THE IMPORTANCE OF UNIFORMS FOR FRANCHISORS
A BRAND IS ONE OF A COMPANY’S MOST POWERFUL ASSETS, AND AT A TIME WHEN WORKPLACES ARE CHANGING AT A PHENOMENAL RATE, AND THE COMPETITION HAS NEVER BEEN SO FIERCE, THE POWER OF BRAND IMAGE HAS NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT.
The successful companies and brands that are making waves in their space are those with consistency across all elements of brand marketing, from store fit-outs to packaging and advertising material. A brand can signify quality and inspire confidence, and a company uniform is one of the first contact points that your customers have with your brand. First impressions count, and uniforms are a key part of selling your brand message and story, ensuring your business and team really stand out from the crowd.
As a franchisor, it is pivotal that your brand is protected and correctly represented by your franchisees. You head up a large community of business owners representing the brand, and the power or impact that brand has on the market. The clarity and consistency of your brand across all its locations – and the power of the brand message – is down to the support of each individual franchisee. If each franchisee coordinates their own uniforms and doesn’t follow the brand requirements, they risk diluting the power of the brand and membership which they are technically paying to be a part of. When a brand develops a consistent look and feel across multiple locations, it builds confidence in that brand and lets customers know that they can expect the same experience, regardless of which location they have visited.
A great example of a brand that successfully manages consistency and impact worldwide is
McDonald’s. McDonald’s has over 35,000 stores in 110 different countries, yet it doesn’t matter if you are in America, Japan or Australia – you are going to have a comparable experience wherever you are. It is arguably one of the most successful franchises of all time, and I can’t help but admire and respect the level of consistency that the McDonald’s brand has achieved globally. Their success is in the level of detail – from branding to food, to store fit-out, right down to the uniforms – which ensures a similar experience regardless of location.
Uniforms can serve different purposes in different situations, but there are some common benefits. If you are debating whether or not to introduce a uniform for your business, or if you’re unsatisfied with the current uniform and looking to make a change, learning why team uniforms are so important may help you to decide.
TEAM UNIFORMS PROMOTE YOUR BRAND
If your corporate clothing features your brand logo, or even your brand colours, you are building recognition every time someone sees an employee wearing it. It’s free advertising and it reinforces your brand plan and objectives in the work environment. Companies spend thousands of dollars each year on marketing, in-store branding, and trying to communicate what they are about. Uniforms are an economical dual service marketing function: they benefit and motivate your employees, as well as telling your brand story to all who come into contact with them.
TEAM UNIFORMS PROMOTE EQUALITY
Uniforms are a great equaliser. Your staff may occupy different levels in the chain of command, but when they’re all dressed in the same uniform there is a greater sense of team spirit. A uniform also provides a level of comfort and structure for employees and eliminates the pressure of what to wear to work – saving them from having to keep up appearances and spend an inordinate amount of personal money on clothing for work!
TEAM UNIFORMS PROMOTE LOYALTY
When your employees associate themselves with your brand, they are more likely to feel positively about it. When they wear your uniform or branded accessories in public, they become brand ambassadors. A company uniform defines what you are about as a business, and ensures that your team is on the same page. Team members will wake up each day and be reminded, as they get dressed, who they work for and what that represents. A good uniform can help employees to feel excited and motivated, creating a feeling of team spirit and a sense of belonging.
A brand can signify quality and inspire confidence, and a company uniform is one of the first contact points that your customers have with your brand.”
TEAM UNIFORMS BOOST PERFORMANCE AND SALES
We live in a society where the clothing you wear represents your values, beliefs and purpose, and helps others to identify with you. In business, effective branding can make you appear more approachable, professional and confident, and often make or break a sales opportunity.
Winning business is tougher than ever before, and companies that take the time to ensure their staff uniform represents the best version of their brand, culture and purpose are more likely to get ahead in sales and performance and be market leaders in their field. If done correctly, a uniform will ensure that your team all look, feel and act the part, and that your clients are confident, comfortable and proud to be associated with your brand.
Today, more than ever, businesses are aware of the importance of a strong purpose and culture and the direct impact on staff morale, sales and performance. Communicating that message across multiple locations – and even different countries – as a franchisor can be difficult, and a uniform is a key part of achieving consistency and confidence in brand messaging. A company uniform defines what you are about as a business, and ensures that your team is on the same page, regardless of the location in which they are based. Are your team members excited and motivated to put on their uniform every day? Does it resonate with what your business stands for?
Find out more at www.totalimagegroup.com.au
Pamela Jabbour is the founder and CEO of Total Image Group, which designs, sources and manufactures uniforms to some of Australia’s leading brands such as Dan Murphy’s and Fantastic Furniture. With offices in Sydney, Melbourne and China, Total Image dresses over 300,000 Australians per day in their work wardrobe.