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Posted on: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Logo-wear And Its Importance.

During its glorious days; Multiplitaxion Inc; was giving out amazing logo-wear --- T-shirts; pens; mugs; watches; clocks and toys. As an organization it was interestingly  popular when it came to free logo-wear given out to employees.

Irrespective of who you were; if you worked at Multiplitaxion Inc; there was always enough logo-wear going around and you could grab some too.

Then as we 'grew' in terms of team-sizes and number of employees; something funny happened.

The concept of giving out logo-wear stopped all-together. All of a sudden you could not get any logo-wear --- even if you wanted to buy it.

All logo-wear just disappeared out of the organization.

Not many missed the logo-wear though. Interestingly; however; the few who missed these logo-wear items had one thing in common. They were genuine builders deeply connected to the organization and their projects.

Every single one of them.

The incident was an interesting insight into what alpha-geeks and genuine builders expect out of their organization when it comes to logo-wear and toys.

There Is Something About Logo-Wear.

The whole-logo-wear-not-being-available-within-the-organization-incident happened slowly; but even months after the culture of giving logo-wear had completely stopped; every now and then some of us would talk about the good old days when there was always some logo-wear with cool slogans and wordings on it. 

The cost of these swags in terms of monetary value --- peanuts.

Yet there was something about cool company T-Shirts and logo-wear that was causing the genuine builders to go bonkers and drool over cool logo-wear.

Why?

Because having amazing logo-wear which you can, carry, wear or use says a lot of about the organization that gives it out.

Logo-Wear Reflects Your Organization's Personality.

Remember the famous 'Ninety Hours A Week And Loving It' T-shirt worn by the Macintosh team? All the controversy around that T-shirt apart; the T-shirt was a reflection of Steve Jobs passion towards build amazing software.

Amazing; wild; funny; crazy or down-right-hilarious; the logo-wear your organization gives out; to a large extent; is a reflection of your organizations attitude and personality.

If you organization has no  logo-wear; it has no personality.

Logo-Wear Allows Builders To Be Loud.

As developers we are much more comfortable talking to the compiler than we are comfortable talking to human beings. We are usually not very loud when it comes to marketing ourselves or our organizations.

Go compare the number of posts on Power-shell that are out there and with the number of posts where developers are talking about how much they love their current organization. If you have done your Google searches correctly chances are --- you will find that not a whole lot of developers are talking about how much they like their current organization.

There are three reasons why the post count of how much developers like their current organization is so low:

  1. Most developers do not like their current organizations and are either tagging along as a 501 programmer or looping in the infinite loop of failure.
  2. The ones who genuinely love their organization would rather talk about the work that they are doing in their organization.
  3. As programmers we are usually not very loud of vocal when it comes to complaining or talking highly about the organizations we work for.

While you cannot address the first point by giving out logo-wear; it does help programmers and builders who are quite for the second or third reason to go out there and spread the word about their organization.

A Natural Extension Of Being In A Vibrant Tribe And Flaunting It.

More often than not; Tribes work by exclusion. If everyone can be a part of it; your tribe probably isn't interesting enough to join in the first place. You have built a remarkable work and play environment --- now it is time to give your builders a chance to flaunt the fact that they belong to rare tribe through remarkable logo-wear that grabs attention and makes non tribe members go wow.

If you genuinely believe your organization picks the best of the best; allow the best you have picked to flaunt the fact that they belong to a rather rare tribe.

Logo-wear is a natural extension of being in a vibrant tribe; being able to flaunt the fact that you belong to such a tribe; and use 'exclusion' to spread the word about your tribe or organization's personality so that you can nudge other smart builders to join the tribe too.

Logo-Wear Is Fun.

If all the above reasons do not make sense to you --- this one should.

Everything about Logo-wear is fun.

Designing it; getting it; wearing or using it; giving it out to your team members; all of it is fun. If you organization does not have logo-wear you might be missing out on a whole lot of this fun.

Most genuine software developers out there; are in it; for fun. Most genuine builders notice little things and small things like your business card or logo-wear can have long lasting impacts on your overall organizational environment.

If You Cannot Give It Out The Least You Can Do Is Sell It.

Early on in my career I spent some time in the Microsoft campus. One of the things that I liked about my stay there was that there was quite a bit of free-logo-wear and toys that we received. Apart from that the premise had a special store which sold logo-wear at discounted rate if you wanted to buy more logo-wear than what you were given for free.

At the end of the day; your employees are doing you a favor by wearing your logo-wear and spreading the word about your organization around. If they are genuinely connected to your organization they might even go out there and buy the logo-wear; the least you can do --- is make it available to them when they want to buy it.

The more I look at organizations out there; the more I continue to be amazed by the number of organization that do not even have a decent logo-wear based T-shirt. Quite a few organizations actually have pretty amazing logo-wear but you get some once a year and there is no way for you to get or buy more.

Not having logo-wear or not making is readily accessible to your employees shouts out loud that your organization lacks the passion; the commitment and the zeal to form tribes of truly connected employees.

Remember; logo-wear will not take a screwed up environment and fix it.

They are much like an icing on the cake that is already well baked and delicious. Having said that; I am yet to meet one builder who does not like this icing on the cake of his professional life.

Now go print some T-shirts.

Go figure out how you will make them accessible to your employees or team.

Does Your Organization have Logo-wear you feel good about using?

Does Your Organization give or sell the logo-wear and make the logo-ware readily accessible to you when you need it?

How strongly do you feel about logo-wear and it's impact on how the employees feel about the organization in general; dear reader?

Discuss.

Note: This article is a part of a Work In Progress Book. To Read connected articles read the Builders At Work category of this blog.