Choosing or designing your corporate uniform takes much effort and investment. How can you ensure that you get the best ROI out of your staff uniform? Let’s look at two ways.
Ensure your staff are well-dressed for first impressions
First of all, how a person is dressed contributes to the judgement of character, whether we like it or not. Humans are humans and we make quick judgments based on first impressions. Without unpacking the psychology behind dress, think about your experience of meeting someone for the first time. How long before you’ve made up your mind about them? Likewise, when you are customer or client-facing, there is no time for that other person to assume the best of you or get to know your character as a human being. Let’s be realistic - they have already sized you up within a fraction of a second, the same way you have judged someone else when you first meet them. In your business, this is where you can pre-empt and edify your brand within seconds, using a uniform. If your staff is dressed well, it reflects on the standard of professionalism of your business and establishes immediate authority. This is why people trust those wearing uniforms - where there’s an authority, there’s trust. Think neat, tidy well-arranged suit designs and dresses.
Choose desirable colours that effectively reflect your company brand
The choice of colour is perhaps the most important and noticeable aspect of your company uniform. Colour sends subconscious meaning to your customers and affects the way people think and feel. What kind of message about your business do you want to portray? If you want your brand to stand out as being corporate, professional and a leader in your market, perhaps you can choose colours that communicate a sense of authority.
- Black represents power, intelligence, sophistication and discipline. No wonder certain high-power professions dress in black suits! If you want to assert confidence and trust in your company as an authority leader, then a black uniform is suitable.
- Blue on the other hand, while still professional, conveys loyalty, reliability and more trust. Different shades of blue also invite a calming effect! This is why you often see politicians and business executives wearing navy suits - to earn your trust. Likewise, dark blue is common among the trades - plumbers, electricians and mechanics, because they want you to trust and feel confident in their ability to solve your problems.
- White conveys cleanliness and purity and this is why it’s common in hospitals and medical professions i.e. doctors in white coats! White is likewise effective for the food and restaurant industry - chefs, cooks and waiters wear white to send a subconscious message of cleanliness. The use of white can also be used effectively in colour combinations. Contrasting a white shirt against a black or navy blue jacket enhances the overall suit.
- Grey represents practicality, maturity and cautiousness. Charcoal, for instance, makes you look wise, reliable and even sophisticated without the authoritative severity of black. Think accountants, auditors or family lawyers - aren’t they often in grey suits? While it’s ideal for conservative professionals, grey can be easily complemented by splashes of colour, such as a red tie, salmon shirt or an tan/brown belt.
Lastly, colour can be used effectively with accessories - does your uniform include hats, scarves or ties? You can tastefully brighten up an otherwise conservative uniform with colourful accessories. Splashes of colour add more personality and can even feature your company logo or symbol.
It may require a lot of work on your part, but careful thought and planning behind your uniform is well worth the effort!