We always encourage our clients to put a lot of thought into their corporate clothing projects. We recently spoke with Karen Haller who is a leading consultant in Applied Colour Psychology and asked her for her thoughts on using brand colours in a uniform or corporate clothing project.
The Importance of Using your Brand Colours in your Uniforms
Every interaction a member of your staff has with existing and potential customers is reinforcing your brand. Even when they are travelling to and from work and out to lunch amongst the general public it’s an opportunity for your brand to gain additional exposure. It’s like having your own mobile advertisement.
You and your team are the working embodiment of your business brand. You already know they need to look the part. Have you thought of using your branding colours in your staff work wear as an effective way to further market your brand?
Colour branded uniforms have a positive effect in three very different ways:
• staff benefits through an increased sense of pride, sharing a sense of camaraderie and equality
• company benefits through increased brand recognition and a professional looking team
• customers benefit by easily identifying staff and building a sense of trust.
Loyal staff = increased productivity = increased revenue
Remember: Even if you are a one-person business, you still have a uniform – it’s what you wear whilst you are in front of your customers, prospects and any business related engagements.
Why wear a uniform?
There are some organisations we have come to expect to see in uniform. It helps them to stand out from the general public, helping them to be easily recognisable and for us to easily identify who they are. These are organisations such as the police, fire service, emergency services and armed forces and those working in hospitals. We instinctively look for the colour of the uniform because colour it is the first thing we see.
“Colour is registered by the brain before either images or typography. Colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%.” Source: University of Loyla, Maryland study
So how do we know what colours to look out for? We know for example the UK police are either in black, dark blue or their distinctive high visibility vests. Would we even think it was the police if they were walking around in other colours, say vivid pink? This is known as brand colour recognition and we are conditioned to look out for these particular uniform colours.
Different colours can also be used to show different ranks, different roles within the same organisation. Think about when you are in a hospital, the nurse wears a different colour uniform to an orderly to a surgeon.
Are your existing and potential customers conditioned to look for your business brand colours?
Regardless of whether you are a small business owner and you have a stand at a trade event, or a major corporation with hundreds of customers in your store, you’ll want your staff to be:
• instantly recognisable
• easily identifiable especially if the uniform identifies their role
• instilling trust
Could your business benefit from having a colour branded uniform?
Three Time Tested Tips to Integrate Your Branding Colours into Your Uniforms
1. Identify your core brand colour or colours with the help of an applied colour psychology expert for the most effective results
2. Decide on how the colours are to be applied to the clothing – will you use the colours in the detailing or the entire outfit
3. Ensure the final fabric colours exactly match your brand colours.
Each staff member wants to be part of a team which is well perceived. The right staff uniform will give them a sense of pride in being part of your business. Quite aside from the fact they’ll no longer need to worry about those ‘I have nothing to wear’ morning conversations.
Many major brands have brand coloured uniforms to further increase brand recognition. For example, when you go to any airport you are easily able to identify airline staff by their colour branded uniforms. You know to look for British Airways dark blue, red and white or the orange of EasyJet.
Reinforcing your brand through your staff’s work wear is a bit like identifying your favourite chocolate bar by the wrapper. You know what’s on the inside by what appears on the outside.
Communicating through colour
As a business owner how much thought have you put into the tone and combination of colours that represent your business brand? Do you know what they are actually saying?
Surprisingly, most business owners use colour as decoration or as an afterthought. Instead, think of colour as a subliminal language, another way to communicate and to attract your ideal clients.
Used to its full effect, your branding colours will give you the competitive edge, elicit the right emotional response from your prospects, and significantly increase your sales.
Karen Haller is one of the leading authorities in the field of applied colour psychology, helping businesses worldwide create remarkable brand personalities. Her forte is helping businesses maximise the impact of their brand resulting in stronger brand recognition, loyalty and increased profits.
Big thanks to Karen for writing on our guest blog this week.