Bespoke uniforms or off the shelf ?
A guide for businesses

Monday 18th June 2018

Brand recognition is built over time and for your customers to trust your brand, they need to see it presented in both a quality and consistent manner. This means branding your business assets professionally at all times - from your marketing materials and business premises through to your staff uniforms. When your clients see your brand, they should automatically associate it with high-quality and a great customer experience. So staff uniforms are a crucial aspect of your brand communication, overall business appearance and representation of your underlying values.

Simply put, high-quality, clean, well-presented uniforms with a clear logo will build trust and engagement. Poor quality uniforms which look cheap and which aren’t fit for purpose will diminish your brand and your customers’ perceptions of your business brand, you need to do everything that you can to maintain it, especially in today’s highly competitive market.

Off the shelf uniforms

Choosing how to buy staff uniforms -

So should business brands automatically opt for bespoke uniforms in order to tailor the brand experience, or use off-the-shelf products which can be over-branded with your business logo?

The fact is, there is no easy answer. All businesses will need to weigh up a range of considerations, such as:

1. Staff turnover
If your staff base is largely static and time-served, you may prefer to invest in bespoke uniforms, knowing that turnover costs will be low. However, for large, changing workforces, the cost argument may simply not stack up.

2. Budget
Perhaps the key consideration for many cost-conscious businesses, it is vital not to end up with false economies. Off-the-shelf uniforms will be less expensive to buy, but they may not satisfy the requirements of your staff in the way that bespoke garments do. If you operate in a high-end/luxury industry where an image is everything, an off-the-shelf product may also fail to communicate that brand value. On the other hand, if you operate in a publicly-funded capacity, a cost-conscious industry or a sector of the market that recognises ‘value’ as a selling point, off-the-shelf products may be more appropriate.

3. Fashions
These change constantly so your industry will be a key factor here. Businesses in a trend-led sector may need customisable solutions that match the latest fashions.

4. Lead times
Bespoke uniforms can be time-consuming to order, whereas off-the-shelf are generally rapid to access.

A blended approach?

At Uniforms by Creative, we offer both bespoke and off-the-shelf uniform solutions, as well as blended routes for a hybrid purchasing model. Businesses who want to invest in bespoke uniforms may have a requirement to fully communicate this from the aspect of a full rebrand where customer facing employees need to reflect the new design, there may however be employees of the business ‘behind the scenes’ where an ‘off the shelf’ uniform solution with overbranding may be more cost effective but still ensures the wearer has a new uniform. Uniforms by Creative offer a consultative and technical approach to our clients to help them to find the best solution for their business.

As well as housing the account management team and other operational services of the business, Uniforms by Creative’s state of the art in-house production facility is also located in one of our head office units in Leeds, West Yorkshire, our in-house production services include;

Embroidery – 3,000 garments per day
Screen print – 43,000 garments per day
Transfer print – 23,000 garments per day
Additional in-house services include garment relabelling, poly bagging and kimble tagging for a full uniform solution that meets all business needs in a bespoke and flexible way.

Please get in touch with our friendly team to find out more!

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