Monthly Archives: January 2016

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Do your staff uniforms measure up to your brand?

Branding serves the purpose of creating an identity for your company and a key aspect of successful business is building the correct customer perception of your brand. At Creative Emporium we believe that image is a very important factor in how your brand is perceived. First impressions count and you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Branded uniforms are good for your company’s image

Customer service benefits

  • Staff who wear uniforms are more conscious of their actions, as they are easily identified by their uniform and name badges. Your employees, when wearing a uniform, are more likely to take ownership and responsibility for their behaviour as they are acting on your behalf. In turn this creates a positive impression of your company and ultimately will influence how your customers internalise feelings about your brand. 
  • Branded uniforms make staff more noticeable to customers. This is particularly important for security staff, when a presence is required, in crowded areas and public events. It will instil trust and confidence in customers as they can easily recognise your staff, which helps build an approachable and trusted relationship.

 Staff benefits

  • An attractive and suitable uniform can boost the wearer’s self-esteem which can in turn improve your employee’s attitude and outlook at work. Having all staff in the same clothing creates a united work force with a combined responsibility and sense of belonging. It shows everyone on the same level which builds a sense of quality, unless you want to separate different teams or managers from juniors which can also be effective.
  • When companies provide a uniform to their employees it takes away a potential financial burden meaning that the wearer doesn’t have to fund their own clothing that matches your company’s values. It also makes it easier for the employee to get ready before work by eliminating the pressure of picking out an appropriate outfit from their wardrobe to look a certain way. Further, it allows staff from all different backgrounds to feel equal.

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Are you thinking of creating a new uniform range? Choosing the correct uniform to reinforce your brand values can be difficult, so here are a few points to consider.

Use of colour

  • When selecting colour for your uniform keep it simple and easy on the eye. Stick to complimentary colours and try to think about the wearer. The last thing you want to do is alienate the wearer (and your customers) or for them to feel negative about wearing it. So no crazy, multi coloured hats, unless you are a children’s party organiser. The point I am making here is to make sure it is accessible and appropriate for all your customers.
  • Colours carry many connotations which is an important factor when creating a uniform.

Blue – this is used throughout business as it implies reliability, confidence and responsibility. Have you ever noticed the use of blue in the BBC TV programme The Apprentice?

Green, brown and earthy colours – indicate organic, eco and environmentally friendly and can be seen in the uniforms of large coffee chains such as Starbucks and Costa.

Ikea unifom

Ikea’s uniform featuring blue and yellow is a good example of the use of complementary colours.

Budget

  • If you are not convinced by the above why uniforms are important and you still have reservations about buying uniforms for your staff, you don’t have to have a big budget or have a bespoke uniform to make an impression. Even just a carefully selected coloured accessory and an embroidered logo can be just as impactful.
  • Use a version of your logo that is appropriate and cost effective for embroidery or print methods. Larger logos are better suited to printing and smaller logos to embroidery.
  • Don’t source garments that are over spec’d for the purpose which they are required. For instance don’t supply staff with a high end, steel toe cap shoe if they are not lifting heavy goods. Make sure that you select the correct fabric compositions for the industry for which they are intended i.e. Security guards require a more durable fabric, with a stretch and reinforced seems due to the nature of their role, as they may need to pursue a shoplifter.

By developing a well-designed, colour-coordinated uniform which reflects your brand values you can present a strong, organised image that helps your company stand out from the crowd. Uniforms have the power to benefit your brand, your customers and your employees. Creative Emporium are experts in sourcing, branding and supplying corporate uniforms to many different sectors. Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements today!

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The Importance of Promotional Merchandise In Your Marketing Strategy

Living in the digital age means businesses are spoilt for choice when planning their marketing strategy. Online campaigns, social media, TV ads and print are all frequently used channels to engage with consumers, and often promotional merchandise is forgotten or undervalued. However, it’s important to recognise how merchandise can really help with your company’s branding and go hand in hand with your marketing strategy. Research by the BPMA has shown the power promotional merchandise can have when done well; it invokes brand loyalty in over three times as many recipients as the effects of the mediums of print , web, direct mail and TV. Here we will discuss the key benefits promotional merchandise can have for your business.

Brand Recognition

Unlike other forms of marketing, promotional products have longevity and can be extremely useful to the recipient. So many marketing tools focus on digital channels, whereas merchandise can take your brand in to the real world. For example, a branded cotton shopper takes your logo to the gym, to the supermarket, to a university campus. What’s more, studies have shown that many people keep promotional products for one year or longer resulting in increased brand awareness for both the person using the product and those around the recipient.

Customer Loyalty

The effects of receiving a gift for free will never fade! People experience a feeling of pleasure when given something unexpected and this positive emotion will associate the recipient with your brand. Research has shown that promotional merchandise makes almost six times as many recipients feel appreciated as other mediums of marketing such as print and web. As a lot of promotional merchandise is desk based and useful, such as pens and key rings, your brand is kept close to the consumer. This means it is always at the forefront of their mind, whether conscious or subconscious, making the likelihood of purchasing your product or service high due to the continuous reminder.

Range of Choice

When hearing the words ‘promotional merchandise’ the most obvious products which come to mind will likely be mugs, pens and USBs, traditionally given out at conferences and exhibitions. Fortunately as the industry has advanced there is so much more to offer your customers! Whilst we still love a great pen and a lovely mug it is worth taking into consideration other products which can really make your business stand out from the crowd. There are some great tech products available such as fully customisable power banks and stunning speakers for your forward-thinking clients or green options like pencils made from recycled denim or CD cases for your eco-conscious customers. A trend we have seen a lot of through out 2015 is ‘retail detail’;  promo products with a retail look and feel. Providing your customers with products that look great will increase the positive association the consumer has with your brand. When choosing products, it’s important to be creative and consider your client’s brand values and how this can be translated in to meaningful, powerful promotional merchandise.

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Cost

At the end of the day, marketing budgets can often be tight and choosing promotional merchandise as part of your marketing strategy is a great way to make your money go further. The cost to produce branded products can be considerably less than other forms of advertising and at the same time they have longevity as products are often kept or passed on  and used  for a long period of time whereas TV ads  and online campaigns are generally forgotten, increasing your return on investment. As promotional products are often kept and reused, this decreases the need to produce more and therefore saves your business money.

As you can see, it is always worth throwing promotional merchandise in to your marketing mix. Great products can be a conversation starter and create a buzz around your brand, especially if the product is innovative and well thought out. As well as this, promotional merchandise can compliment other forms of marketing such as your experiential campaigns or TV ads to create a greater impact and raise your brand’s profile in a competitive marketplace.

We can supply a huge range of promotional merchandise to suit any campaign and any budget. If you’re overwhelmed with choice and need some advice or have any questions and would like to discuss your requirements please get in touch today. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.