October 8, 2014
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One of the most vital components of experiential marketing is, of course, the Brand Ambassador team. Because Brand Ambassadors are hired for events to promote and represent the brand, it’s vital that they look the part. With that come the uniforms that they wear and their overall look, which, often, are an overlooked or downplayed aspect of event production and experiential marketing programming.
It’s super important for your Brand Ambassadors to have a great wardrobe and really get into character at the event they are activating. You can always play it safe and just go with the classic branded polo, but if you really want your brand to stand out then you should spice it up with uniforms that not only fit the brand, but also are on trend and match the specific event. Nowadays, more and more experiential marketing agencies are learning that consumers (especially millennials) are more willing to engage with Brand Ambassadors who look the part and have a relevant wardrobe at events.
From music festivals to conferences to in-store promotions, you want your event to have a Brand Ambassador team that is physically relatable and approachable. For example, festivalgoers at Bonnaroo Music Festival are known for their hippie-chic style, while roughing it on the campgrounds for 4 day. With PayPal sponsoring and activating at Bonnaroo this year, the PayPal Brand Ambassadors team at the event was outfitted with blue flowy dresses and grungy combat boots for the girls (and flower headbands of course), and chambray shirts & chino shorts with desert boots for the guys. The Brand Ambassador male and female uniforms not only complimented each other, but also went along with the overall festival vibe and were an important part of the experience at the event.
Conversely, when NJOY sponsored New York Fashion Week event in September 2013, female Brand Ambassadors were outfitted with sleek red skinny jeans, a black “pleather” looking top, high heeled sleek boots, and a statement gold necklace. Guys also had red pants and “pleather” looking sweaters to match the girls and stand out with the NJOY colors.
While picking out these uniforms for events and experiential marketing programming it can be a fun and creative process, there are a few bumps in the road that you might hit while choosing, ordering, and branding them. Here are some tips and tricks to make the uniform selection process run as smooth as possible to ensure you have the best outfitted Brand Ambassadors for your event!
1. Do your research – When you find that perfect look for your event, don’t think you’re in the clear quite yet! Before presenting uniform options to the client, make sure you have at least an approximation of the sizes and quantities you need to order for your Brand Ambassador team. You do NOT want the client approving something that is out of stock and won’t be able to get into production in time for the event.
2. Keep in mind all additional costs – Know your uniform budget for the event and keep in mind that the price of the outfit isn’t the final cost. You need to consider shipping costs and costs associated with getting the uniforms branded (embroidery, screenprinting, etc).
3. Sample, sample, sample – Before ordering bulk quantities of something you find online for your event and experiential programming, try to get your hands on one uniform to see the true quality of the item when possible. A white shirt might look fabulous online but in reality might be way too shear. A dress might look amazing on the model in the photo because it’s pinned back in all the right places, but might have an awkward fit on your Brand Ambassadors. When you do confirm the quality of your uniforms and you’re ready to send them off to get branded, make sure you get a sample from the embroiderer after they do their first run. You want to make sure the embroidery is the right size, color, and on the right part of the clothing before running the whole batch for the event! Same thing goes for screenprinting – screenprinting comes out different on different materials – so the same logo might look or feel completely different from one uniform to the next.
4. Order extra – keep in mind that sizes can vary and one girl might think she’s a size Medium but the shirt runs big so she’ll end up being a Small. You want to ensure you’ll have the right fit for everyone at the event. If an event runs for longer than 2-3 days, you’ll probably want to give out at least 2 uniforms per Brand Ambassador (also keep this in mind for tip #2 when you’re calculating costs!)
Do you have any event uniform nightmares, success stories, or additional tips? Share in the comments section below!