Why Franchise Marketing is Different
For any business, marketing means promoting and delivering value to customers. Because companies are unique, the activities and effort involved in accomplishing those tasks can vary. For franchises, however, the game looks wildly different. Here’s why:
Franchise Marketing has Layers
Franchise life is two-pronged. Whether you’re a franchisor or franchisee, your brand’s profitability depends on the actions of others. Meaning, there’s inherent risk because certain marketing operations—and their positive/negative effects—will be out of your control. While franchisors have to build a recognizable, dependable business, franchisees have to maintain the reputation. Failure on any player’s part, at either level, can spell demise for everyone associated with the brand. Here’s a simplified look at the marketing role at each level:
- Corporate identity creation (logos, color schemes, brand voice, etc.)
- Branding consistency and oversight
- Corporate website design and maintenance
- Marketing communications at the national level (paid advertisements, social media presence, content marketing)
- Local landing page design and maintenance
- Marketing communications at the local level (direct mail and email campaigns, location-specific social media, local community outreach)
- Business listings management
Franchisors Must Support a Distributed Workforce
Franchises operate in a massive playing field. Even with smaller franchises, some franchisors work with as many as 5 to 10 different franchisees and locations. Ensuring consistency across multiple communities, cities, or states can get tricky to say the least. In successful cases, franchisors rely on a steady stream of brand management and marketing support to get it all done.
A Franchise’s Competition can be Another Franchise
While many franchisors design a system in which franchisees serve only their region, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes multiple locations exist in the same city or small community. Regardless of the distance between franchises, one can and often does compete with others, creating a unique hurdle.
For example, imagine Franchisee John opens a location 5 miles from Franchisee Jane. John’s store is newer, with less capital to spend on local marketing than Jane, whose location has good reviews and steady profits. If not supported and encouraged by his franchisor, John could easily grow frustrated with his situation.
In another example, a bad review from Jane’s store could impact John’s business. Jane’s customers may spread the word on social media that the entire brand has quality issues. In such scenarios, the franchisor and accompanying franchisees take a hit, even when they had nothing to do with the original complaint.
A Franchise Marketing Strategy Should Do It All
This unique situation demands a marketing strategy that empowers both franchisors and franchisees.
- Brand Standardization: All messaging, from national to local, should have the same brand elements. That means establishing clear guidelines (colors, logos, voice) and ensuring individual franchises don’t go rogue.
- Convenient Access to Marketing Materials: To make it easy to stay on brand, franchisees need access to marketing goods that will help them grow their business (without draining time and effort). Business cards, door hangers, brochures, flyers, promotional products, social media images, and newsletters can act as an excellent baseline.
- Customizable Templates: Franchisees need the ability to craft local marketing initiatives that fit their customers. While logos and color schemes shouldn’t change, it helps to leave some variables open to personalization. Customizable templates make the balance possible.
- Trustworthy Vendors: Your logo isn’t the only element that needs consistency. Franchisees need vendors that ensure quality control at every level. Remember, the more hands that touch your marketing, the more opportunities there are for mayhem.
These days, marketing platforms are plentiful, but Xpressdocs has one that makes franchise marketing a cake walk. With all the basics listed above, we go beyond industry standard to offer in-house printing and mailing and on-site customer care. Because we handle everything ourselves, you enjoy unparalleled turntimes (24 hours in most cases) and consistent quality.
For help streamlining and simplifying your franchise’s marketing, ask for a demo today!