Spring has come and hundreds of small QSR brands are looking to make 2016 the year they bloom into the next hot thing. But how do you take your emerging brand to the next level? Unfortunately April showers aren’t going to cut it.
“In the sandwich category, having a unique experience is huge,” said Connie Peyton, director of franchise development for Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, an established powerhouse in the franchise space. “When you first walk in you notice that Which Wich isn't your average sandwich shop, we want the guest to be in control of the experience. Giving control to the guest to enhance their experience is incredibly important for us.” It’s clear that interaction and customer experience is integral to helping franchise brands standout from the rest of the herd. According to Dan Corrigan, director of marketing for Wing Zone, your marketing also has to standout and evolve.
“There has definitely been a shift in Wing Zone’s marketing strategy as we continue to grow and how our core customer interacts with his/her world,” said Corrigan. “Wing Zone used to be 100% focused on print marketing but now with the growth in importance of the mobile phone we’ve had to adapt our plan. We are looking into investing more money into the digital marketing opportunities. We will not 100% abandon print marketing but we’ll need to adjust how our funds are being spent as we learn more about our core customer.”
But what about when you start to gain momentum? When you’re clicking on all levels and the leads are coming in, it can be easy to make costly errors.
“Don't be greedy, don't just take someone because they have a check,” said Peyton. “Stay selective with who you choose, and make sure you're picking the right franchise partners. Make sure people are aligned with your core values and franchise system.”
Differentiating yourself is difficult in the QSR space and finding the right partners can make it that much more challenging. As the industry continues to grow, new QSR brands will continue to emerge while others will fall. This inevitability can be scary but for those brands strong enough to weather the storm, they might just get to see those May flowers after all.