“It takes 7 seconds to make a first impression”

Is your brand style expressing your values and giving that right message?

EP was proud to host another Entrepreneurs showcase at Joelson Solicitors – though this time with a twist. Guests enjoyed a unique experiential style session with an employment law Dress Code Policy discussion on how to dress to impress, use your brand touch points to maximise and convey your most powerful brand message that empowers your up-selling, people, pride & profits.
As they say, “It takes 7 seconds to make a first impression”, some may argue that it takes less but regardless, first impressions are vital for every brand and business. In hospitality, a first impression can and does determine many impact things from dwell time, sales, customer engagement, staff retention, culture and ultimately impacts on the bottom line.

Entrepreneur Katie Young Gerald, Founder and Creative Director of Bespoke Textiles, the multi-award winning, designer & supplier business to Hospitality & Heritage brands for their uniforms, house style and product collections and author of The Textile Touch showcased a variety of her uniform and merchandise collections – showing that simple, intelligent and elegant touches can make a marked impact.

Reema Jethwa Senior Solicitor within the Joelson Employment teamwhich is top-ranked for advising employers, gave an insightful presentation on aspects to consider and avoid when revising or drafting Dress Code Policies covering uniforms in the workplace and what employees can and can’t wear. She explored dress code faux pas and those factors all employers need to consider when implementing Dress Code Policies – ensuring that Dress Code Policies are in accordance with the brand of the business whilst reducing Employers’ potential exposure to employment tribunal claims and adverse publicity.

This is the first in a series of such events that we aim to run to really raise a number of important questions and considerations such as:

  • Are your people dressed to make the right impression for your brand or business? It is important to explore how to dress to impress, use your brand touch points to the max and convey the most powerful brand message that empowers your up-selling, people, & profits. 
  • A brand can tell a story through dress and uniform. What is your story?
  • Does dress and uniform build pride and respect in employees that then leads on to greater service?

Both presentations highlighted the top 3 problems experienced with the hospitality industry impacting on uniforms within the workplace:
• Poor identity & brand management
• Poor engagement
• Poor fit and performance

A study carried out by The Sawyer Business School, found that uniforms are an important component of a hospitality establishment’s brand identity. A company can also enhance their customers knowledge about them through gifts, stylish uniforms, and branded products which can result in increased loyalty, a stronger positive attitude towards their chosen brand and naturally increasing purchasing activity.
When your business is supported by brand assets such as; style ethos, ethics, culture, materials, people and service it impacts everyone and everything internally and externally as there is more connection with your brand.
Your staff are your brand – they are often the first representation of your brand that customers see making them vital to your success. Cleverly thought out and designed uniforms which accommodate all and show staff that you care about their uniforms and comfort helps create higher levels of pride, improved culture which impacts on engagement and ultimately increased levels of staff retention which in turn saves on recruiting and retraining costs.

The key trends currently being seen in uniforms include:

  • Increased focus on sustainability and ethics.
  • Circular society and economy.
  • Less waste.
  • More stylised uniforms that show staff are considered and valued, empowering them through practicality and style.
  • Stylish uniforms that are in keeping with the investment in interiors and in line with brand values.
  • More fashion forward uniform design.

So, what do you want your first impression to say and how do you want your staff, uniforms and merchandise to sell your brand?