We are what we wear
The message of your clothes
Whether it’s a police-uniform, a football jersey, a Balenciaga jacket or a Metallica T-shirt, what you wear tells a great deal about you. Very often, we choose what we wear based on what we like in life, or how we feel. Show me your wardrobe and I’ll tell you who you are.
For decades now, sports clubs and music bands have been able to leverage that potential. They know how to turn that aspiring fan into the most loyal ambassador, they know clothing is the way to go. So what if we took that same philosophy and used it for companies instead?
We all need clothes
Catering to the basic needs
Companies have been using the method of “giving” since forever, in many different ways and contexts. Giving is powerful. It’s a simple gesture but when done in the right way, it can send a very strong message. A determining factor for the effectiveness of corporate gifting, of course, is the item that’s being given. A whole industry has been crafted around the items that companies are giving to their customers, employees, prospects or partners.
Who has never received a bottle of champagne, a box of chocolates or a branded notebook and pen? Those are the classics.They just work, they always have. So why step away from them? Well, because there’s a better alternative!
A downside of giving snacks or beverages is that the impact of those gifts only lasts during the act of giving itself. The moment you give your employee that bottle of champagne, they’re very likely to feel sympathetic towards your company, and when you’re lucky, the employee will think about your company again when they finally open the bottle and enjoy the champagne. But… that’s it. The momentum is gone.
Enter company fashion. When you’re giving something to someone, you want to stretch that momentum to a maximum extent. By giving them a piece of clothing they’ll want to wear, you will be visible and tangible for a long period of time in their lives. On top of that, clothing caters to the basic needs of a human being, if that’s not a powerful gesture, we don’t know what is.
It doesn’t end there, though. Giving clothing to your key stakeholders has another very big advantage. In 2012 researchers Hajo Adam and Adam D. Galinsky discovered a phenomenon called ‘enclothed cognition’. Basically they discovered that what we wear has an impact on our behaviour and our sentiment. In fact, the choices we make when we choose our clothing, are enforced by actually wearing that clothing. That means that when we wear formal clothing for example, we’ll start acting more professional. By wearing sportswear, we’ll become more sporty. So, following that logic, everytime someone wears clothing from your brand, they’ll become a more loyal ambassador to your brand.