Organisations spend millions on creating new logos, commissioning architects and interior designers to come up with the latest in furniture, wall coverings and soft furnishings. But often the important issue of how employees are going to look is left to the last minute.
In customer-facing businesses, the staff are a living window to your brand and should reflect and communicate your brand values. When planning for future changes in corporate identity it is wise to address how effectively your employees will be an extension of your brand. Great uniform design also influences how your staff feel at work and can make or break corporate culture.
Employees are emotionally connected to their uniform and what they wear helps them identify with the brand on a different level. Naturally, if staff feel comfortable and a sense of pride in how they look then it’s going to have a positive effect on how they interact with both colleagues and customers. Place them in uncomfortable or dowdy uniforms and the opposite reaction is a real possibility.
It's often tempting to follow fashion trends with your uniform, and this may help attract short-term attention. However, since trends can change so quickly, you put your brand identity at risk by following them. The key to great uniform design is a brand connection, a well thought out uniform that will not only portray your brand id but that will complement the environment and the wearers in a timeless manner. Don’t forget, you are dressing real people, not model figures, all ages, shapes and sizes.
Companies who leave their uniform as an after-thought are unlikely to consult with wearers effectively to deliver a practical solution that closes the gap between corporate branding and customer experience. Great brands go to great lengths to close these gaps, motivating staff and adding value to the customer experience.
A great uniform can clarify the essence of your brand by subtly projecting its mood, be it; welcoming, trustworthy, knowledgeable, sporting etc. Do this successfully and your uniform can help build a brand platform, adding a competitive advantage, supporting your brand’s values.
It’s also important to remember that people care about issues such as sustainable supply and ethical sourcing, so a well planned uniform policy can make a strong statement about the company’s culture and its ethos in society.
Finally, find a great uniform partner with the insight and processes to deliver on all these points, so choose wisely on the basis of their sensitivity and ability to your brand’s vision.