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You Are the Image of Your Company

Vu Chung

On December 15, 2010, The Wall Street Journal’s Elena Berton reported that Swiss bank UBS AG issued a 44-page dress code handbook to its retail banking employees as a strategy to help rebuild confidence in the company’s brand and strengthen confidence among its customers. The detailed handbook provides advice on how to dress to impress, ranging from preferred suit colors and makeup tips to eating habit, and perfume application methods.

Ron Morgan, 

The news about this detailed dress code became a media sensation overnight. The company was ridiculed by those who considered the guidelines to be micromanaging. For this reason, UBS decided to revise the guidebook to make it less detailed, but still carry the message of “dress to impress” as reported again by The Wall Street Journal. The revised guidelines will continue to be tested in Switzerland at five pilot branches through April. Once concluded, the company’s plan is to implement the code at 300 Swiss branches.

This is old news, but worth rehashing because presentation is important in everything we do no matter what industry we’re in. I can support UBS’s decision to impose a strict dress code in an effort to showcase the unity of its culture. I think it is a very good idea to establish a dress code to reinforce the company’s image, which extends beyond the logo and the quality of its products and services. Its employees embody a company’s brand, particularly in the case of a service-based business. A refined, consistent dress code reflects and reinforces the confidence and quality behind a firm’s products and services.

In general, UBS’s dress code guidance is applicable to anyone in any industry. It is a useful handbook and the timing of it cannot be better. With hundreds of thousands of people still unemployed, a page from this handbook can potentially help a candidate’s chance at obtaining that last job opening.

I would love to get my hands on this handbook. Wouldn't you? CJP

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