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Three Takeaways from FCMC

Last week, MGH’s Matt Owings traveled to Atlanta for the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference. Here are his three main takeaways from the event:

Your customer will tell you what their journey is. Listen and adjust.

Mark Montini, CMO of Floor Coverings International, made this point during the Day 1 panel, “Mapping the Customer Journey,” and it’s especially true for franchisors who are changing the way their industry engages with a customer. Montini leaned on lessons learned from mammoth companies like Uber and Amazon, explaining that users ultimately want a better experience in engaging with these companies. For Uber, it was the opportunity to request a ride in the most seamless fashion, while for Amazon, it was the chance for a company to know a consumer so well, that they don’t even realize they need a product until Jeff Bezos tells them so.

The same concept can be employed when building a new brand or growing a franchise. Minimizing points of friction is always at the top of any business owner’s list of priorities. With that in mind, understanding what your customer expects out of an interaction with your brand, and adjusting to their expectations and desires, is essential to your company’s success. Just as Uber added consumer-friendly features like uberPOOL and the opportunity to tip a driver, your brand should be always looking for ways to perfect the experience to make your audience happy.

Strive to become America’s choice for your product.

This one comes from Chicken Salad Chick Vice President of Marketing, Tom Carr. Chicken Salad Chick was one of the most exciting franchises conference-goers got to know during FCMC. For those from areas where the fast-growing chain already has footing, the positive spirit of “the little chick that can” was familiar. But to those who were new to the brand, listening to Carr highlight its ambitious plans was refreshing.

Carr said Chicken Salad Chick aims to “become America’s choice for chicken salad.” Lofty? Perhaps. But when you think about the other options for this commodity product in the fast-casual space, this team might just pull it off.

It’s admirable that Chicken Salad Chick wants to be the universal choice for their product - something that all great companies strive for. Whether you’re entering a crowded space where competition is plentiful, or carry a niche product where you’re one of the few brands offering something unique, if your franchise is the best, it’ll only continue to grow.

A refined brand message is essential.

Franchisors know how important consistency is across all stores – whether you have five locations or 5,000. We’ve written about it in the past as well. Aside from logos, color treatments and menu items, a franchise should always have a uniform message that stays true from Savannah to Sacramento.

On the final day of the conference, attendees took part in a closing workshop entitled, “Deliver On Your Promises Executional Plan.” Establishing a brand message was one of the main points of discussion among marketing executives and vendor representatives. A concise statement that establishes the purpose of your company, leaving no questions about what it does or offers, can be what helps propel consistent growth and franchise development.

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