Managing a brand, whatever the market or business model, requires vision and tenacity. When that brand is rolled-out across locations and territories, to stakeholders with disparate needs, resources and customers, you can expect those challenges to multiply many-fold.
Local franchise marketing is a perfect case in point. Franchisors encounter specific brand issues and need to bring their A-game when it comes to these four if they want to keep “internal customers” satisfied.
The franchisor is essentially the Centre of Excellence when it comes to marketing strategy and planning. It’s where both the experience and expertise live, and where franchisees look to for leadership and guidance. So, while franchisees may be well-versed and well-qualified in product and service delivery, the implementation and roll-out of strategy sits firmly under the brand-management umbrella. But creation of such strategy is one thing, communicating it and delivering it to wider stakeholders can be the greater battle.
Systems and services that work well for a small-scale franchise operation may falter and fall as the organisation grows. That’s not just manual systems, but some automation platforms developed only to work for a limited number of users, or within limited markets.
Which poses a risk for a new franchisee if, after buying into the brand, he finds himself unable to leverage maximum benefit from it. Investing for success is the way forward or, at the very least, being certain that what works now will scale-up seamlessly as new users come on-board and make demands on it.
Speaking to Hotel Online recently, Tess Mattisson, of Choice Hotels International expressed an interesting view on brand loyalty. She believes “recognition and redemption” to be its driving force. In the world of hotels, that means recognising guests when they return, respecting their preferences, and tailoring the service (stay) accordingly.
Recognition and personalisation could be said to be two sides of the same coin and, to do this successfully, the ability to perform localised marketing and personalised messaging is critical for franchisees.
Uniqueness and USPs
Protecting the brand’s uniqueness and USPs, while facilitating the franchisees’ efforts to be relevant and successful within their own territories, is no mean feat. It means creating red-lines for the brand which can never be crossed, while giving reign and freedom for other elements and activities that can.
A centralised system that works for both parties and plays to each of their strengths is the solution.
A Brand Marketing Hub which allows the central marketing team to protect the brand, craft campaigns and keep a firm grip on brand assets while ensuring the strategy is communicated and accessible to franchisees. A system that recognises the needs and idiosyncrasies of all end-customers while ensuring that brand value and perception is not eroded. You can check out ours here