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The Real Cost of Overlooking Outdated Business Practices

Recently, I have been considering the theory that social norms from the past that we still adhere to are no longer applicable to current-day society. One example that is evident of this is the use of name-tags in lower-income, low-to-no-skill positions. Businesses such as Wal-Mart, 7-Eleven, McDonald's, and JC Penny's require their sales associates and other similar positions to wear a name-tag as a part of their uniform. I am here to argue that this business practice is outdated and that the costs of name-tags now outweigh their benefits.

Name-tags were once used as a way to form a connection between employee and customer. If the customer knows the employee's name, they perceive a bond and feel more comfortable doing business with Mike, rather than a nameless 7-Eleven employee. Although this practice may still hold this benefit, this benefit no longer outweighs the cost of name-tags.

First off, business was much more personal when the name-tags were first introduced into the equation. Nowadays, people operate at a much faster pace than they have in any other time in history. When customers go to grocery and convenient stores, they're not looking for a personal experience at the register with the cashier; they are looking to go in, get what they need, and get out. This is precisely why the market for gas stations that offer a one-stop-shop for fuel, hot food, beer and wine, and speedy service is presently booming. Customers are more focused on getting out and addressing their next objectives for the day than they are with having a nice conversation with the cashier. Customers are still giving their business without the need to personally connect to the employees on a first-name basis.

Furthermore, the customer is no longer as interested in a one-on-one interaction with a sales associate as they may have been in the past. This is evident through the use of self-service checkouts at Wal-Mart and similar business structures. Convenience stores such as Sheetz have even experimented with self-service checkouts and are currently looking to move towards checking out items through the use of their app. Customers do not even care to interact with a sales associate let alone know their name. Business has become so impersonal in modern-day society that the current use of name-tags is simply an old business practice that lacks the benefits it once had and is being overlooked by nearly every major corporation in this market.

Now that I have addressed the lack of value in name-tags, it is important to consider the costs of name-tags. Name-tags are an unnecessary business expense in modern-day society. They cost money. Although the costs may be low, they are constant and do add up. Businesses in these markets experience a high turnover rate This means that they are constantly replacing name-tags. Although they may find more inexpensive options, it is a constant expense that is no longer necessary. This is only the monetary cost of name-tags.

With social media and the internet easing the accessibility to information, name-tags provide customers with much more information than they historically have. By going into a McDonald's, you already know where the employee works. The name-tag provides you with their name. A simple search on Google using both their name and their employer will lead you to their social media activity. This may lead you to their last name, allowing you to narrow your search and access any information on an individual, all because they decided to take a part-time position at a fast food restaurant. You may argue that the employee should not put that much information on the internet. The same argument, however, could be made that the employer shouldn't put that much information on their employee.

Companies will most likely not lose any business if they abandon the use of name-tags. Employees may feel more of a sense of security and will enjoy more privacy, and the customers would probably never even notice. Businesses could cut these expenses from their yearly costs, save money, and invest in their employees or their business as a whole. The benefits of name-tags no longer outweigh the costs, and it is time that we abandon old business practices that have not stayed current with modern-day society.

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