Marketing is marketing. Right? Every business (that wants to grow) needs marketing. Would the solution be the same for all types of businesses? Not really. And here’s why. Even though yes, it’s true – marketing is marketing and the marketing tools we use for various industries would be similar. What is different is the strategy – the approach we take based on where the company is at with their business growth.
Similarly with franchises. If you compare exactly the same type of business that has a franchise business model, and a business that is a corporation (e.g. a retail store that is a franchise vs a corporately owned store) – their marketing strategy would be different because their goals and their growth plan is different.
Branding and its value:
If you are a franchisor, marketing a franchise business starts with taking a close look at branding that has been done for the company so far. By definition, any brand becomes more successful overtime, when more and more people get to experience and get to know the brand. The fundamental role of branding holds even more significance for franchise businesses, because essentially what a franchisee is purchasing by acquiring a franchise is its brand and the value that comes along with it. Having a trustworthy brand means a whole lot more in this scenario, especially in today’s day and age. Starting from how a brand is represented through its website design to what people say about the brand on social media channels.
Ask yourself the following questions to ensure your brand is both attractive to your potential franchisees and valuably clear to your existing partners:
- Is our corporate website a true reflection of what we stand for as an organization?
- Is our brand book intuitive, so everyone just gets what our values are (without explanation)?
- If you ask 5 different franchisees today what your brand’s core values are – would the answer be the same?
- Do I have an active (and genuine) follower base on my social media channels?
- Are all members of my staff aware, excited and clear about our company’s goals for the next quarter?
Target audience and positioning:
When it comes to marketing a franchise business, it’s important to keep in mind the number of “target audiences” you will be covering with your marketing message. As the corporate office who is responsible for the direction of marketing and visual branding for the whole business, keep in mind that you are crafting your message for:
- your existing franchisees
- your potential franchisee partners
- the end customer (the one who comes to your franchise storefront and buys the actual product or services from your franchisee)
- your internal team, of course
Now, look at your website (or the first touchpoint for every target audience below) and answer the following quesitons:
- Do I communicate clearly why my franchise is an attractive business deal for my potential partners?
- Am I doing a good job showcasing the main benefits of our products/services, so our end-user is clear why we are awesome?
- Am I supporting my franchisees enough via our marketing and branding, so it’s easy for them to sell our product/services?
- Does our social media showcase our products and services in the best way possible (consistent, clear, engaging, AND speaks to each of our target audiences)?
- Am I continuously educating my team on our brand’s values, its benefits and the ways we communicate them to the customers?
Remember, marketing + branding is an ongoing process that will evolve as your business grows. What worked last year, may not work this year. And vice versa! Knowing where your business is heading and tailoring your marketing strategy towards your customers’ needs never changes, though.
Need help defining your marketing strategy for 2015? Get in touch – we love talking marketing >>! Or come by our Creative Greenhouse. We are conveniently located on Robson Street, Vancouver. And we always have chocolate… Always.