Yes, Sir! Feeling good and looking sharp. Look around you. Do the uniforms you have selected complement your Brand? Do they complement the employees who wear them? Lastly, what do your guests think of them?
Hopefully, there is rhapsody in the apparel you have chosen, perhaps, like the dapper Fred Astaire in “Top Hat”, who stylishly declared, “I’m puttin’ on my top hat, tyin’ up my white tie, brushin’ off my tails. I’m dudin’ up my shirt front, puttin’ in the shirt studs, polishin’ my nails. I’m steppin’ out, my dear, to breathe an atmosphere that simply reeks with class…”
Maybe, wishful thinking! So much care goes into your uniform selection (and expense). We certainly have seen where some uniforms simply do not make it, particularly where there is a Brand theme. Playboy did just fine with very strict parameters with their Bunny costumes. I remember being a customer at an entertainment venue in the Poconos, where the servers were dressed as Roman soldiers, head to toe. My server, who probably should have been mustered out of the army, looked just dreadful. When I asked her about her uniform, she was distressed as well – it simply did not fit her anatomy – she felt awkward and unattractive – tough to make good tips. We all have seen mismatched and wrong sized uniforms particularly on the restaurant scene. Many of the wearers of those outfits feel just as uninspired.
Some of us are more daring than others. But, being chic can have a short life. If we never throw out any of our clothes, that look will return. But, in a Retail environment, we do want to look sharp, tailored, and stylish – perhaps not cutting edge, but certainly not passe.
Cintas Corporation, which has a large customized uniform program, provided some insight as to the trends for today’s higher end operations. "Communicating a cohesive story, or brand message, remains extremely relevant to luxury properties, as it helps guests appreciate the value of their experience and gives it meaning," said Jeff Marino, Creative Director, Cintas. "Uniforms are an important component of that message, as they enable employees to ‘look the part.” Now, we can look forward to more colors, less formal attire (reflecting society), statement pieces (dynamic design), local flair (the property story), jersey fabrics (comfortable body drape), and the return to charcoal (away from brown).
If clothes can make the man, a stylish, comfortable uniform can make your Brand Ambassador!
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
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