Branded clothing is one of the most visible forms of corporate branding you can use. Also known as wearables, workwear or corporate clothing, promotional clothing can add great value to an organisations branding and marketing campaigns.
Organisations use promotional clothing for several reasons. These can include simple practicality where engineers have to wear clothing that is functional and durable (long lasting). Here an organisation would choose to have a work uniform to display a more professional image and brand the clothing with their logo. Office teams may also invest in corporate clothing. Once again the purpose is to build a team spirit and present a united presence to the outside world.
When companies invest in corporate promotional clothing they will generally issue a corporate clothing policy as part of their Employee Handbook. This will itemise the workwear to be worn, responsibility and its issue, replacement and return. One of the key benefits of this approach is that it standardises the company look and how items are to be used and worn. Corporate workwear can also incorporate a health & safety element as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can also be branded and included in the policy. Items of PPE could include hi-vis vests, jackets, hard hats, gloves and so forth.
Many employees prefer to have corporate clothing issued to them. There is a positive effect from having a corporate uniform. Putting on the clothing puts one in ‘work mode’ and helps to distinguish work time from free time.
Working on site, promotional clothing can also help teams to identify other members of their organisation, especially from other branches when working on large sites. On site or in an office or building environment, corporate workwear can be used to identify easily (visibly) the level of training, qualification or authority an employee has, their team or function within the organisation. Within busy environments such visible signals almost become subliminal and help to improve employee efficiency and communication.
Promotional clothing is becoming more and more popular. Once only used mainly by large organisations, printing and embroidery technologies now cater for even the smallest of production runs, including single items.
Getting employee ‘buy-in’ to the wearing of corporate clothing is also getting easier. The range of promotional clothing now available from distributors such as Redbows includes fashions and styles that are as good as any other form of normal everyday clothing. When choosing new workwear it is important to get employees to contribute ideas. Engineers will more than likely want functionality from their workwear in terms of easy access to pockets and tools, durability and colour. Office-based teams may give more thought to style and look and overall comfort. Whichever is the case, corporate clothing can add real value to your organisation. Whether it is branded ties, scarves, shirts and blouses for sales teams or t-shirts for exhibition staff and corporate golf days or jackets for on-site engineers, promotional clothing when done well will help to improve employee morale, team spirit and promote your organisation.
Here is a set of 6 tips to consider when selecting corporate clothing:
- Choose the right clothing: the range of clothing available is immense when you consider that any garment can be branded with a logo. There are standard items like t-shirts, polo-shirts, shirts, ties, sweaters, fleeces, trousers, jackets and aprons that are industry standards. The issue is to choose the items of clothing that will be worn the most and make the most impact for both employees and clients in your marketing. After all the primary point of using corporate promotional clothing is to brand your organisation and promote it. Remember to also consider for your team seasonal use and cleaning costs. Choose the right items for the time of year if you want your employees to be comfortable their promotional clothing. In terms of cleaning remember that your employees will incur cleaning costs so washing-machine cleaning will always be more preferable to dry-cleaning. Also remember to issue them with enough garments. Most individuals will want a clean set of clothing each day. If you are going to a 3-day exhibition give them at least 3 sets. If engineers have to work 5-7 days give them enough sets to ensure they have enough to ensure that they can always turn-up on site in a fresh set of clothing.
- Printed or embroidered logos: embroidery is always the preferred method because it looks better and shows more of an investment. Why buy a quality garment and screen print it. Some materials cannot be screen-printed and these are those with a less than smooth surface. Consider the surface of a cotton t-shirt to a heavier-weight fleece. Embroidery will cost more than screen-printing and will last longer. Care has to be taken with embroidery so that the material is not ‘pinched’ and shrinks when washed to leave a pulled logo effect. Embroidery is prices in stitches and normally as a ratio of 1000 stiches per cm square for example. Screen-printing costs less and either imprint method can suit volume runs. Remember that unit price always falls with quantity.
- Imprint position: how far do you go when it comes to printing? Most organisation will put their logo onto a breast pocket area for example when it comes to a polo-shirt or t-shirt. Others may opt for this as branding solution and also print the company name or website on the reverse or back area. The issue is one of visibility. If it’s just for branding then the pocket area is fine. If it’s for maximum exposure such as for an exhibition or to identify colleagues on-site then look to brand in several areas.
- Choose your colour: as with any promotional gift you want a background colour which will contrast with your logo. Sometimes it is a fine balance with corporate workwear because you want a clothing colour that will not show up the dirt as quickly and is darker rather than lighter. For this reason our artwork team often generates ‘reverse’ logos or prints the logo onto a contrasting coloured garment in a single coloured ink or cotton.
- Bespoke custom labelling: within the clothing industry there are well-known label such as ‘Fruit of The Loom’ who are known for their plain stock promotional clothing onto which companies such as Redbows apply a branding. Sometimes we are asked to provide a bespoke clothing label and even zip-pull or button. This type of project means that it is more custom or bespoke and should only be considered for larger print/embroidery volumes. Often we will turn-around such a product as a whole with a garment manufacturer.
- Budget and leadtimes: remember that all delivery times are from artwork sign-off. Redbows has its own in-house team of clothing and artwork design experts and can help you get the right promotional clothing printed and delivered on time. Express clothing garments are always available but the range is less than if we have a longer lead time of 10 working days or more.
At Redbows we have supplied thousands of branded promotional clothing items during the last 10 years and have built-up in-depth knowledge when it comes to corporate workwear garments, their branding and delivery. Simply call us on 0800 158 3080 to tap into this knowledge-base and let us help you get the best possible clothing for your promotion.