Love it or hate it, Black Friday is one of the biggest retail events of the year.
But with every brand pushing a sale or promotion, it's hard to stand out as a small business.
Plus, times are changing – and society is becoming more aware of the pitfalls of consumerism.
As a result, we've seen brands pivot away from the typical Black Friday frenzy, opting for more thought-provoking campaigns that set them apart from the competition.
Ready to change your approach? Here are five alternative Black Friday campaigns to inspire your strategy this year.
#1: Try a “Shop to Give” Fundraising Initiative
In recent years, we’ve seen an increasing number of brands switch up their Black Friday marketing strategy by supporting social causes instead.
Sustainable clothing brand Kotn donates all of their sales (up to the value of $80,000) to building primary schools in rural Egypt, where their farming communities are based.
These are obviously huge examples – a 100% sale donation won’t be financially viable for most businesses – but there are ways to echo the same sentiment on a smaller scale.
You could donate a percentage of your profits to a cause you're passionate about, or donate a product in your inventory every time a sale is made.
Plan your Black Friday campaign in advance with Later’s easy-to-use scheduling tools. Plan, preview, and automatically publish your posts, for free!
#2: Encourage Conscious Consumption
There’s no denying it, big discounts drive big sales.
But when paired with a tight deadline, sales often encourage impulse buys. According to a study by Which?, one in five people said they regretted their Black Friday purchase.
Brands like Deciem are combatting this by removing the time pressure from Black Friday, and encouraging more conscious consumption.
By extending the sales window and applying discounts to all products, shoppers are more likely to purchase something they actually need or want.
Plus, it means they can extend their marketing campaign, with less competition from other brands in the lead up to Black Friday.
#3: Go Against the Grain: Boycott Black Friday
When it comes to Black Friday campaigns, Patagonia takes a similar “go against the grain” approach.
Rather than hosting a sale, they’ve become renowned for their yearly “Buy Less, Demand More” campaign.
Similarly, clothing brand Asket closes all of their stores (including online) on Black Friday – encouraging their customers to visit their garment care portal instead.
While this approach might not work for every business, stepping back is a powerful way to put your money where your mouth is, and further highlight your brand's values.
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#4: Reward Your Community for Eco-friendly Behavior
If you’re looking for a creative way to offer discounts this Black Friday, check out how sustainable clothing brand Dai created a Green Friday quiz to reward eco-friendly behavior with a custom discount.
The higher a customer’s sustainability score, the bigger the discount they receive. Not only does this tap into Dai’s sustainability-first values, but it’s also really fun.
TIP: If creating a custom quiz feels like too much effort right now, consider how this can play out on social media instead. Use Instagram Stories stickers to poll your audience and provide custom discount codes.
#5: Raise Your Prices (Yes, Really)
A price hike on Black Friday? Trust us, it can work.
The extra dollar is matched by the brand and donated to environmental charities.
In addition to this, Allbirds encourages their audience to spend Cyber Monday taking part in a running challenge – bringing a fresh focus on community participation, rather than bottom-line sales.
The most effective and memorable Black Friday marketing campaigns on social media go beyond aggressive sales tactics.
Instead, they are value-driven and build long-term brand affinity. So don't be afraid to get creative!
Prep, preview, and schedule your Black Friday social media posts using Later – you can publish to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok, all from one easy-to-use desktop dashboard.