WILMINGTON, MA () - No one likes to think they're easily sold. That's why Madison Avenue strives to develop ads that create "positive impressions" that can subliminally impact purchasing decisions at a later date–when consumers are more likely to feel they're making independent purchasing decisions.
Good examples of this advertising technique at work can be found in Super Bowl commercials. In the weeks following the game this year, Chevrolet announced its game day advertising ultimately led to a 61 percent increase in sales, while Madonna's halftime performance led to a jump of over 1,700 percent in the sale of her top 10 song downloads.
Multi-million dollar Super Bowls commercials aside, not all advertising mediums are created equally in eliciting positive impressions. In fact, when it comes to low cost advertising and producing high brand awareness, there is one lower-profile medium that performs particularly well. According to a national survey conducted by a graduate researcher from the Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University in Boston, employee work uniforms featuring company brand logos and identifiable image designs are highly effective as advertising tools.
Titled, "Are Uniforms an Effective Marketing Tool?," the research surveyed 250 companies in dozens of customer facing industries and discovered that branded employee uniforms can outperform many prevailing methods of advertising by as much as 9 to 1 when it comes to creating positive impressions and heightened brand awareness.
As part of the national research survey, for example, 71 percent of auto repair shop managers said they found branded uniforms to be more effective than newspapers for advertising, while 63 percent reported uniforms to be more effective than radio in promoting the image of their businesses. Similarly, food company representatives said they found their customized employee uniforms to outperform newspapers, TV, and radio by margins of 20, 60, and 80 percent, respectively. And compared to billboards, newspapers and TV, twice as many general building contractors found uniforms most effective in creating brand awareness. View an executive summary of the research here.
Among the key reasons branded, customized work uniforms received such distinguishing marks is their "advertising mobility," says Adam Soreff, Director of Marketing for UniFirst, a company that provides employee image uniforms to 240,000 business locations throughout North America. "Employees in personalized uniforms act as walking billboards," Soreff says. Plus there's the issue of return on investment, Soreff notes. "A company can outfit an employee in a rental uniform each workday for about the cost of a cup of coffee, and reap the many advertising benefits they provide."
And as Harry J. Gold, CEO of Overdrive Interactive, a leading Boston-based interactive marketing agency, adds, "Like point of purchase display and internet search marketing, uniforms deliver impressions to the most important consumers, your active customers when they are about to buy." And you'll certainly get no argument from any Madison Avenue advertising executive on that particular point.
UniFirst (NYSE: UNF), a North American leader in the supply and servicing of uniforms, workwear, and protective clothing, outfits more than 1.5 million workers each business day. The company's most popular brands include UniWeave®, SofTwill®, UniWear®, and Armorex FR®. UniFirst also offers Facility Service programs including floor mats, mops, and restroom products. For more information, contact UniFirst at 800-455-7654 or visit www.unifirst.com.