Companies need to see brand as more than just a logo. Businesses are competing for the hearts and minds of customers and consumers, and it’s a battle happening at any and every point where the company interacts with the public. This is why your brand strategy is so important.
Sure, there are still transactional brands out there. There are the products that compete more for shelf space in the grocery store, and a glitzy box is all you need. That isn’t the space most businesses want to play in. As a manufacturer, you want to be a partner for your customers. You need to be reliable, quality-focused, innovative and forward thinking. You want to be the company the customer thinks of first when they have a problem. You want to be the solution they rely on.
To be more than another easily forgotten transactional company, you need to lean in and convey your brand. You need to compete for the heart of your customers, to become part of their lives, and to build a relationship beyond the transaction.
Corporate apparel is an important part of that strategy.
Corporate Apparel (and Brand) for Manufacturers
Just like you have heard from other industry experts, to build a relationship with your customers, you need to strategically promote your brand. You need brand consistency, discipline and reliability. It is the foundation of your communication with the public — prospects, customers and the competition.
Corporate apparel can provide consistency, and be another customer touchpoint.
Craft Your Brand and Corporate Apparel Message
Start by crafting your brand message. If safety and caring for the public and product you make is at the core of your brand, then let that influence the graphics and logo you use in corporate apparel. If quality and a focus on leveraging technology for your customers is your mission, then make sure it is reflected in your brand.
As a manufacturer, you have a lot more control over your brand than you might think.
Once you understand your brand, it’s time to communicate that message. You need to live it.
This is where many companies fail. They spend time, money and resources on crafting their brand, and then put it aside to tackle another project. This is a missed opportunity. You need to use that brand, communicate it, reinforce it with customers and employees.
Your corporate apparel is the perfect vehicle to continue the brand conversation with both your employees and the public.
Great Ideas for Your Corporate Apparel
You have a great brand, and know that your corporate apparel should be part of your brand strategy. Now what? What’s your next step in building a relationship with your customers?
Let’s look at a few corporate apparel ideas for manufacturers.
1. Workforce Uniforms
Is there a dress code on the manufacturing floor? Even providing an approved shirt for work can be a fantastic way to improve employee engagement. It may seem like a little matter, but uniforms are a great way to get everyone on the team and thinking about the business. Want to get even more buy-in from the team? Ask for recommendations and let them take part in the uniform design process. Listen to recommendations and take swift action to show that the company values employees and the brand.
2. Corporate Apparel and Safety Gear
For any company that values safety, setting guidelines for required gear and equipment is important. Yet many companies aren’t taking the brand opportunity with safety gear. Adding a logo to gloves, or including a reminder of safe practices on a work jacket, can help reinforce brand message and help build engagement with your employees.
3. Business Professional Corporate Apparel
Are you sending your sales team to a conference without corporate apparel? If so, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to help build your brand. Every customer touchpoint is gold for sales, and a smart shirt with your logo is another touchpoint helping to reinforce your message. It can also be a talking point, helping to build the relationship with a customer (or potential customer). Corporate apparel can provide a memorable impression on a contact or customer.
4. Casual Business Attire
With corporate apparel, your employees can act as advocates for your business even when they’re not working. A logo shirt or casual attire is appropriate at almost any time, and engaged employees will wear it outside of work. It can help build employee engagement even when they aren’t working, and provide a conversation starter in the community. The right casual corporate apparel will quickly pay for itself in brand recognition.
5. Corporate Apparel and Customer Rewards
Many companies are leveraging promotional products in their marketing strategy. Consider adding corporate apparel to the mix. For example, look at adding safety gear like goggles or gloves with your logo to your promotional products. The apparel worn by sales and other employees provides value.
Empowering Your Business with a Corporate Apparel Strategy
As competition in the manufacturing industry heats up, companies need to start thinking of new ways to gain an advantage, new ways to connect with customers, and new opportunities to grow the business.
Corporate apparel can help not only with branding, but building customer engagement and supporting internal initiatives. If you’d like to learn more or discuss your needs with an expert, then contact the GO2 Partners apparel team today. We’re happy to help.