5. Give It Some Gas
"The market that we see going real well is anything petroleum-related—oil, gas, drilling," explained Haws. "There are pockets around the country that are booming right now because of drilling or exploration, and that seems to be a good market for workwear items."
6. Try Nontraditional
With the economic downturn resulting in reduced marketing budgets in "classic" safety markets like trucking and construction, Anderson urged distributors to explore nontraditional alternatives. "Think outside the office staff—many companies and markets have warehouse and production staff that would benefit from rugged apparel," she said.
Anderson described a promotion where an electrical contractor wanted to run an annual incentive program to encourage good safety habits among employees. In the program, workers would accrue points throughout the year that could be redeemed for various awards. "Lower points will get tees and promotional accessories, while larger points accrued will get top-of-the-line merchandise such as waterproof softshell jackets," she said. "We produce custom flyers for each award level and these are posted in the office so everyone can see what they are working towards."
8. Use a Uniform Program
Many companies rent or lease workwear from laundry programs, but Haws explained that some companies are beginning to purchase jackets and other workwear items outright as a cost-saving measure. For suppliers, these informal uniform programs can result in residual orders.
"Once a company gets into a uniform program, they continue to order as new people enter the company," said Haws. "They need another jacket, they need four pairs of pants, they need two shirts and a jacket—once that relationship gets started with a program, that residual revolving door works well with a workwear program."