Choosing a uniform Anna M August 5, 2011 Embroidery, Printing, T-Shirt Printing The way staff are dressed matters to them, to customers and clients, and to the world at large. How does a company make the right choices? The right uniform for staff Comfort and style both matter. Your staff have to be comfortable and able to conduct their duties without even the slightest hitch in their performance. This can mean choosing polo-shirts that are crease-resistant for drivers and delivery men, or crisp poly-cotton tabards for medical staff. The right uniform for customers Matching your clientele and the services you offer to the uniform you provide is vital. Make company clothing too formal and you turn off a younger, more relaxed customer base who might think you’re expensive and inflexible, but make it too casual and there’s the risk that more traditional customers will reject you as being unprofessional. Look at what your competitors do and whether you’re upscaling or downscaling from their position. If you’re a budget airline, for example, and your rival puts their staff in polo-shirts, you might go for bright T-shirts, but if you want to be considered an upmarket alternative to that rival, you might choose short-sleeved shirts with embroidered logos. The right uniform for public awareness If your chosen branded clothing is confusing or too similar to that of another company, you may end up with brand confusion rather than brand identity. Finding the perfect, easily replicable, globally identifiable logo can take time: not everybody manages the Nike swoosh or the WWF panda the first time they try, but logos can be adapted over time to work better and better, so work with a good designer to ensure your choice will deliver on all levels such as digital, clothing, stationery and vehicle branding as well as being an acceptable image internationally. You might not intend to capture global markets (yet!) but if your small town image travels, say on a company T-shirt or on a bag that’s taken on holiday, and it causes offence, it’s achieved the opposite of your intention. Getting the brand image right means that you can relax and feel that whoever sees your brand, wherever they see it, they’ll get the best impression of your organisation.