Maintaining Brand Consistency Across Franchises

 In Branding, Franchising, Marketing

Before your franchise starts to grow, having a strong foundation on what you want your brand image to communicate should be in place.

A franchise’s brand image is very important in developing a loyal customer base. Consumers who can immediately identify a brand will be able recall previous experiences they had with that franchise. If a franchise doesn’t have a consistent color scheme, in-store décor, signage or other brand presentation, then customers won’t experience familiarity with the brand.

Here are 4 ways to establishing brand consistency from the FastCasual’s Best Practice: Maintaining a cohesive brand across franchises, whitepaper.

Regardless of a franchise’s brand management method, there are several strategies that marketing managers use to accomplish cohesiveness:

  1. Each branded asset must be inventoried and assessed by the franchise/the brand. This includes any digital initiatives such as menu boards, video content and interactive displays. Brands need to know what they have in order to properly customize and utilize it.
  2. These components must be customized with a marketing strategy in mind. When localization is permitted, the marketing team must ensure that guidelines are met within an appropriate approval period.
  3. Distribution channels for new collateral must be established. Franchisees should receive new collateral in advance to the official launch. When digital content is managed remotely, local owners should have an understanding of the changes and messaging plan. If new packaging of products is to be implemented, each franchisee should have the branded materials necessary for product presentation before the launch date of the promotion.
  4. Updated collateral and messaging must be rolled out simultaneously. Franchisees must be notified of corporate plans for new offers, messaging and display content. Working from the same playbook ensures the same customer experience.

Streamlining Your Brand with Brand Management Team

Often times, it is challenging task for one person to handle all promotional displays and marketing content through multiple channels. A very time-consuming challenge, for instance, is localizing a message within unique local markets.

Stephen Lyle, a hospitality consultant and restaurateur says, “As long as all the touch points – décor, signage, social, advertising, etc. – build a strong, coherent, recognizable idea in people’s mind, variation can be very beneficial.”

As a franchise expands into new markets, localization and variation is a great way to establish customer loyalty in a new location. The best and most time-efficient way to streamline a franchise’s brand along the way is to hire brand management consultants who can provide consistency between corporate-wide and local branding content.

A great example of streamlining a brand is through one simple and clean webpage. When a franchise has more than one location, a digital marketing best practice is to have one website with landing pages for each franchise location. This way, having one large website with more pages will build your franchise’s search authority on search engines.

Other Advantages of Having a Single Website

1) Image and message control

2) Not burdening franchisees with web design (which they are likely not experienced in)

3) Keeping web costs to a minimum (single host, single domain, single developer, etc.)

Streamline Brand Messaging with Digital Solutions

Marketing and brand management teams already use digital solutions to work through multiple channels of communication. In fact, franchise-marketing teams commonly use asset management solutions as a portal for franchisors and franchisees to communicate and streamline marketing collateral.

For example, Visualogistix, is a digital solution to creating multiple visuals for various franchise markets and clients have given testimonials to prove it. For the time it takes to order marketing materials, a Visualogistix client stated their time had been reduced by up to 70 percent.

Case in Point

Whether you are a franchisor or franchisee who struggles with maintaining a consistent brand image across the board, utilizing a brand management team or a digital solution will be your best strategy.

While the franchisor focuses on expanding their network, the franchisees will also have more time to focus on a positive customer experience while your brand remains consistent throughout. To download the full FastCasual whitepaper, click here.

Also Read: What Does a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) Contain?

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