Logoed T-Shirts as Uniform Promote the Brand, Foster Sense of Crew Unity for Leading Petroleum Shipper AET
Challenge: To use branded t-shirts to cost-effectively uniform employees and promote a young brand.
Consider: your job is to decide between two groups of people that, in many ways, are identical—each has a similar proportion of men and women holding similar educational backgrounds, similar skill sets and even similar roles. Yet while the first group from one company looks like a ragtag mix—some are wearing t-shirts declaring the marketing prowess of various unrelated brands, some button-down shirts, others sleeveless—the second group from another firm appears compellingly cohesive, crisp and sharp, with each member wearing identical, firm-branded apparel. All else being equal, which group would you choose?
Rhetoric aside, behind this scenario is a key reason for AET’s recent acquisition of quality, logoed t-shirts for its seafaring workers along the Gulf coast. AET, a leading worldwide petroleum shipping company, employs more than 3,000 highly skilled and dedicated people across the world to operate its fleet of 74 tankers. The firm also employs a well-trained seafaring staff for its Galveston-based lightering operations, a highly technical affair by which oil cargo from large ships at sea is moved to smaller vessels more suited to enter destination ports. AET proudly commands the largest share of the U.S. Gulf lightering market and enjoys the best on-time performance of any U.S. Gulf operator.
Although backed by a rich, deep seafaring history, AET is a relatively new brand: the firm formerly known as American Eagle Tankers was formed in the early 90s and soon after acquired by Malaysian International Shipping Corporation, which recently brought its diverse, global operations together under the AET brand. To promote its still-young brand and foster a sense of pride and community among its lightering crew, the AET team connected with ePromos Promotional Products Inc., in search of the perfect workman attire. While AET seafarers do own branded uniforms suitable for special occasions, the team wanted to give each employee two or three work shirts cost-effective and sturdy enough to withstand the rough and tumble and grit and grime of everyday use.
Solution: Logoed t-shirts by Gildan in cool ultra-cotton to outfit crew.
Because the team wanted a specific blue color in a cool cotton for workers in high temperature environments, ePromos searched beyond the shirts available on ePromos’ extensive Web catalog, tapping our supplier network for ideas and samples, which we then forwarded by mail to the AET team. After touching and seeing various samples, the team ultimately chose the Gildan Adult Ultra Cotton T-shirt, color blue.
Result: High-quality, branded shirts please corporate, crew and customers.
Both the team and the AET crew love the branded t-shirts, remarking on their quality, feel and overall good look. The team is happy that the new brand is “out there,” creating a visual bond and sense of “togetherness” among the crew and to the customers they do business with. And because the branded shirts are common issue for all new lightening crew, the sense of unity will continue well into the future.
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