Why is franchise brand consistency so important?
Maintaining franchise brand consistency is one of the most important things to get right with your franchise marketing. Consistency throughout your brand helps you to attract new franchisees and customers. It is vital that you retain control over your promotional materials, logo, images, and theme.
Franchise brand consistency is required to create a uniform marketing message and maintain a strong identity across all franchise partners. Brand values need to be maintained across every piece of marketing you produce. It is important to remember that brand consistency extends to your company’s product and services, for example operations, marketing, customer service and quality control. Consistency defines your business clearly, cements the reputation of your products or services, and differentiates you from your competitors.
What challenges might you face?
Maintaining franchise brand consistency requires careful planning and a methodical approach to implementing and maintaining a consistent marketing approach.
- You may encounter resistance from your franchisees. Remember to respect your franchisees’ independence and listen to their input when designing a marketing campaign that promotes brand uniformity. Many networks have a panel of franchisees who are involved in the early stages of new campaigns. This kind of early buy-in from your network can help those campaigns to gain traction quickly.
- Consider how brand messages will need to be managed when targeting the specific needs of local audiences. Regulating brand messages while appealing to local markets is a delicate balance.
- Examine the systems you have in place. Are they suitable for delivering your product or service across all your outlets?
- The aim of consistent franchise marketing is to grow your business. Are your marketing systems robust enough to keep pace with your expansion?
How Should You Manage Your Franchisees for Brand Consistency?
Your franchisees should be well briefed and prepared for marketing your franchise brand. They will have different individual backgrounds and experience, so ensure they all receive optimum training in marketing best practices so that their own marketing efforts are always on-brand.
Managing the balance between being overly protective and giving franchisees autonomy to build their own business is not easy. Your franchisee bought into your system. But at the same time, your franchisee has their own ideas about how they should grow their franchise.
The key is to remain in control of the overall brand, but allow your franchisees enough flexibility to tailor individual pieces of collateral to their needs. Provide them with the tools to create their own advertising campaign in line with the company’s identity and message.
The easier you can make it for franchisees to order brand-compliant marketing materials, the more likely it is that they will do so. If they have to place an order via an overloaded head office marketing team and there are delays in processing and delivery, franchisees will look elsewhere and make their own arrangements – and that’s where the problems start.
If the easiest option open to franchisees is the one which includes pre-approved, brand-compliant templates, they’ll never resort to colour photocopies from the local copy shop or something they design in Word and printed on their office printer (honestly – we’ve seen it all).
As well as providing an insight into which franchisees are using which marketing materials, comprehensive reporting highlights the gaps in compliance within your network. If all franchise partners are required to issue new customers with a certain pack, for example, your report will highlight which branches order an unusually low number of those packs – or worse, have never ordered them at all.
Maintaining control overall your brand whilst allowing franchisees autonomy is a tricky balance to master. Learn how a web-to-print system can help make managing business identity easy for you and your franchisees, just download the WhitePaper below.
This special insider report helps you identify some common issues many firms face with multiple office or store locations.