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7 Ways to Stand Out this Black Friday (With Well-Known Examples) 

To succeed in the highly competitive ecommerce landscape, companies need to innovate and stand out. In this blog post, we explore seven creative and well-known examples of how brands have made a mark on Black Friday, and how you can draw inspiration from them to elevate your own Black Friday strategy.

In this article:

Stand out by standing up for something 

A brilliant way to stand out from your competitors is to actually stand up for something, and we often see brands nailing this by implementing viral ‘anti Black Friday’ campaigns. 

Back in 2011, Patagonia took a memorable stand against consumerism with their ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ campaign. Their full-page newspaper ad encouraged customers to buy only what they truly needed, promoting sustainability and conscious consumption. 

Image source: Patagonia
Image source: Patagonia

The campaign was so successful that it’s still referenced every year when peak season comes around, so needless to say, it’s been hugely influential in driving business. 

Run a kick-ass social media campaign

Another great way to capture the attention of consumers this Black Friday is by connecting with them through a social media campaign.

REI, an outdoors brand, started their #OptOutside campaign in 2015.

Instead of participating in Black Friday sales, they closed their stores and encouraged their employees and customers to spend the day outdoors. It’s now become an annual tradition, with fans all over the globe using the hashtag to share their adventures and snowball the campaign year on year. 

Screenshot 2023 09 19 At 14.18.19
Image source: REI Instagram

If you are looking to launch a social campaign this BFCM, the LoyaltyLion x Gatsby integration is incredibly helpful, as it allows you to easily incentivize customers with points for posting content on Instagram and TikTok.

Run VIP deals for your loyal customers

With so many stores desperate to appeal to new customers over BFCM, the brands that stand out the most are the ones that do something really cool for their existing customers

Take LEGO, for example. Every year, usually about a week before Black Friday, they run their own LEGO VIP Weekend event, which gives their loyal customers access to double VIP points, exclusive gifts-with-purchase and offers on exclusive sets. 

Screenshot 2023 09 19 At 14.20.38
Image source: HothBricks

Our own consumer research shows that a massive 80% of consumers are motivated to return to a brand this peak season by VIP offers such as early access to sales or new products. 

Your loyal customers want – and expect – to be given special treatment, so don’t be shy when it comes to rolling out the red carpet for them this Black Friday. 

Elevate your campaign by teaming up with a charitable cause

Footwear brand, Allbirds, are known for their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, and their 2020 ‘Break Tradition, Not The Planet’ Black Friday campaign was the perfect expression of these values. 

Rather than slashing their prices for BFCM, Allbirds actually raised them

Prices across their collection were increased by $1 and then matched by $1 by the brand themselves. The profits generated from this campaign were then donated to Fridays For Future, the youth-led international climate movement founded by climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Image source: Selzy
Image source: Selzy

Offer free shipping to sweeten the deal

Delivery costs can add up for consumers who are splurging over the BFCM weekend, so much so that free shipping will motivate 81% of consumers to return to a store they already know this Black Friday, rather than try out a new brand. 

Sure, you’re not exactly breaking the mould with this tactic, but free shipping is a tried and true way to get more orders over the line, with many big brands running free shipping deals right through the Black Friday sale event. 

Image source: Insense
Image source: Insense

To really level up on this tactic, reserve free shipping as a Black Friday perk for your loyalty program members. By doing this, you have an excellent reason to reach out to your members. You can get them excited for your big Black Friday event, making sure they have the links they need, and maybe even recommending some products.

For example, Waterdrop use loyalty emails to tell their members that their sales are close to ending, showing that they care about their customers enough to make sure they don’t miss out.

Screenshot 2023 09 19 At 14.27.57

But you also have a compelling hook to get more seasonal shoppers to sign up to your loyalty program too. If a customer is about to check out with a big BFCM order and sees that they can get free shipping by signing up to your program, chances are they will!

Build brand loyalty with a BFCM recycling program

A recycling program can be a unique and environmentally conscious way to engage your existing customers while rewarding them for their continued business. 

The basic principle here is that you reward your customers (usually with money off their next purchase) for sending their items back to you rather than throwing them away. This then frees them up to purchase a newer model or an item from a recent collection without feeling wasteful – and they have extra money to put towards it too! 

This is a great tactic to keep your customers engaged over a long period of time, resulting in shoppers feeling much more ‘bought into’ a brand. 

In an effort to prevent old furniture from ending up in landfills, IKEA made the decision to repurchase unwanted furniture and offer it a second lease on life through resale with their #BuybackFriday campaign. 

Another example we really like is Astrid & Miyu’s ‘Astrid & Renew’ recycling program (although this runs all year round), where customers can send their old jewelry in by post or via their stores to receive 1000 loyalty points in return. 

Gen Z consumer tips: Astrid & Renew - returning unwanted jewellery recycle scheme
Image source: Astrid & Miyu 

Drive up AOV with exciting free gifts 

Want to entice your customers into your BFCM sale while encouraging them to spend that little bit extra? Consider using free gifts as a tactic this year!

The psychology of receiving something ‘free’ is enough to pique the interest of most consumers, as shoppers perceive free gifts as additional value for their purchase. But free gifts are also a fantastic tool to boost up basket sizes, as you can set minimum spend requirements that customers need to hit in order to receive their gift. 

Take a look at this example from Bobbi Brown. 

Screenshot 2023 09 19 At 14.30.34
Image source: Reddit

In Bobbi Brown’s BFCM campaign, customers need to spend $65 to be eligible for the five free minis. We love this example because the ad itself is so visually compelling – the brand are showing their customers exactly what they could get for ‘free’ with their bright and slick images of the makeup within the ad. 

Final thoughts 

As you craft your Black Friday strategy, remember that it’s not just about making sales; it’s about creating memorable experiences and forging lasting connections with your audience. Embrace innovation, purpose, and creativity to revolutionize your approach this Black Friday. Your brand can be the next inspiring example that stands out in the crowd! 

Ready to unlock the latest insights into what consumers are looking for? Access our new research here to get the lowdown on all things repeat purchases over the peak period. 

About the author

Georgie Walsh

Georgie is the Content Marketing Manager at LoyaltyLion. Georgie has spent most of her 6+ years marketing in B2B companies, and has developed a huge passion for bringing B2B voices alive through engaging copy and memorable storytelling.

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