Eye On Apparel: Feel Valued, Create Value


The average American will spend more than 90,000 hours at work over the course of their lifetime, according to Business Insider. When considered in relation to an eight-hour workday, that’s equivalent to 11,250 days—or nearly 31 years. There’s no doubt that hardworking employees deserve to be shown they’re appreciated, right along with top clients. Companies can keep morale high on both sides, while ensuring their gratitude remains top of mind through premium gifting.

Companies can select from a near-endless product pool of premium gifts. Do you have a top-selling salesperson with a standout year that you’d like to recognize? An employee who started a new project and exceeded company expectations? Or a friend in the industry who donated his time to help you rebuild your business after a natural disaster? Showing these professionals your gratitude for the work they do, both in and out of the industry, can have long-lasting effects on your relationship with them and your team.

Knack, an ecommerce platform and bespoke gifting company, published its 2019-2020 Business Gifting Strategy Report, a survey of 1,049 individuals nationwide who had received a business gift from a partner or employer within the past year, 84 percent who were employed full time. The results revealed that 89 percent of CEOs believe corporate gifting brings people closer together; 77 percent of gift recipients feel more appreciated when they receive gifts; 67 percent of gift recipients feel that gifts indicate the giver values their relationship; and 40 percent of gift recipients feel more connected to the business, as well as an increased desire to work longer with the company.

Not only can you share your gratitude with employees, but with your clients as well. Sending a premium gift to your top three clients during the holiday season, for instance, is a way of saying thank you—and another way of strengthening your relationship beyond dollar signs. In turn, these clients may be more likely to recommend your services to others, further growing your customer base. Also, the more your employees and clients enjoy their premium apparel gift, the more likely they are to wear it over and over. If that gift is a winter jacket, for instance, they may bring along that jacket when hitting the slopes in Colorado on vacation, visiting Macy’s Santaland in New York City’s Herald Square, or simply when running errands, associating warm and wide-sweeping memories with your brand.

Premium apparel and wearables are not only appropriate for gift-giving occasions. They can also be provided as a way to ensure staff not only acts, but looks the part. According to Amy Cuddy, Harvard Business School psychologist, when consumers generate first impressions of a brand, they are mainly assessing the brand’s trustworthiness, in addition to their confidence in that individual, which make up 80-90 percent of first impressions. Working with a client who is opening a luxury hotel, boutique service, or in a customer-facing high-class hospitality capacity? Premium uniforms, such as suits, tuxedos and jackets, complemented by ties with flattering, eye-catching designs or logos, can significantly elevate their brand image. Premium corporate apparel can not only elevate first impressions, but create a stronger sense of cohesion, solid branding, workplace camaraderie and pride, and initiate yet another opportunity to stand apart from competition.

Distributor 4imprint conducted a study of some 150 marketing professionals, asking them how they felt about various marketing strategies intended to create strong first impressions about brands. The study revealed that 61 percent of markets, or six out of 10, believed that company uniforms were not only effective, but they helped consumers to better connect with the brand. Thirty-six percent of marketers believed that corporate uniforms are more impactful than radio advertising and outdoor advertising in influencing consumer behavior, and 53 percent said they are more likely to trust employees who are wearing uniforms, whether in the workplace or in public.

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Have a client in the construction industry looking for a top-notch gift for their high-performing foremen? The Cornerstone-Heavyweight Full-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt with Thermal Lining is durable, with a lining to keep workers warm and comfortable. The 12-ounce hoodie includes a three-panel hood with black drawcords and a heavy-duty metal zipper. Available in XS-6XL in athletic heather, black, navy and duck brown (shown).

SanMar  /  PPAI 110788  /  www.sanmar.com

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Stylish and appropriate for the transition between seasons, and for cooler summer nights, the Eddie Bauer Shirt Jac is midweight and water-resistant, made with 100-percent polyester fabric and fill. With an attractive, allover, quilted stitching detail, amenities include a snap-front closure and snap cuffs, with a drop-in left chest pocket and a contrast branded heat transfer logo on the right hem. Available in XS-4XL in black and charcoal grey heather (shown).

SanMar  /  PPAI 110788  /  www.sanmar.com

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Entirely customizable for an added splash of brand awareness, the 100% Polyester Digital Print Necktie can be presented as a personalized gift or to call attention to a campaign. The tie pictured here was created as part of a promotion for Bivona Child Advocacy Center, an organization providing child abuse response, healing and prevention through collaborative service, awareness, education and leadership. The tie is available with a custom-woven label at no additional charge.

Buffalo Bay  /  PPAI 111547  /  www.buffalobay.com

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For an accessory that’ll suit days on the golf course, game days spent watching favorite teams and excursions on exotic vacations, the Polo Chino Baseball Hat is a go-to. The cotton chino sport cap is not only timeless and fit to meet all occasions making it a perfect gift, but it’s constructed with superior quality and durability. Adorn the cap with a logo or message on the right-hand side for year-round brand attention. Available in one-size-fits-all in polo black, white and nubock (shown).

Vantage Apparel  /  PPAI 113235  /  www.vantageapparel.com

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A modern take on the windbreaker, the Bi-Swing Microfiber Windbreaker by Polo Ralph Lauren is made with durable microfiber for wind resistance and comfort. Keep employees, corporate partners or top clients warm, snug and sleek in a jacket that can be dressed up or worn with jeans for casual wear. Available in S-2XL in French navy, RL black or khaki uniform (shown).

Vantage Apparel  /  PPAI 113235  /  www.vantageapparel.com

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Looking to recognize an employee, but not sure about their taste? The Women’s North Beach Shacket is a casual and comfortable, work-inspired plaid shacket with an insulated, quilted design, perfect for walking on the breezy beach, hiking through the woods or hanging out at home. Details include large front snaps for securing small items and lined handwarmer pockets. Available in XS-2XL in earth green/navy and black/dolphin (shown).

Stormtech USA, Inc.  /  PPAI 260245  /   www.stormtech.ca

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Luxurious with an eco-friendly angle, the Eco Chunky Cable Poncho is a gift that’ll surely accompany recipients everywhere, from day-to-day affairs to vacation, and even in the office. Available in one-size-fits-all, the poncho is made in the USA from 75-percent recycled cotton and 25-percent polyester, which is also mostly recycled. Available in chambray, black, charcoal, hemp, milk and aluminum (shown).

In2Green  /  PPAI 748975  /  www.in2green.com

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An all-around accessory that’s sure to be a hit, especially if your clients’ products are American-made, the Eco American Flag Reversible Scarf is crafted using heavyweight, recycled yarn that is 75-percent recycled cotton and 25-percent polyester, which is also mostly recycled. Made in the USA, and thoroughly representing with its patriotic pattern, the unisex scarf is sized at 12 by 70 inches. Available in black/aluminum and slate/pomegranate (shown).

In2Green  /  PPAI 748975  /  www.in2green.com

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Perfect for adventure-seekers, frequent travelers and, simply, to make running errands just a tad more comfortable, the Champion Life Anorak Jacket is a versatile and lightweight garment that recipients will take wherever they go. The 100-percent nylon, pullover jacket is water- and wind-resistant, with a back storm flap with mesh lining for extra ventilation. A scuba hood and bungee drawcord keeps wearers covered and dry, along with elastic cuffs and hem with bungee cord. Snap-close front pockets and zip-close side pockets can conceal smaller valuables. Available in XS-3XL in venetian purple, groovy papaya, scarlet, tidal wave, sunny yellow, neon light, black, green myth and running waves (shown).

Hanes/Champion  /  PPAI 191138  /  www.haneslocator.com

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This sleek number is the perfect accessory to complete an elegant suit, whether worn for business, pleasure or celebrations. The 100% Silk Woven Necktie shown here was created as part of a uniform program for Presidential Aviation, a jet charter, jet management and aircraft sales firm. Each tie has a custom-woven label, available at no cost.

Buffalo Bay  /  PPAI 111547  /  www.buffalobay.com

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For sleek attire that creates the look of high-class service, the Collarless Dress is a fully-lined dress with a rounded neckline, back-zipper closure and front-and-back princess seams, starting at the bust, for a fabulous fit. Available in sizes 0-28 in charcoal, grey, navy, brown and black (shown).

High Performance Uniforms  /  PPAI 353589  /   www.highperformanceuniforms.com

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For the ultimate luxe look and top-notch impressions, the Female Tuxedo Jacket adds some oomph to any customer experience. With a corresponding men’s style, the tuxedo has a sophisticated cut with a single-button front and peak lapel styling, satin lapels and satin welt pockets, with a single back vent. Available in women’s sizes 0-28 in brown, grey, charcoal, navy and black (shown).

High Performance Uniforms   /   PPAI 353589   /  www.highperformanceuniforms.com

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Say thank-you to employees or clients with a custom tie. Select from one of four template layouts for a design that’s truly one of a kind. Opt to have the ties packaged in their own special boxes for an attractive—and memorable—presentation.

 

RTF Accessories  /  PPAI 545823  /  www.rtfabrics.com

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Scarves are perennial accessories that’ll get their worth of wear—and what better way to recognize employees than with an attractive fashion scarf? Fully customizable, the scarves can be decorated or sold blank, and colors can be specified. Choose your client’s company colors for a touch of team spirit or opt for a fun color theme that’s modeled after the time of year (i.e. black and orange for October).

  

RTF Accessories  /  PPAI 545823  /  www.rtfabrics.com

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Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.

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