We’ve been in business for a long time, and one thing we know for sure: your uniform is more than just a uniform. As we’ve seen with several of our clients, new uniforms are a way to save money and make money, when you have a strong strategy and plan.
A study in saving money
One of our clients – a west coast chain of around 100 units – was dealing with the fallout of a uniform that pleased its younger workforce but was a sore spot for its older, longer-term employees. The risk of losing these longer-term employees, and the often unseen cost of employee turnover, motivated the chain to rethink its uniform strategy.
After hearing the feedback and complaints, Righteous worked with the restaurant to design a new collection of gear that fit the core needs of every age demographic. The response was enthusiastic and immediate. Employees reported being more comfortable in the fast-paced, demanding restaurant environment.
Take the cost of training a new person and multiply it by your turnover. Overall, the numbers speak for themselves: Reducing turnover is a revenue-saver. If you’re struggling with employee morale around your uniforms, you can save the cost of turnover by making a much smaller investment in new apparel that fits, performs well, and brings a smile to the face of your employees.
Putting uniforms to work
Another client of ours embraced the strategy of using their uniforms to make money. A restaurant of about fifty units, this chain was looking for ways to drive incremental sales. With a cool, gearhead feel, one of their revenue streams was the sales of retail merchandise in a dedicated area. But sales were stagnant and they needed a new approach. It started with a complete redesign of the apparel and space. Next, the employees became an integral part of the sales process by wearing the new gear as their uniform. Sales doubled almost immediately.
Take it as a powerful reminder of how important your employees are as advocates for your brand. Their enthusiasm for it can be tapped as a revenue driver. You can incentivize your team with bonuses and free gear to further build momentum. Then keep it fresh with a promotional calendar and regular rhythm of new gear. We recommend including seasons that are relevant to your brand, like sports and holidays. You can also leverage local outdoor events and 3K charity runs that feed your calendar.
Do these examples resonate with you? Are you looking for ways to get more out of your uniforms? We can help you look at things in a new way and make your uniforms work for you!
When you’re ready to design a new uniform look, it’s normal to bring your internal marketing team and brand marketing partner together to collaborate. But what if, instead, you started with your employees?
Your Employees are an untapped creative resource.
Your employees aren’t going to actually design a shirt. But, they likely have plenty of opinions that will spark creative ideas and influence your designs.
Over the years, we’ve seen this information gathered in different ways. From formal surveys, to one-on-one conversations, focus groups or your intranet platform. Just ask a few pointed questions, like:
- What do you like about your uniform?
- What don’t you like about your uniform?
- If you could change one thing, what would it be?
- What would have to change about your uniform to make it be something you’d be proud to wear on your way to and from work?
- Is there another brand’s uniform you wish we had?
These five questions can help your team shape the development of your new look.
From feedback to buy-in.
Once you have some designs, bring together a group of management, front line, and corporate folks to review. Review the feedback from employees, and then talk through how your designs address their needs. Empowerment to freely speak into the process bolsters the outcomes and fosters a spirit of inclusion and respect.
When employees know the new uniform look was designed with input from the people who are wearing it, it gives them a sense of being heard.
Creating a buzz.
Early wins build excitement. Anything from a teaser communication, to outfitting one store and then taking pictures of the responses to get your entire system anticipating the change.
People want to be included in the process. But many are not used to being asked, so don’t be surprised if at the first attempt at inclusion you get blank stares. With practice and a well-honed list of prompts, you can build a culture of listening that drives greater results.
Sometimes questions are the best place to start.
Have questions for us? We are here to help you create a uniform your employees will love. Contact us to learn more about our uniform redesign process.
(Disclaimer: yes, we are a uniform provider, but stick with us. This is helpful info no matter who you work with.)
Uniforms have been around since the dawn of civilization and for good reason. They help people quickly discern which team you are on and what your role is. In our modern era, uniforms still have a significant role in shaping the way your customers view your organization. The apparel you provide shapes your brand’s perception and tells your employees that they are important to you.
Uniforms are not just for uniformity. They add a professional air, communicate key messages, and make getting dressed for work a no-brainer. Employees like receiving them and consider branded apparel a nice perk. Not only is it a benefit but it can help in your employee retention efforts, too. When used well, your uniforms can aid the bottom line while helping tell your brand story within your four walls and in the community.
Since branding is so important, you need a partner that can help optimize your apparel and take advantage of the opportunities that uniforms provide in telling your best customers who you are as an organization.
In the past, you needed two firms to help you do it right: a brand marketing firm to help shape your brand voice and create your graphics, and a uniform company to produce the apparel and fulfill orders. Now you can have both in one provider. Righteous brings both sides together to seamlessly create branded apparel programs that clearly reflect your brand vibe and values, and deliver products to you when you need them.
When choosing a uniform provider, ask if these 5 critical benefits are present:
- Design and Creative In-House – create your brand aesthetic and translate that into products that create brand champions for you
- Production in the latest decorating techniques – beyond screen printing and embroidery, there is LASER, DTG, sewn-on labels, heat seal applications and more
- Online Stores – either B2B or B2C portals with best in class functionality to make ordering and checking out a breeze; we help you grow your brand.
- Fulfillment Services that are close to you – From our US locations we reach over 90% of the population in 2 days or less with ground freight. This saves you money and gets your product to you quickly.
- Custom manufacturing coupled with Ready-to-wear means you can have a unique look that differentiates you from your competition. We build from the ground up.
If you are ready to find a new uniform provider, and think Righteous may be a good fit, contact us today.
Black is a tried and true apparel option. Most everyone looks good in black, almost all imprint colors look great on it, and it appeals to a wide audience of users. On the other hand, it is also a color that can sometimes come across as too harsh, or boring.
An up-and-coming trend is replacing black with alternative dark shades. One such option is black heather. This colorway (shown above, middle) lightens up the black color, and provides additional contrast. This is a really popular option with colleges, restaurant retail, and athletic programs.
Another great substitute is classic navy blue. A rich apparel color can bring out the colors in your design, and can even feel refreshing.
Some additional colors that are currently popular are: charcoal, athletic heather and heather brown.
It is common knowledge in this industry that white ink requires two layers in order to be bright and vibrant, but why?
Light colored plastisol inks are in-between transparent and opaque when applied correctly to dark garments. In order for the ink to cure at the proper temperature, a base layer must be applied, flashed by a heating unit, and then printed one more time with the same layer.
Imagine you are painting a wall which is black. Any white paint is going to require you to put a base layer down, then wait for it to dry, and then apply your second coat. With the print flash print method for T-shirts, we are able to add that second coat in a quick and effective manner, to ensure our prints come out clean, crisp, and bright for the world to see.