Creating Branded Uniforms For Your Company
This is a XAMAX® "How To" guide to creating branded uniform with your company logo. We include advice on garments, colour choice and customisation techniques.
This uniform guide is broken down into four simple steps. They're listed here and if you scroll further down, you will see a more in-depth explanation of each step.
Here's how to create branded uniforms for your business, easily and effectively:
- Page Contents
- Step 1: Decide Whether You Want A Uniform or just a Uniform Look
- Step 2: Choose Your Custom Uniform Garments
- Step 3: Decide How To Showcase Your Branding
- Step 4: Decide Which Branding Technique To Use
A custom branded uniform can be rolled out across your business in many different way. Not all clothing your employees wear needs to be a compulsory uniform. Or, you could dictate every stitch. The route you take is completely up to you and depends on factors such as your finances, your business objectives and indeed your business sector.
All industries and businesses can use some form of uniform or a uniform look to their advantage.
Here are some different methods:
Use A Uniform
There are all sorts of reasons to use a uniform. It is proven to boost team spirit and morale, and therefore productivity. It is a useful way of helping to correct or bolster any hierarchical issues within the workforce. It is a quick and effective way of building your brand. It can even make staff feel valued and rewarded.
A uniform is great in many ways, but you need to be aware of a few things too. You will have to create a uniform policy to ensure you get the most out of your investment. You absolutely must ensure you don't break any laws when creating your uniforms. Last but certainly not least, if you've never had a uniform before, you will need to sell the idea to your staff.
Here is some useful reading about how to create a uniform policy that will make sure you do not break any rules and legislation, and here is some advice on how to sell the idea of a uniform to staff.
Create A Uniform Look
If you do not like the idea of having all your employees wearing the same uniform, then there is always the option of prescribing a dress code OR creating a uniform look instead.
A dress code helps keep everyone looking more or less like a team, or at least professional by mandating certain styles of dress, or certain colour combinations. This can be as simple as requiring staff to wear certain coloured shirts or blouses and trousers or skirts. You'll find these in offices, restaurants, cafes etc. You miss out on the branding opportunity, but everyone looks like they're going in the same direction.
But a uniform does not have to be exactly the same for everyone. You can still have a branded uniform without your staff looking like robots.
You could give staff a range of uniform garments to choose from, or create slightly different colour combinations depending on the employee's department or skillset.
Offer Optional Branded Clothing Items
A mix between these two options is to provide staff with an amount of different uniform items and leave the decision up to staff when they wear them and the combinations they choose.
This is exactly the strategy XAMAX® chose when we created our first uniform. Office staff were given various garments ranging from Polos to Dress shirts, with Jumpers and Cardigans and a Softshell jacket. Production staff were given a range of T-shirts, Polo shirts, Sweatshirts and Fleece jackets. Everyone wears a uniform now, we all look like part of the same team, but nobody looks the same.
If you choose the right items, staff who are part of a team with growing spirit and togetherness will enjoy wearing them.
Once you have decided on which method or level of custom uniform you want to go for, the fun part is deciding on which items to use. You'll need to understand the amounts each employee ill need though.
As a starting point, your staff will need a minimum of three day's worth of clothing. This means one can be worn, one can be in the wash and one can be drying waiting to be worn.
Worth mentioning is that some companies ask staff to provide their own trousers - as long as they are plain and are the prescribed colour. You might want to give that a thought when creating your uniform policy.
Moving on from how much uniform clothing to order, let's look at what to order.
Make sure that the items are suitable for the task being completed by the person wearing it. For example, don't order budget crew neck t-shirts if your staff work in an expensive hotel restaurant, or order long-sleeve button down Oxford cotton shirts for your team of labourers. Check the intended use of the items and the impression you want to give your customers.
Next, make sure the sizes, styles and cuts are suitable for your employees. If your staff are not comfortable in their uniform, they will not like wearing it and you will face resistance.
Finally, make sure the colours are compatible with your brand and purpose. Do you want a neutral colour that lets your logo stand out and do the talking? Or do you want a bright, loud, hard-to-miss colour for use at promotional events?
And don't forget that uniform will need replacing at reasonably regular intervals - so ensure you include that in your budgets.
The next step is to decide how to showcase your brand.
Do you want a logo on the left side of the chest? On the sleeve? A big and bold design on the back? All three?
How will you know what the finished items will look like?
Make sure you speak to XAMAX® and ask for some mock-up proofs or visuals of what your items will look like, prior to placing your order. Play around with different options. Speak to the wearers and other people in the business to see what looks best too.
Once you know which items you are using, how many and where the branding features will be placed; you can decide on which type of branding technique to use. Will you use print or embroidery?
Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and they are not easy to compare without knowing your personal circumstances. Your budget, end goal, items being branded and quantities being ordered, all affect whether you should use printing or embroidering techniques.
As a basic rule, here are some general tips which make a good starting point - but you should definitely consider all options:
- No single option is perfect for every single scenario and piece of uniform.
- Each branding technique has their own particular strengths and downsides.
- You will likely end up using a combination of direct printing, indirect printing and embroidery.
- Not all branding techniques cost the same per garment - but some last longer than others. But, then again, you might only need an item for a short duration, so there would be no point paying for long lasting branding features.
- Screen printing is expensive when using low numbers, but cost effective for 30+ orders with a small amount of colours involved.
- Indirect or vinyl printing is cheap for small runs, but can work out expensive for a long run.
- Embroidery is extremely hard wearing, but cannot be used on all items.
- Certain techniques are better suited to certain contexts and customers.