About 2 years ago, I took on a stretch assignment at work to overhaul our online company store. It needed a fresh look and a little love and attention. We created a system-wide multi-discipline team to complete an RFP for a new site vendor and created a refreshed online presence. We also created a physical store site at one of our buildings, housing a large number of our contact centers and an education center. This allowed employees and others to shop for company gear and swag without having to pay to ship and getting to take it home right away.

As you are reading, you are probably thinking “who cares”? I get that question a lot. The answer is community. Take a moment and think about the Olympic Games when all the individual countries paraded out in matching uniforms. It was incredibly powerful and created a great deal of pride for many. There is a sense of belonging. A “that’s my team” type of feeling. Wearing your company logo creates a similar experience. Pride in your organization and what it represents (for me a non-profit organization that gives back to the communities in which it serves every year through school based clinics and other services). I remember hearing at one point that the most important representatives of every company are their employees. They are out in the community, working out, shopping, walking the dog etc.… Why not give them the opportunity to showcase their pride for their company while doing everyday things?

Your logo is also an ambassador of your product and your organization. Many people wear the gear just for work. It creates a “we belong” team-spirit. I have seen it within my own team, taking pictures of themselves as a team all wearing similar shirts with big smiles on their faces. At the end of the day, it is also the type of advertising that you can’t get anywhere else from people who can speak to it with knowledge. I get this a lot when I wear company gear. People always want to tell me about their physician or other health care experiences that they have. They are finding common ground with the company by sharing and making themselves part of “our” community by interacting with a representative of the brand. Imagine what your company’s marketing and PR departments pay to create this kind of dialogue about their company in the community with ads, billboards, radio spots, etc. This is not only free advertising but it can create goodwill in the neighborhoods in which your organization services.

Cippy Seidler is an enthusiastic leader focused on providing a high-level customer experience through employee engagement and a commitment to excellence. In the span of 28 years, Cippy has served in leadership positions with retail organizations such as Liz Claiborne, Allen-Edmonds, and Zayre with a specialized focus on front-end customer engagement and retention, and employee training and sales development. Currently a Director of Call Centers with Banner Health, one of the largest, nonprofit health care systems in the country, she is responsible for driving performance across multiple service lines.