How to Ruin a Brand with Dress Down Fridays



Are we still doing dress down Fridays?

A few years back, I went into the  bank on Friday and it was clearly dress down day. The people in the bank were in tennis shoes, baggy jeans, too tight tees and my teller actually had on a wife beater with red skull and cross bones. The guy sitting at the loan desk had on a suit but the rest of them look like they just came in from a picnic.

I don’t bank at that bank, thats a story for another day, however I wonder what this is doing to their brand. What are they trying to say with the dress down Friday? Why do they have it? If you are dealing with my money, I want you to look like you deal with money. I think it is not good brand management. Since you have one day a week where you are relaxed, are you relaxed about my money too?

I’m wondering, are we still doing Dress Down Fridays? If so, go ahead and leave a comment about what works and what doesn’t.

Of course, that’s why I love Gwynnie Bee, no worries about how I look!


7 Responses to “How to Ruin a Brand with Dress Down Fridays”
  1. melindawarren1 says:

    I agree. There is dress down day and than there is let’s look like we all came from a trailer park day. It really does my the company look low class. I would question doing business there.

  2. D. K. Sutton says:

    As you both have pointed out, a brand is more than just a logo, tagline or series of television commercials. It is a bundle of emotions that one experiences when they interact with a brand. In essence, it is a promise of what a customer can expect when they interact with the brand. That interaction can take place at many levels. Yes, that includes a physical location.

    The question, however, is what does the brand represent in the first place? If Wells Fargo is attempting to brand itself as a non-traditional bank with a casual working environment, then the dress code probably makes sense. But, if the brand message is not clear, as it appears to be, at best it is a mixed message and at worst they are ruining the brand. Still, it is extremely difficult to ruin something that does not exist. After all, I doubt anyone at the bank can tell you what the Wells Fargo brand really represents.

    D.K. Sutton

  3. Darlene says:

    I agree that dress down friday is a very good thing, however I believe that dressing like if you are going to a club or hanging out should not be acceptable. Jeans are a good thing but with a casual shoe not sneakers!!!!! Jeans can look good in many professional ways….lets be real who will actually go to a professional setting looking like they came off the street…..!!!!????!!! I know I would not want to work in a place that will tolerate such a dress code.

  4. Rob Lewis says:

    Now, I am all for casual dress. I am a self-proclaimed t-shirt and jeans guy, but if I were to go into a bank and see this it would horrify me. Imagine you are the president of a large (50M plus) corporation going to make a financial transaction and you see this? Dress down should be nothing less than nice jeans or khakis and a polo shirt you would wear golfing with a buddy (I don’t know enough about women’s wear to comment on what they should wear). A wife beater? Seriously. I hope Wells Fargo realizes this could be a huge mistake because that would be enough to keep me with ONLINE banking. Great post!

  5. I’ve never understood the need for Casual Friday, except maybe in elementary school as a break from wearing the uniforms all week. (But wait, I wasn’t that fond of it when my kids were in Montessori School.)

    What concerns me more is the daily lack of dress code in so many places. On my college campus it was sometimes difficult to differentiate the teachers from the students based on dress. Shorts and jeans seem appropriate for taking your class on a hike or field trip to the wastelands, but while lecturing in class–Not!

    Call me old fashioned, but the way you dress is part of the first impression. When handling money, as in your example, or engaged in other traditional endeavors where you must interact with the customer, professional dress is always right.

  6. Mitch says:

    I like the concept of dress down Fridays, but only for those people who have no contact with the customers. Clearly Wells Fargo messed that one up. My local bank also has dress down Friday, but every employee is wearing a T-shirt wit the bank’s name on it, and that protects their brand and makes sure people aren’t taking chances of wearing something inappropriate.

  7. There must be better ways to get the message of freedom and create a happy and positive atmosphere in the workplace rather than dress down days.

    For a business like Wells Fargo you would think that they would try to do something different… something unique and fun to make them stand out. Get creative people.

    There is no doubt in my mind that dress down Fridays at Wells Fargo would tarnish their brand. Especially when Fridays are probably the second highest traffic day or the highest traffic day for their business. When I’m doing banking I want someone who looks clean and crisp just like the dollar bills they hand me.

    When people walk out the door on dress down Fridays they’re not going to be talking about the great service even if it was great… they’re going to be talking about that skull and cross bones shirt that the crazy dude was wearing. Not GOOD!

    Scott Tousignant

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