In Franchise Marketing, Consistency is Key
Jay Conrad Levinson said, “Consistency breeds familiarity, familiarity breeds confidence, and confidence breeds sales.”
This saying is especially true in franchise marketing. From one store to 10,000, consumers have expectations about everything from the food a restaurant serves, to the look and feel of the brick and mortar locations. The advertising messaging is no exception. There is comfort knowing they will get that same experience no matter what location or what state they are in.
But why is that even important? Consumers have expectations, and meeting those expectations consistently builds trust.
And trust means future sales!
In a time when marketing messages are just about everywhere, consistency is even more imperative for brands. A marketing department worth its salt will have a presence for its company on all the major channels, especially digital. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, search, display, Pandora, cable, print, outdoor. The list goes on and on.
So what is a brand to do? For starters, it’s up to leadership to have clearly defined brand standards from the start. Defining the brand promise and all visual elements that go along with it from the beginning is paramount. This foundation will help a franchise run smoothly in the long term.
A great example of this is Dunkin Donuts. The chain has more than 11,000 locations and serves north of 3 million people each day. And yet, the experience is always the same. The donuts in Los Angeles taste just as they do in Boston, the coffee cup stays the same across the country, and even the menu board and napkins are indistinguishable from one store to the next. Their brand is constant.
Success in this industry means giving franchisees the tools they need. Provide approved content. Create ad campaigns that are easy to implement. Make it turnkey, so that your brand voice is steady throughout all aspects of your marketing.
Another key element is limiting your stores’ ability to “be unique.” This is probably the most difficult thing to do, because franchisees want to put their own spin on just about everything. Can you imagine if Dunkin had different Facebook or Twitter accounts depending on the location? What could go wrong? The larger a franchise grows, the more vital it is to stay focused, and it all starts with established guidelines and limitations from the beginning.
Finally, it’s best to keep the lines of communication open. Brands should have the ability to adapt, and hearing from franchisees on the front lines is key.
Just remember, persistence will get a customer once. Consistency will keep them coming back.