Give your team free merch? Yes! Employee Merchandise Subsidies Provide Real Benefits


Nurse Next Door (NND) is a service based business, providing exceptional senior home care with caregivers who are matched to the Mom’s, Dad’s and Grandparents in our communities.   I had a chat with Travis Tinning, an NND Franchise Partner in Calgary who manages over 200+ caregivers, about their choice to subsidize the price of their branded clothing and products.

As a new employee in Calgary, you receive a free branded T-Shirt and nametag. There’s no mandatory uniform (although there are guidelines as to what is appropriate.)  So, introducing the opportunity to employees to buy optional NND branded product was a shot in the dark.

NND Calgary Crew

Travis Tanning & the crew showing off their new duds (and huge personalities!)

With the webstore strategy ready to launch, Travis and his team had to come up with a pricing model to sell their branded merchandise.  After going through several options, they finally settled on one.

Give the employees a discount on everything.  And make it a big one! 50% off any of the NND branded products.   That includes clothing, bags and other promotional items.

“At the beginning” said Travis, “we really didn’t know how successful or how popular the discount would be for people or even if people would WANT to wear company branded merchandise!”

There was uncertainty at the start.  But fast forward 6 months and there have been hundreds of orders made since the program began for non-mandatory products – vests, caps, and blankets to name a few. The Calgary caregivers and staff have shown a lot of enthusiasm in utilizing this benefit to the fullest.

“The program has been quite successful!” said Travis. “Our Calgary employees are really into it and are actually seeing it as a benefit to working for Nurse Next Door.”

One of the reasons for the success has been because of the variety of unique, quality products that are available.   “Our branding looks good and the product ideas Patterson Brands puts forward are desirable to the general public. Our caregivers want to wear the merchandise in their everyday lives because it’s nice stuff,” Travis says.

Some of the major corporate level benefits to this subsidized pricing model?

More Calgary NND crew.

Employee retention.  The caregiving industry has its challenges with ensuring their employees stay for the long haul.  Travis said, “It’s a small part of our employee retention strategy but it’s proven to be an effective one.”

Marketing and Brand recognition: Travis is so impressed with how the employees have embraced this benefit.  “Our employees are wearing our merchandise out and about in their daily lives. With the sizable staff we have and the success of the program, it really helps our branding and marketing efforts from a community perspective.”

Company Loyalty: “We see this sense of belonging to the Calgary NND team which we didn’t expect,” Travis explained.

Subsidized pricing of employee merchandise is the way to go, and NND has no regrets.

The freedom to choose is a significant value that Travis doesn’t take for granted. “Our employees are choosing to wear and purchase our branded merchandise.  We are not making them buy anything. And so, we are pleasantly surprised at how successful this program has proven to be.”

We love a success story and are thrilled we have a part to play in it!

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