Thinking outside of the box with uniform and its uses.
When customers see your employee’s wearing a uniform, it gives them not only the chance to meet the person representing the organisation and hopefully engage in a positive way, but to then associate this successful engagement with the brand being displayed. This provides companies with one of the most powerful tools to reinforce the brand’s ethos within the customer’s mind.
Uniform provides companies with one of the most powerful tools to reinforce the brand’s ethos within the customer’s mind.
Uniform Works In Three Ways To Benefit You As A Company:
1. They help customers to recognise your brand ambassadors.
2. They provide free marketing for your company when your employee’s are out and about.
3. They help create a sense of unity in the workforce.
To put this into perspective, let's look at some major brands and how they use uniform to represent these ideas. Apple as a company used to have a colour coded system for their retail employees so that customers could identify workers and their job roles. A clever idea, it would seem, until you had a problem with your MacBook and got put with a Specialist rather than a Genius and got the hump about your problem not being good enough to see a Genius. So they opted to replace this system with a royal blue across the board for their employees. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still have fun with it. Around the festive season the teams put down their blue t shirts and don their festive red tops instead to embody the Christmas spirit.
Around the festive season the teams put down their blue t shirts and don their festive red tops instead to embody the Christmas spirit.
McDonalds, on the other hand, still incorporate this hierarchy system to their uniform with their crew members wearing mustard or gherkin colours polo shirts, their crew trainers sporting a striped polo and their managers wearing white shirts. This implementation of uniform is similar to the process that Apple used to incorporate but, as there is only 3 steps in the management hierarchy, it prevents the issue Apple encountered with customers not being happy with the staff member they are engaging with.
Even though both companies take different approaches to the idea of uniform, they both still create a memorable brand and a sense of unity throughout the workforce. McDonald's uses their combination of gherkin and mustard colours to tie their employees together whilst differentiating. Apple on the other hand have used the simplicity of their brand logo and reputation to allow them to change top colours depending on festive seasons throughout the year.
So, back to the original question - does uniform have to be so uniform? The answer is no. Uniform can be more than just a standard design with no variation. From creating a hierarchy through using your colour palette to being consistent with the branding but playing with the colours, you can have a lot of fun with uniform. Both of these uniform structures still work to promote the original idea but work in ways that make it more exciting than a standard design that never changes in order for the customer to recognise you, it all just depends on your style.