In a culture based on first impressions and a market that is more competitive than before, it’s important to make your brand stand out in the crowd. Leading businesses ensure that their environment, team, marketing, branding and messaging are consistent. This results in all elements of their brand clearly representing the spirit or culture of the company. Staff uniforms are a large part of this messaging given they are the first impression the consumer has of the brand.
McDonald’s unveiled new uniform branding for its employees a few years back and whilst there has been both positive and negative feedback on the new design, over 850,000 employees wear the new uniform at all of McDonald’s 14,000 restaurants in the USA. The sheer volume and commitment required to execute this launch shows their dedication to brand, messaging and consistency and the impact this uniform overhaul will have in their market.
Uniforms not only reinforces the message your brand sends out to the market but also ensures your team reflects the highest quality of product, level of service and experience that can be expected when interacting with your business. However, many brands spend little or no time thinking about what their company uniform looks like and what message it sends out to the market. So, the question is, does this result in lost sales?
A uniform refresh ensures you’re on trend and approachable, that your team stands out from the competition, especially as companies start to recover from Covid, and is perceived as keeping up with the times. Considering many companies spend little time thinking about their uniform and its impact on branding, this refresh can provide an immediate point of difference. Simply put, it’s a cost-effective marketing strategy to ensure your brand and team stand out. When considering a refresh, there’s key things to consider ensuring that you stand out:
Need identification: Have a thorough understanding of the who, why, when & where. Understanding your company requirements, who is wearing the uniform, why they are wearing it, when it is required and within what budget. The clearer the brief the more fit for purpose the product and service. Ensure your team not only stands out but are happy with the new designs.
Colour, fabric and fit: Get suggestions on the latest fabrics and fits that have been tried and tested in your industry. Do not try and reinvent the wheel as uniforms need to be fit for purpose and practical, so if it works for others it will work for your team. Ensure colours chosen are flattering to all skin tones and body shapes, consistent with branding and stand out in the environment they are being worn in. The colour scheme can make or break the design.
Range planning: Tell the whole story from top to toe. If you spend time creating a look it needs to consider all factors. Will staff need a winter wear option? What trousers are they expected to wear? Is there a requirement for a cap or beanie? Do you need specific alterations to adapt to the post pandemic lifestyle? There is no point creating a magnificent shirt or polo only to have it covered up by a Hot Pink Jumper which is off brand and not communicating the consistent story of your product or service.
The devil is in the detail: Ensure there is a company uniform policy outlining dress standards. Should the shirt be worn tucked in our out? What type and colour shoes are acceptable? what is the jewellery policy? Unfortunately, common sense is not always common and when taking the time to create your team image through uniform it is even more important to follow that through with the detail of how it should or shouldn’t be worn.
A carefully coordinated uniform reinforces the message created with the brand, marketing and workspace. It is one of the least expensive steps in the process to ensure brand image is being correctly represented. A new logo, brand or office space without a uniform is like a cake without icing, or an outfit with the wrong shoes. It is the finishing touch that brings it all together and ensures your company image is complete. Think about your current uniform and what it says about your brand. Is it in line with your current positioning? If not, it might be time for a refresh before your competitors.
Contact us at Focus Uniforms to find out more.