Lands' End Features 'Model Employees'

May 16, 2002

Jeff, a senior systems developer, looks dapper in denim on page 28. Senior employment specialist Renee sports a fine gauge cardigan on page 39. On page 13, John in public affairs models Peruvian Pima.

They’re just a few of the "model employees" featured in the most recent Lands’ End Business Outfitters catalog. Since its inception, the catalog -- which targets businesses interested in purchasing clothing and products bearing corporate logos -- has used as models actual workers at companies across the United States. Featured firms have included Xerox, Cisco Systems, and Saturn Corporation, as well as smaller organizations like the Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard.

Each edition of the catalog tells a story about a different company. For Summer 2002, Lands’ End chose an employee-relations focus, says Jeff Sawyer, associate creative director, Lands’ End Business Outfitters. "We went looking for an organization that had distinguished itself with innovative human resources strategies."

Their choice was SAS, a large software firm long recognized for its employee-friendly philosophies. "The company clearly believes that taking care of its customers begins with taking care of its people," says Sawyer.

In offer to capture the true flavor of a company setting, Lands’ End does large photo shoots on-site. "Shoots tend to be fun for everyone involved," says Sawyer. "People get a quick taste of the modeling life."

The SAS shoot lasted three days, and over 25 employee models were chosen. There were no formal auditions held, according to SAS spokesperson John Dornan. "Most of the employees who appeared in the catalog just happened by during the several days that Lands’ End was here."

The current catalog includes a case study about SAS on the first inside spread, with employee testimonials throughout the pages. For example, Danielle, a corporate affairs specialist, reveals, "As a single parent, I appreciate the flexibility to work from home when my child is sick," she says. On another page, an employee’s small daughter is pictured at the SAS on-site daycare center.

Taken together, the testimonials add up to a compelling story that keeps catalog readers turning the pages -- and ideally, making purchases, says Sawyer. "Business buyers tell us they find testimonials enjoyable and enlightening."

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