What an emerging brand in the franchise industry needs to focus on in order to achieve success.
Emerging brands bring a fresh perspective to the franchising industry, allowing it to keep up with the times as it takes on new and improved shapes and sizes. But for those emerging brands, the main goal is to drop the “emerging” tag and begin to develop more presence in new markets all over the world. Completing that goal and achieving that status is a tall order, but a franchise with good people behind the brand, a sound development strategy and a clear vision can turn that possibility into reality.
1. Existing franchisees must be happy franchisees
Before implementing a strategy to expand a brand, franchisors must first focus on creating a system of happy franchisees. That system will be a large part of the franchisee recruitment process and franchisees will be the ones representing the brand. They will speak about their time as a franchisee as well as the support the corporate team is giving them when a prospect is doing his or her due diligence. Many franchisees explain that their reasoning behind buying a brand is the immediate support they saw within the system.
2. A people-focused franchise development strategy is necessary
First, there should be a clear difference between a brand’s consumer website and its franchise development website. As a brand designs a development website, the franchise must then focus on the people representing the brand, including the history of founder’s story, background on the corporate team and most importantly, an existing franchisee’s story and reasons for joining the franchise system. Therefore, highlighting like-me stories that a prospect can relate to will fill a funnel. No Limit Agency CEO and 1851 Franchise Magazine Publisher Nick Powills says, “Brands don’t sell brands, people do.”
3. Emerging franchisors need to understand their target markets
It’s crucial for a brand to understand the market it wishes to expand in, whether it’s big or small. It’s recommended that brand representatives travel to their target markets for a deeper look. That first-hand experience provides an invaluable understanding of where a possible brick-and-mortar location could be, for example.
Another portion of understanding target development markets is looking into demographics like average age and income. This will not only allow the brand to see if the concept will flourish in certain areas, but if they can recruit a franchisee living within their ideal markets. Lastly, brands need to research the competition within their target markets.
4. Emerging franchisors need to understand their target audience
The definition of a brand’s target prospect is extremely important during the expansion process. Is the brand looking for someone with experience in the field? Is the brand only looking for candidates who are interested in multiple units? Franchisors need to make sure those questions are answered. It will make the recruitment process quicker and much more productive as it will weed out unqualified leads.
5. Marketing needs to utilize technology
According to Scott Thompson, Chief Development Officer of L-5 Capital Partners, one of the biggest changes in how franchises target prospects “is that we are using more and more digital, content marketing, online storytelling and data-driven, persona- and geo-targeted campaigns to recruit the A-level franchisees that are most closely aligned with a franchisor’s ideal candidate. Nowadays, brand affirmation is so much more powerful than a than a bunch of leads into a pipeline. Utilizing today’s technology is a great way to increase a brand’s affirmation.”
Here are a few ways that brands can get involved with tech-marketing:
Email Campaigns – Email campaigns can keep your leads up to date with relevant brand and industry news. Additionally, these campaigns can be automated and respond to a lead’s absence or interaction with past emails.
Content Marketing – Leveraging blog posts, videos and other content allows brands to tailor the content that leads see. Once a story is published on a platform, it can be shared or even boosted on social media, putting in front of the right eyes.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Although it may take a longer time to build, SEO is extremely effective. Brands need to organically appear on the first page of a search engine to allow for brand affirmation.