You can’t be sincere selling decorated apparel’s branding value if you aren’t wearing your own work.
During a particularly lively Twitter chat featuring tips on ‘video in social media’, I uploaded some candid video responses to a question about how we use video to solve problems. I tweeted one video response about how we humanize ourselves by sharing behind-the-scenes views of what we do, and another about our 24/5 phone and online support. As much as I love talking up our crew, that wasn’t what caught everyone’s attention. Our host (the ever entertaining and informative Jay Busselle) tweeted me back about my branded DecoNetwork hat, saying the following. “Sweet hat. ABB = Always Be Branding
Admittedly, I’m geeky enough to be delighted that I might be considered the Jedi master of branding, but this is a hold-over of my time as an embroiderer. I always understood the value of branding, because it was that value I was selling to my clients. I might catch some flak for being ‘the Man in Blue’ since I joined DecoNetwork, but I’ll bet you’d be able to find me on a trade show floor after seeing one of my videos. I have experienced the power of this kind of branding, having been stopped in my former life as a decorator on numerous occasions when my decorated apparel revealed that I was an embroiderer. The logo I wore opened a conversation, allowing me to give my ‘elevator pitch’ to the person who commented on my garment. In fact, DecoNetwork didn’t assign me these documents when I was hired; I designed and had my first set made myself because I believe in the power of apparel for branding.
Decorated apparel can do the same things for us that we tell our clients it can do, but with the added bonus that wearing it ourselves lends credence to our claims when we pitch.
Here are a few ways we can use decorated apparel to help you stand out:
In the shop: Decorated apparel for the office staff can quickly identify staff to on-site customers, while uniforms and branded apparel for production staff reinforces a professional look and promotes a sense of solidarity.
On the road: Decorated apparel and accessories can start a conversation with people as you go through your day and it can identify you with your company or location, so that the next time someone in your social circles thinks of decorated apparel, they will remember you through that reinforcement of your brand.
To promote trends: Create a self-promotional logo wear project for your new decoration method or using a garment that’s currently trending and wear it everywhere; if it catches attention, you’ll be asked where you procured the piece and the door is open to sales.
To spread the word: Give promotional logo wear to your clients with each order; if the garment is great, you’ll find yourself with human billboards bearing your message all around town.
In promotional pics/videos: Every time you promote online, make sure that logo is visible wherever you are and whenever you speak. Make your logo and apparel synonymous with your content and strengthen that link to increase top-of-mind awareness.
When you do good: When you work in your community, wherever it is that you choose to serve or make an impact, wear your gear and associate your hard work with your brand. This associates your contribution to the community with your company. Make it part of your company values and purpose to serve.
On deliveries and in meetings: If you are meeting a potential customer or delivering product, always wear logo-emblazoned apparel. It identifies you quickly and gives the party you are meeting with confidence to address you and associates you with your product to everyone you talk to on the way into talking with your client or potential client, spreading your brand and influence.
It might feel strange at first to be a ‘walking billboard’ yourself, I have a face for radio and a body to match, but wearing branded apparel can give you the confidence to sell your products from a place of personal experience. Believe in the value of your work and put on the ‘uniform’. You may just find it also helps you to get in the right head space to promote your brand and step up as a representative of your shop, even as it shows the world at large what you do.