satisfied in life.
Of course, this goes along with a whole lot of waste which is really bad for the environment... and thus us, too!
Coming from another country, I didn't grow up with Black Friday being a thing. Thanksgiving wasn't a thing either actually. I remember the first time I spent this Holiday in the States I thought it to be really surprising that we could go from being extra grateful for our health and our family to the next day spending the day in huge crowds yelling at each other and spending all our money on stuff that we didn't really need.
It is up to businesses to take part in this madness and keep promoting over consumerism or to take a stand against it. In the last few years, we have seen more brands rising against it - from Patagonia donating 100% of their profits that day to environmental organizations to REI completely closing their stores and inviting customers to opt outside instead.
If you are a small business and Black Friday is one of the busiest times of the year for you simply avoiding this Holiday might not be an option. And after the crazy year, we all have been having it is only understandable.
Here are some ideas to take advantage of the day consciously without overlooking your values.
Make a special offer
Review your deals to make sure they are not supporting overconsumption. Don't push crazy big tier discounts like buy 2 get 1 free. This only promotes the fact that we need MORE. Also, avoid only discounting all your slow sellers no one wants with a ridiculous % off.
Your only reason to have a sale that day shouldn't be to just sell more stuff to whoever would be willing to pay for it. Brainstorm ways to make this day more special.
>> Create an attractive package with a clear intention on how that will benefit your customers.
>> Release a new product - something exclusive you haven't had the chance to promote yet.
>> Promote meaningful gifts with the goal to really support the person that will receive it
Depending on your product or service this will be very unique to you. Think outside of the box and put yourself in the shoes of your own customers: what would you really want to see that day?
Promote your sustainable vision
On that Friday, you are under the spotlight. Use that time well and share your ethical vision and mission. Consumers are more and more interested in sustainable choices. They don't want to waste and they shouldn't be pushed to. Instead of trying to sell MORE. Sell BETTER. Since better products tend to be more expensive, Black Friday can be the perfect excuse to try something of better quality for a better price.
Win/Win: you get your product and your idea in new customer's hands and they get to try something that can help them live a more sustainable life.
Share about your practices, your manufacturing, your packaging, talk about your whole story so people don't just buy a product on sale but actually feel like they are supporting a vision
Support a cause
Select a cause that is close to your business and that you want to support and donate a % of your profits that day to a trustworthy organization actively working for that cause. Make sure to communicate about it before and during Black Friday and create a follow-up campaign where you keep your customers in touch with what their money helped accomplished.
Consumers are being more cautious these days to believe everything and anything a company is saying (as they should!). Make sure your actions on Black Friday aren't just some greenwashing techniques. If you take a stand against consumerism make sure it has a positive long-term effect. Follow through with it throughout the year.
Support your consumers before and during BF
Use your platforms to raise awareness about conscious shopping and what it takes. As a business owner, you are also a leader and influencer. We don't want leaders who have only their own unique interests in mind. Instead, look at the bigger picture and don't be afraid to make a statement about how Black Friday shouldn't be about buying more stuff (even from your store) but instead encourage customers to be intentional with their purchase and think about their needs and how they will use the product.
Here is the thing: Black Friday is just one day. You won't make a brand stand out in just one day. But by taking a stand for what you believe, by supporting your consumers how they really need to be supported, by acting consciously you are supporting your brand and you are creating a deeper connection with your audience: one where you say loud and clear "I've got your back and I want you to be well and happy'". And that will make your brand stand out.
Before you go deep into your BF promotions, ask yourself how this sale is serving you, your customers, and the Earth. If it isn't... it's not too late to switch it up.
Happy Holidays 💛