How employee appearances communicate a brand

Feb. 24, 2021

  • Temple University Logo
  • Lu Lu
  • Temple University Logo

Hospitality managers rely on frontline employees to serve as visual representations of the brand, which involves management of how they look and act. These efforts have been shown to boost employee morale and help consumers distinguish between brands. A team of researchers including Laurie Wu, Ceridwyn King and Lu Lu also found that this aesthetic management can serve as an effective and influential tool when communicating with customers and potential employees. 

For example, Delta Airlines’ employees updated their uniforms from the classic red and blue to a plum to reflect the brand’s direction of merging its heritage with its future. This change was positively received by passengers and employees alike. Meanwhile, potential employees for a casual fast-food chain may be confused and put off by managers expecting formal customer service. When visual cues seem to match how the brand presents itself, stakeholders like customers and potential employees view the brand more favorably.