Walk through a residential neighborhood and you’ll notice different delivery drivers. It’s easy to tell them apart, not just from the branding on their trucks, but also their distinct uniforms. In the restaurant sector, brands like In-N-Out set themselves apart with their food and service and reinforce their brand with distinctive uniforms and color schemes. Uniforms matter often much more than brands realize.
Brands that want to thrive in a competitive landscaped need to embrace the power of uniforms. Here are seven reasons brands should invest time and resources in offering and improving company-branded uniforms:
1. Uniforms set your company apart. Modern and comfortable uniforms with stylish yet distinctive designs can set a company apart from its competitors. It immediately establishes the wearer is an employee and is part of a unique team and culture. It’s a worthy investment to test, compare, and find a great uniform lineup when the payoff is separation from the competition.
2. It reinforces brand allegiance during difficult times. According to a Deloitte report that examined brand power and buying during the pandemic lockdowns, people flock to familiar brand names and experiences during times of uncertainty. With well-constructed and consistent uniforms, brands can establish themselves as stable businesses that consumers can count on. During the pandemic consumers had many other work and social obligations to manage, so they stayed with the familiar brands to remove their number of daily decisions.
3. Uniform design can enhance safety. The best uniform providers will custom build apparel based on the employee’s feedback and job functions. If the employees work in industrial settings, then the uniforms need to fit snugly, without lose straps or sleeves that might become caught in machines and pose a safety hazard. Or they might need protective vests or branded gloves that are thicker yet allow nimble operation. For employees working at night or in low-light conditions, they can use uniforms with reflective strips to improve visibility. Staff in warm environments can operate more effectively with uniforms built from cooling fabrics that can prevent heat stress.
4. Employees save time and money. Uniforms remove the need for employees to assemble work clothing wardrobes. They know what they’re wearing to work, receive clothes from their employer, and can simply dress and go. Some brands offer an array of styles and pieces as part of their uniform packages, which give employees the opportunity to mix and match and create their own look. Multiple clothing types that feature differing lengths and material thicknesses give employees options suited for their particular climate and preferences.
5. Quality Uniform Providers Function as Partners. When brands work with established firms like Mi Hub, an international leader in corporate apparel and uniforms, they engage in a collaborative relationship. This means a strategic approach of research into modern workwear trends and colors, wear tests, and employee feedback about current uniform shortcomings and the requested improvements. Corporate uniforms can play an outsized role in a company’s fortunes, and it’s worth the investment to partner with a company that can produce modern, functional, and comfortable uniforms that enhance a brand’s reputation. Companies should also invest time in assembling continual employee feedback about the uniforms. HR can conduct surveys or virtual “suggestion boxes” and then analyze the data to find patterns, such as “the shirts come untouched too easily,” or “the pants have a weir sheen to them in the sunlight.” Top clothing providers will work closely with internal teams like HR to be certain they propose uniforms based on as much contextual data as possible.
6. Uniforms build camaraderie. In a work setting uniforms promotes team building and inclusion. People naturally seek out communities, and uniforms for workers creates a visual connection for employees and the customers. This camaraderie only works when the uniforms suit the employee’s role, are stylish, and comfortable. Sizing and fit matter, and uniforms need to offer choices for the smallest 90 pound five-foot-tall employee up to much larger individuals. Offering a variety of fits shows the brand respects the employees and values their comfort and respect over potentially saving a few dollars with a limited selection.
7. Clothing can match the brand proposition. A well-constructed uniform program should tailor the clothing to the specific brand sector and the clientele. A chain of tax prep companies might lean towards vests or jackets paired with button-down shirts, to match the seriousness and professionalism of their customer interactions. The uniforms for an amusement park might lean towards bolder colors and functional designs that help employees manage challenging environments. The trick is matching color, fit, and material to the brand in a way that makes sense and gives off the right feelings, whether it’s fun, security, comfort, or anything in between.
Uniforms matter because they shape how employees think about themselves and other workers, how customers view the brand, and even the opinions of investors and partners. Clothing makes a statement, for better or worse. Brands that want to stay in the former category should invest with an experienced uniform partner to create bold functional uniforms that can transform a business for years to come.