Never underestimate the power of the uniform. I just returned from an annual sales trip to Puerto Rico and every time I come back I say to myself, “you need to write a column on marketing and uniforms!” So, here it is.
The administrative personnel at the Nazareno Services, Inc. all wear dark grey pantsuits. Very professional! You only need to visit once before you know that the people in the dark grey pant suits are employees. I don’t know about you but I really appreciate knowing who works somewhere and who doesn’t. I don’t mind stating the obvious. It’s helpful. It sure beats asking everyone who walks by, “Excuse me, do you work here?”
Now, I don’t advocate pantsuits or even formal uniforms as a marketing must. It’s not the formality of the uniform, it’s the branding that is important.
Years ago my brother worked at a Ford dealership when he was in high school. He had a fairly basic dark blue t-shirt that said Monaco Ford that he had to wear to work or they would send him home. It was a huge dealership and I’m sure it made it easier on not just the customers, but also the other employees to know who was who. Giving people helpful information reduces their stress level. Less stress is always good for business.
A good friend of mine owns a patient care facility where the practitioners all wear really nice shirts embroidered with their logo. The technical staff wears logoed t-shirts. The office staff, however, was allowed to wear whatever they felt like wearing. They hired a full-time marketing director. The first thing he did was take a group photo of the office staff in their everyday attire. He then explained to everyone the importance of branding — not just the practitioners and the marketing materials but also the office staff. He decided scrubs were the appropriate choice for the office staff.
Make a statement
In an effort to not step on too many toes as the new guy he asked them to choose their scrubs. They chose black. He explained they had a colorful, “happy” logo and brand and to please choose again as black did not really fit the image they were trying to promote. They chose fuchsia. He took another photo with everyone in their matching scrubs and what a difference. So professional. So cohesive. So NOT “excuse me, do you work here?”
Image. Branding. Reducing stress. It is all part of the overall customer experience. Take a look around and see if you’re missing an opportunity to utilize those uniforms.