THE IM­POR­TANCE OF UNI­FORMS FOR FRAN­CHISORS

Business Franchisor - - EXPERT ADVICE: PAMELA JABBOUR -

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.

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