A company's brand and all the intangibles it represents -- such as the quality of its service and products -- can boost a company's economic value by as much as 40 percent, according to an Ernst & Young study entitled "Measures That Matter."
"Given the significant financial contributions a brand can make to a company's bottom line, it's critical for companies to regularly review their branding efforts to ensure they are continuing to project their intended business image," says Robert Isaacson, Director of Marketing for UniFirst, a leading provider of uniforms and employee image programs throughout North America. "And studies have shown one of the most critical areas for company branding relates to the appearance of its employees. No longer is a brand defined solely as a simple logo, but as a combination of its logo, company color scheme, and tag line -- all of which coalesce and come 'alive' when consistently packaged in the work apparel worn by its employees."
A company's brand can gradually degrade, Isaacson says, as managers focus on the daily demands of their business operations. "That's why companies should make brand reviews an annual 'New Year's resolution.'"
When conducting branding reviews, Isaacson says a company should examine how its logo, color scheme, tag line, and employees are all presented to customers. All branding, he says, should be done consistently and be reinforced through repetition. As an example, he points to Staples' consistent use of their bright red company color, their recognizable rectangular (red) logo, and their 'that was easy' tag line. "The bright red shirt with distinctive red logo worn by the Staples' associates reinforces their corporate color and brand identity. Additionally, Staples' red shirts are functional, as they are easy to spot by customers in need of assistance, which reinforces the company's 'easy' to shop message."
Given the significant economic value a managed uniform program can produce, Isaacson says, "a branding review can be the single most important exercise companies can conduct to ensure a joyous new business year."