Corporate logo apparel is a given in almost every business. "Corporate logo apparel" is a familiar term for most marketers and business owners, but how do brands utilize company clothing? Here are some of the most common reasons companies order corporate apparel:
- Trade show attire
- Employee and/or client gifts
- Employee uniforms
- Generating brand exposure: According to ASI, 85% of consumers remember an advertiser from clothing, giving apparel the highest promotional recall rate.
As you can see, there’s a lot riding on a brand’s corporate wear – from first impressions with clients to delighting employees with clothing they’ll actually like.
Take a moment to reflect: what jumps to your mind when you think of clothing for your company? If it's the same polo shirts that you've been ordering for years, it's probably time for a change. Before ordering your company’s corporate gear, consider these 3 corporate logo apparel trends that are defining company clothing promotions in 2017.
Trend #1: Focusing on lifestyle
The intentions behind corporate logo apparel are changing. Gone are the days where employees only wear their company apparel to work and change out of them as soon as they get home. It’s time to start ordering apparel that employees and clients actually want to wear outside of the workplace.
We can counteract boring brand apparel by focusing on clothing items that fit into your recipient’s lifestyle. Instead of giving employees stark formal attire, brands are experimenting with lifestyle clothing items like hoodies and sweatshirts, something that employees will value wearing in their daily lives. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying traditional corporate apparel is obsolete. My recommendation is to comprise your company logo apparel collection of traditional business wear along with lifestyle clothing items.
Trend #2: Strategy behind decorating techniques
Determining your logo apparel’s design has never been as easy as slapping your logo on a t-shirt, but 2017 is seeing a focus on new and exciting decorating techniques. For instance, you can make a promotional t-shirt seem like so much more than a t-shirt with a design strategy. Instead of just a logo, more and more brands are executing design strategies that incorporate a cool graphic or pattern. Some key decorating techniques that have huge potential for corporate logo apparel are:
- Private Labels
Private label clothing refers to a clothing item or line that is completely custom to a brand. The brand has the final say when it comes to design, materials, decoration, and imprinting. Companies choose private labels to make their corporate logo apparel completely their own.
Because private label clothing items are completely unique to a brand, the primary product identifier, or the neck label, will display only your company information – not the clothing manufacturer’s brand. This method of decoration is so impactful because it involves giving employees and clients a clothing item that comes directly from your brand. Well-thought out clothing items like these help to establish a personal connection with the recipient.
- Custom Pockets
Aligning with private labels, custom pockets are yet another decoration technique that customizes a clothing item completely to your brand. Custom pockets are a fun way to add a little flair to your clothing design.
The design options for custom pockets depend on how creative you want to be. You can choose a single color pocket, a matching color pocket to blend with the rest of the shirt, or a funky printed pattern. The choice is yours!
- Dye Sublimation
Dye sublimation is a method of printing designs and logos on corporate logo apparel. This method is ideal for printing on lifestyle clothing items, like hoodies, because it allows you to print over the zipper. Essentially, dye sublimation opens up a world of design options for apparel. Regular screen printing, which is most commonly used for logo apparel items, does not allow for complex printing locations as dye sublimation.
We’re seeing this shift in printing methods due to the popularity of custom designs on lifestyle-type apparel. Dye sublimation allows for unique, custom designs to be printed that make for a personalized clothing item. Brands can leverage this trend by creating unique apparel that recipients will treat as an everyday item.
Trend #3: Retail-inspired designs
Company t-shirts are often just that - company t-shirts. There's nothing special or unique about them; it's just a regular old t-shirt with your company's logo front and center. Recipients aren't likely to wear them out of the office, much less make the t-shirt a part of their regular wardrobe. Do you see the disconnect? Companies want to promote their brand, but aren't giving out apparel that reflects their audience's style and interests.
In order to make their corporate apparel desirable to their target audiences, companies are implementing design strategies inspired by retail brands. One brand that has nailed this strategy is Burton Snowboards.
I know what you're thinking - Where are the prominent logos? Isn't corporate logo apparel supposed to promote your brand?
A retail-inspired design trend that many brands are utilizing are logo patches, shown on the hat, mittens, and jacket above. This requires downsizing your logo to fit on a compact patch, which makes recipient more likely to wear the clothing item. This way, your recipient doesn't feel like a walking advertisement for your brand, and they get a high-quality clothing item that they'll wear again and again.
If I could sum up these three trends into one common theme, it would be to cater to the recipient. I know that sounds funny considering we're talking about corporate logo apparel, a collection of clothing that is supposed to represent your brand. However, your logo on corporate apparel won't ever see the light of day unless your recipient actually wants to wear it. By considering these trends the next time you order company apparel, you are sure to craft clothing items that effectively represent your brand while being enjoyed by the recipient.