What’s the deal with Black Friday? As a consumer, I never really paid much attention to big shopping holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day. As a newly minted entrepreneur in the ecommerce space, however, I couldn’t avoid them if I tried.
Everywhere I turn there’s no shortage of ads, emails, webinars, blog posts, tweets (and whatever other type of content you can think of) about how to best prepare for Black Friday. Even when Jérôme and I log into our Shopify account (the service we use to host our online store), there’s a big countdown until Black Friday, down to the very second):
Across the board, the overwhelming message to business owners is: Sell more, sell fast, sell as much as you can. And the corresponding message to consumers is: buy, buy, buy. There's nothing inherently wrong with Black Friday (or other big shopping holidays), but we founded Cambio Market because we want to change how businesses operate. We believe there’s more to business than turning a profit, and there’s more to being a consumer than buying more stuff at the cheapest price. That’s why we believe in the social enterprise model, where doing business also has a positive impact on society. We want to support our community partners, while also helping our customers live meaningful lives through buying ethically and purposefully.
So how are we combining our social purpose and values with a day like Black Friday? The reality is, we're still a company with products to sell and customers to serve so there's no fighting it, but we still want to do business differently and that means shifting the conversation a little bit.
Rather than getting, we want to encourage giving. We believe every little action makes a difference. We think that if people feel good about themselves, then they'll be inspired to do good. We held a Facebook giveaway the previous two weeks leading up to Black Friday, and we were so touched at how many people participated. It was inspiring to see everyday changemakers like yourselves committed to making the world a better place in your own special ways.
To continue riding the good vibes, we chose three people who participated in our giveaway (but didn't win the giveaway prize), and sent them a small token of our appreciation. We also included an extra little item for them to give away to someone else in the hopes they’ll pay it forward. Think #GiveBackFriday, not Black Friday.
We know this is a small gesture and we’re definitely not the first ones to do something non-traditional for Black Friday. At the end of the day though, this is what is authentic to us, and we hope that means something.
We’ll be publishing more news on the results of our little #GiveBackFriday experiment next week, so we hope you’ll stick around! ?
Gelaine Santiago // Gelaine is co-founder of Cambio Market – an online shop for handcrafted, ethical products that give back. She's also co-founder of ChooseSocial.PH – the go-to resource to learn about the social enterprise scene in the Philippines. She's pretty nerdy and loves to talk about all things social enterprises, careers, entrepreneurship, travel, start-ups, and (of course) food. Reach out to her on Twitter or Instagram.
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