National Clothesline
National Clothesline
Showing pride with presentation
Packaging can be a deceiving thing. Smoke and mirrors, really, diverting a customer’s attention away from an inferior product to flash and finesse.
Still, I can remember talking to a tailor’s wife in Bristol, RI, around 25 years ago. She and her husband, “John the Tailor,” owned a business by the same name. I remember she showed me a sweater that my father had drycleaned. She had enhanced the presentation of the garment by folding it and putting it in a bag.
I remember that the sweater had a monogram emblazoned on it and she had that centered proudly. I know that you’re probably thinking that “Oh wow, a sweater bag! Big deal!” Except that sweater bags hadn’t been invented yet.
I recall telling my father about that. He wasn’t too impressed. He, in effect, said that packaging was {a load of crap} and that you really had to do a good job to impress customers.
I half-agreed with him. Presenting your product with pride is a great thing to do! It makes a customer feel like you care about their garments! Do that right and the rest is easy!
I visited a client that I work with on a monthly basis recently. They do a quality shirt, efficiently, quickly and lots of them.
I was taken aback when one of the first problems brought to me was that they were getting many complaints about shirts. I was quite familiar with the pressers and their dedication as well as the equipment. I regularly witnessed great shirts and great productivity.
How could a customer see something different?
I went to a place where many managers never go — the storage racks where completed orders of shirts and drycleaning await shipment to satellite stores and home delivery customers. I opened up bags of shirts and, frankly, I could see why customers were dissatisfied. The shirts looked awful!
Look at Picture 1. This is the first shirt that I looked at. There is no pride in craftsmanship here. Any customer, even one with low expectations, would easily and quickly conclude that his shirts were merely pressed and tossed in a bag.
Customers won’t be intimate with the term “bang and hang,” but they will conjure up a euphemism. Truth be told, you could look at this shirt quite carefully and you would be hard-pressed to find a single “pressing” flaw, but the shirt doesn’t look right.
Could packaging have ruined the appearance of a nice shirt?
Well, not exactly. Look at Photo 2. I took this picture less than 60 seconds after the previous one. Is it all about packaging? No. It’s all about presentation. Pride in your products. There’s more as the other two photos show.
So the lesson is simple. You can buy all sorts of packaging supplies to make your product more presentable to your customers, but it still needs to be managed. The application of these products still need to be outlined and supervised. Absent that, you will be dressing a pig in a cheap tuxedo.
“If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got!”
Don Desrosiers has been in the drycleaning and shirt laundering