How brands target America's melting pot
How brands target America's melting pot

With a growing number of seniors, Millennials, veterans and Latin Americans to appeal to, franchises are casting a wide net in different ways.

According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. Hispanic population now stands at more than 54.1 million, making them the nation’s second-largest racial or ethnic group at 17 percent of the U.S. population.

The Census Bureau projects the Millennial population will be 75.3 million and is projected to surpass the outsized Baby Boomer demographic – the nation’s largest living generation.

There are almost 23 million veterans in the United States, and many brands offer deep discounts year-round to active and retired military members.

With such large demographics in segmented categories, brands that want to succeed on a national scale need to appeal to a wide audience.

Denny’s, the Spartanburg, South Carolina-based brand known for keeping the “open” sign lit around the clock while serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert at any time of the day has taken on the moniker of “America’s Diner” since 2011.

Denny’s has succeeded in appealing to a wide range of demographics in the melting pot that is the U.S. In addition to extended hours, the 1,700-location brand serves a wide array of patrons through an expanded menu, senior discounts, ethnically focused marketing materials and in-depth programs focused on researching trends among patrons.

By supporting such relationships with different customers like seniors, Millennials and Hispanics, Denny’s continues to grow.

“We have programs in place against each of our demographic segments, but we always remember guests cannot be defined by demographics alone — you have to truly dig deep and understand their motivations to visit. That's where the magic is, and business results will follow,” said John Dillon, CMO of Denny’s, in a previous interview with 1851.

JAN-PRO, a subsidiary of Premium Franchise Brands, is targeting Hispanics for its current growth and development. The commercial cleaning franchise, based out of Alpharetta, Ga., has made it easy for Hispanic entrepreneurs to delve into business ownership with a website, marketing materials and brand deliverables written in Spanish, as well as Spanish-speaking corporate employees.

Veterans comprise a large demographic in the U.S., and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by brands. From big corporate companies to small franchises, brands have made it a point to honor former and active military members with year-round deals.

Apple’s Federal Government and Military Purchase program is available to military personnel and their families, along with employees of the national government.

United Airlines provides the Veterans Advantage, which gives veterans and their families up to a 5 percent discount on tickets.

And many franchises are part of the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program, which offers initiatives to returning military members looking to access franchise opportunities. A full list of brands is available here.

Brands like New York-based GYMGUYZ join the program to offer returning military members access to franchise opportunities with steep discounts on franchise fees and further growth opportunities.

“Through our partnership with VetFran, we hope to recruit candidates with diverse backgrounds and contribute to the growing American franchise community that reflects all types of individuals,” said Josh York, president of GYMGUYZ.

With a large and segmented population, the brightest brands are doing their part to appeal to all types of demographics. 

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