Corporate Apparel Lightens Up
Corporate culture is a fascinating thing. It changes from company to company, even department to department. In the wake of the worst employment downturn since the great depression, it has never been more important to build a strong corporate culture, one that unifies and creates team spirit. If there is a channel of the promotional products industry that is super-strong at building camaraderie and team spirit, it is branded corporate apparel. With more companies incorporating fitness into their corporate culture, relaxing dress codes to be more casual and sporty, creating a corporate apparel campaign can be a lot of fun for everyone, from the distributor to the end-user.
Kate Souza, public relations specialist, Charles River Apparel, Sharon, Mass., explained how this new trend is impacting corporate apparel sales. "We have seen a huge surge in requests for wellness and fitness items for corporate programs. Everything from wicking tees to yoga-styled apparel has been recent hot items," she noted. This uptick in fitness apparel is not just for sports teams, it is for all kinds of corporations, from finance and banking, to pharmaceutical and real estate. "We're seeing a demand for performance fabrics in corporate apparel, not just for team markets," she said.
Below are some of Souza's tips and tricks to create a fit and healthy corporate campaign and tap into a side of the corporate apparel arena that you may have never thought of.
A New Conversation
It doesn't always have to be about professional dress attire.
"If distributors aren't talking to their clients about what they are doing to encourage their employees to be more fit, then they are really missing out on a great opportunity. It's important to ask clients about wellness/fitness programs that their companies are involved with and how they may be able to outfit them."
What Color to Offer
While black is still hot, reflective rules.
"The hottest color trend right now is high-visibility or neon. These bright colors are everywhere from fashion runways to home interiors, paper products to cosmetics, jewelry to activewear and outerwear. These fun, bright colors are attention-grabbers and tend to attract people of all ages."
For The Boys
Keep it flexible.
"Many of our men's styles feature a raglan sleeve design for wider range of motion and a sporty contrast color-blocked design."
For The Girls
Make them look great even in the gym.
"Women's fitness styles feature fitted stylings for a flattering sleek appearance and a dropped tail hem for added coverage. No one wants to look sloppy even when they're working out."
Don't Forget to Include Upgrades
Fabric technology is amazing and there are a lot of upgrades you can offer your client.
"Within the wellness/fitness arena, we've focused on anti-microbial and wicking components—both of which are great features to have when selling to the corporate market. We use a TopShield moisture management treatment which wicks moisture away from your body, leaving you feeling comfortable and dry. Some of our garments also feature an anti-microbial treatment that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria."