Uncommon Threads is a chef apparel manufacturing company. They came to us in 2007 looking for a way to properly showcase the quality and high value of their uniforms to distributors who perceived their apparel as cheap and unstylish. With the new brand launch sales increased by 70% and they quickly became the leading manufacturing company in their niche. We helped them maintain that position during the 12 years we shepherded the brand by keeping it on strategy, in-tune with food industry trends and interesting to both uniform buyers and distributors alike.
Creative Director + Lead Designer
Brand Line Extensions
Full Line B2B Catalogs
Initially the challenge was how might we change existing attitudes and communicate the quality, craftmanship and value of Uncommon Threads chef apparel to distributors? Once established as industry leaders the challenge shifted to how might we keep Uncommon Threads at the forefront and distributors engaged so they continued to recommend Uncommon Threads’ uniforms — while showcasing an ever-growing product line.
We learned in the B2B Uniform industry distributors and buyers work on an annual calendar. So nearly all uniform manufacturers delivered their full line materials at the same time and many tried to copy what the “big guys” were doing causing more sameness. Uncommon Threads was suffering from cliché messaging and visuals causing them to appear low quality, their highly competitive price point reinforcing that perception. There was little distinction between how each of their 50+ chef coats were being offered causing distributors to miss details Chefs are very interested in. Uncommon Threads was not communicating their purpose, something the owner spoke of constantly, but appeared nowhere in any of their materials.
We rebranded Uncommon Threads and focused on their purpose: to create classically stylish chef apparel, with innovative product features out of their custom fabrics, and the unbeatable value of buying directly from a manufacturer. By narrating a visual story throughout all Uncommon Threads’ marketing and giving every chef coat a personality we drew in buyers broadening product sales. The first in the industry to work with fashion photographers and style chef apparel on lifestyle or street cast models in on-trend interesting food locations but not kitchens, to better resonate with their primary customer, distributors. By creating a new story line in a new location every couple of years, we reinforced Uncommon Threads chef apparel as national, fashionable, well-made and high value. Constantly building on the intrigue of what would be offered next. Uncommon Threads grew their product line along with their success. The first catalog 8000 pieces and 72 pages, growing to 50,000 - 168 page catalog companion piece to the B2B website designed and launched as a distributor selling tool.