Many people look to the comfort of a franchise when taking the leap into running their own business and one of the advantages is the marketing and brand awareness that the Franchisor bundles into the package. There is no doubt that having a well known brand behind you helps immensely but each branch will have its own issues depending on location, competition and the service on offer and therefore the marketing initiatives that work in one place might have very little effect in another.
Even the most well known brands with millions spent on TV advertising, communications, social media and other brand awareness activities can have sites that under perform and it is the understanding of the reasons why that allows them to turn those sites around.
The most obvious problem is the difference site by site in location. Marketing messaging that works well in Derby might not work in Bristol. Or it could be the actual location of the business. For example many brands depend on foot fall so even if people know the brand well they are not use to having to work hard to find a local branch – it is normally just there – but if the layout of a town results in having a site hidden away on a side street versus to another where it sits on the busiest thoroughfare the outbound marketing needs to tell a different story – not just to make people aware of where they are but to give them a reason to take the time to come and find them. Or if one branch has more than their fair share of competition they have to work harder at winning business and again their marketing activities have to change accordingly. Each location can also call for a different relationship to be built with the area they operate their business in – local advertising, supporting of events or organizations and charities can make a big difference and the marketing timeline can also differ greatly. If one site is in a university town and relies on the students for business the busiest time for outbound marketing will be as each new academic year begins.
So once again it comes back to knowing your customers – additional out bound marketing designed for each individual branch needs to back up any activities that are done at the nationwide or global level. I once worked for a US company selling into the UK and it very quickly became apparent that I needed to take control of the marketing message for my region when the Direct Mail and other marketing messaging continually referred to Baseball. I know that is an extreme example but even subtly inappropriate messaging can prove ineffectual or in some cases damaging to a business so building a local marketing plan with messaging and a delivery schedule that matches the location the branch resides in can in the long term be as important as anything produced at the corporate level.