Clothes – everyone wears them (at least, we hope). Whether wearing a uniform for work, a sweater for warmth, or a baseball hat to shield from the sun, everyone regularly depends on different articles of clothing for the utility they provide.
As a business owner, chances are you already harness the power of apparel in some capacity. But have you ever stopped to consider why apparel is such a valuable tool, and how to draw on this necessity to elevate your business/brand?
Apparel is a staple of our industry and, of course, of society at large. In this blog post, we’ll cover just what’s so special about apparel, including…
Apparel and Your Brand
Besides their protection, comfort, and versatility, do you know what is great about clothes? They are printable; this is where you come in. Clothing is a favorite in the promotional products industry and that’s because when slapped with a logo, catchphrase, or business name, it is an extremely effective form of marketing as well. In fact, outerwear (in the U.S.) has been found to generate the most impressions out of any promo product, because it is often worn in shared public spaces. What’s more, worldwide, brand recall is the highest for apparel items, with 85% of people able to recall the advertiser seen on an article of clothing.(1)
In short, apparel is everywhere by necessity, but branded apparel is everywhere by strategy – good strategy. So
, next time you’re considering doing a giveaway, sending a ‘thank you’ package, or setting up an employee store, the question you should ask yourself shouldn’t be “why apparel?” but rather, “why not apparel?”
Apparel and Your Business
Now, let’s step back from what apparel does for you
, as a brand, and focus on what it can do for your company. Clothes can be important signifiers of the communities we belong to. The easiest example of this is seen in employee uniforms. Implementing uniforms in the workplace creates a heightened sense of comradery and teamwork. Even observers see the benefits of uniforms, with 94% of consumers preferring staff in uniforms because it makes members of the team more easily recognizable.(2)
Individuals do not need to wear literal uniforms for a sense of togetherness to be fostered either. Stocking your employee store with company swag encourages employees to show company pride through their clothing choices and creates a subtle sense of community as well.
Apparel and Your Consumers
Now that we’ve covered apparel in relation to your brand and your business, let’s turn our attention to consumers, and what apparel means to them. Wearing clothes is not simply compulsory; clothes are a choice as much as they are a requirement, and they serve a greater purpose for the wearer than just utility. Enclothed cognition is the phenomenon by which the clothes one wears informs how they feel about themselves, rather than the other way around.(3) What we wear inherently communicates something about who we are, but also about who we want to be.
And it doesn’t have to be complicated; even the types of items we elect to wear say something about us. Close your eyes and picture different people wearing the following: a pair of trendy sunglasses, an ergonomic backpack, or a posh sweater. Chances are that each of these evoked different images of the wearer and what type of person they are. Studies have proven that clothing choices can affect our perceptions of others, and inform our opinions about people’s personalities, social status, and social acceptability.(4) That’s the thing – associations between different types of clothing are already there. All you have to do as a business is recognize this and make the most of it. When you take an article of clothing and stick your logo or brand on it, if done successfully, you are providing consumers with something so much bigger than the literal clothes on their backs, whether they are cognizant of this fact or not. You are providing them, in a sense, with a marker of their identity.
The branded hat, t-shirt, or sweater that you send to a client or prospect, if stylish and comfortable enough, has the potential to become a part of the image that they project to the world. Forging that connection is more powerful than anything else covered in this post, and if you can be successful here, success in terms of your brand and your business will follow suit.
Apparel is as much a choice for you, as a business entity, as it is for consumers. Carefully choosing how to implement apparel in your business strategy now that you thoroughly understand its effects means that the possibilities are virtually limitless. Contact us today to set up a call with a dedicated member of our team and learn more about how we can help you utilize apparel to spread your brand, unify your business, or meaningfully impact your clients and prospects.