WILMINGTON, Mass. — Studies show that consumers view employees who wear uniforms as being more professional, organized and reliable than their nonuniformed counterparts — and that they regard companies with uniform programs as having workers who are properly trained to do the job right. These positive impressions mean uniforms ultimately have the ability to make a tangible impact on a company’s bottom line.
The attributes consumers associate with uniforms were underscored in a study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates® for the Uniform and Textile Service Association, titled The Customer Perceptions of Uniforms in the Workplace. The study definitively showed consumers overwhelmingly prefer to do business with companies whose employees wear uniforms.
“Generally speaking, it’s about business image,” explains Robert Isaacson, marketing director at UniFirst Corp., a leading provider of uniforms and work clothing throughout the United States and Canada. “And standing in the forefront of every company’s image are its employees and how they’re attired. If appropriately uniformed — with consistent-looking quality garments featuring identifiable color schemes, company logos and any other customization — customers typically view employees as able to do a more professional job and as taking greater pride in their work. Conversely, if employees appear to pay scant attention to their appearance, customers can begin to have doubts about the quality of products or services being offered.”
“The perceived link between employee uniforms and positive public impressions is what social scientists refer to as the ‘halo effect,’” Isaacson says. “It’s similar to the association people make when they interpret someone as being smarter because he or she wears eyeglasses or someone as having more redeemable qualities because of physical attractiveness."
What the “halo effect” ultimately translates into is a competitive edge for companies, Isaacson says. “By outfitting their employees in image-enhancing uniforms, companies differentiate themselves and are more able to attract the consumer's attention. It’s no wonder that the ever-growing numbers of companies with managed uniform programs seem to have an aura of success’ about them, while their bottom lines are improved by having a reputable provider manage their uniform programs.”