Dressing the Part
The hotel and travel travel market is full of opportunities for the enterprising distributor. Decorated toiletries, custom room amenities, gift shop gear, the options are nearly endless. Some of them are easy sales, some are difficult-but-lucrative, and others … maybe a little overlooked?
Take uniform sales for example. Is it possible they're not getting the attention they deserve? A bit like forms or direct mail, uniform sales are sometimes pushed off to the side because, either to the distributor or the client, it doesn't seem like something a promotional marketer is supposed to sell. People get stuck in the quasi-logical idea of, "Well, I just get my uniforms from my boring mass-market uniform wholesaler because uniforms are a boring mass-market utility. That's how everyone else does it, so why should I be any different?" But that's craziness, right?
Why should uniforms be a boring, cookie-cutter commodity? Properly executed, a uniform program can be a critical part of an institution's branding, especially in the hotels and resorts market where venue appearance is such a core piece of the product. Plus, you likely already have a ton of knowledge than easily helps you close the sale. You know your decoration techniques up and down, you know how to size (probably with your eyes closed), and you have roughly 14 spreadsheets of viable apparel supplier contacts. All that's left to do is brush up a bit on the market and the nature of uniforms (say with a list of six quick and handy tips), and you'll be ready to re-uniform the world into a brighter (and more promotionally profitable) tomorrow.
1. YOUNG IS IN
"The trend Edwards is seeing in hotel/resort uniforms is a makeover that aims to project a younger, modern, vibrant and more sophisticated resort associate," said Taraynn Lloyd, director of marketing for Edwards Garment, Kalamazoo, Mich. She explained, however, that such youthful styles should still fit in with the overall theme and formality of the property.
2. BET ON BLACK
"Uniform selections for hotel and resorts tend to be property specific and based on the overall theme or atmosphere of the property," said Gina Barreca, director of marketing for Vantage Apparel, Avenel, N.J. "If there's one common thread, we see a lot of black," she added.