One of the things that makes franchise brands different from other retailers is the extra stakeholder between corporate head office and the end consumer. Usually, the franchisees aren’t involved in the marketing plans that are being developed. As a result they feel disconnected from the very thing you need them to champion – your brand.
Corporate has a responsibility to communicate with their franchisees because, after all, it’s Franchisee Ad Fund money that’s being spent on campaigns.
The Client: Chatters Canada, Hair Salon & Beauty Products Franchise
The Problem: The franchisees didn’t understand what the Chatters brand stood for and each one created their own take on the brand and communicated that to their staff and customers.
ReShift: Don’t just tell your ambassadors what the brand stands for, tell them why that’s important. And how it’s going to help their cause.
Your franchisees and their front-line people speak directly to your consumers. If they are not telling a consistent brand story or practicing the brands values there’s a big disconnect. Your efforts and money spent on advertising begin to look like lip service instead of something that your brand really believes in. This can cause your customers to see a lack of authenticity in your brand.
Ball Retail ReShift recommends franchisees engagement activities.
Action was taken at Chatters by connecting with the franchisees during a brand and marketing talk at their annual conference. Not only was the annual information package and marketing calendar distributed, but this event allowed for questions, clarifications and suggestions from those ambassadors on the front lines.
When your corporate team communicates their marketing plans to the franchisees, they can get their buy-in. If they are on board, they will be your best brand ambassadors. Remember, this is their business too and, like you, they want it to be successful. Give them a chance to ask questions and get involved and you’ll get less grumbling about the latest ad campaign, and more positive feedback.
Result: Greater trust in head office marketing programs.
Better communication created more buy-in with Franchisees and Store Managers throughout the year and over numerous promotional events.