Even with contrary predictions of global trade experts, the franchise business continues to grow on a large scale. In the USA alone, in 2018, the sector represented 6% of the total GDP, with more than US $ 451 billion injected into the American economy.
Several factors are responsible for this fact. Among them we can mention tax reforms, market deregulation and consumer habits, which have been refined with the help of new technologies and digital marketing.
Consumers, especially those using social media, have an active voice, space to register their opinions and a huge amount of information about brands. And they know how to use this space quite well!
According to a research by NM Incite, the preferred sources of consumer information about a brand are the ratings and comments of other consumers. Giant technology companies such as Facebook and Google, from their beginnings, understood this trend well and have created spaces for users to register their impressions.
The spotlight has never been so bright on brands, and franchises, in particular, are realizing that. Therefore, your marketing departments need to move in one direction: to maintain the unity of the brand on all of its exposure fronts. And for that to happen, it is essential to invest in social media.
The marketing budget must be where your target audience is: on social media
The investment in social media is the equivalent of ensuring your sales success. The reason is that it creates a relationship with its target audience, and the brand is consolidated in the consumers’ mind, and they, in turn, tend to give preference to it at the time of purchase.
How to create such a relationship? With frequent postings and investment in quality pieces, in an attractive way!
Thus, when a brand becomes part of people’s daily lives – and, in fact, respects its consumers – it is more likely to win the sympathy and confidence of this group of people. Moreover, for the user’s experience to be adequate, it must be unique, both on the franchise’s social media and on the franchisees’.
Now we come to the key point of what we are trying to explain: one of the biggest difficulties of franchise marketing departments is that when a franchisee does not make proper use of the brand – especially on the internet – the entire organization feels the negative impact of this.
And so, dear franchisor, the question is: Do you want to offer the best experience to your audience and prevent the image of your brand from being misunderstood on social media?
Understanding your franchisees and their main problems
Franchisees are under great pressure. In their routine, they must value the best experience of their customers, and offer them a quality and dynamic service; lead their employees in their daily activities; manage the financial health of their business; deal with local competition and, also, meet the franchisor’s expectations.
It can be said that much of the success of a franchise is in the hands of its franchisees. Consequently, it is essential that they dedicate themselves a lot to make their business work well – and prosper!
As a matter of fact, there is plenty of work for franchisees. But, in addition to all these functions, they need to pay attention to the promotion of the brand, both in the physical environment (when it is the case) and on the internet.
Unfortunately, it is almost always impractical for the Marketing departments of the franchises to meet their production demands, internally speaking and, even more, when it comes to producing material for the social media for all their franchisees.
The solution to this problem, therefore, is to empower them and outsource the production of advertising pieces in large volume.
Encourage your franchisees to act on social media
With some actions, the Marketing departments of the franchises can take a better step towards a more unified visual communication.
Pay attention to the following points:
1. Don’t be afraid to be online!
It is known that many organizations avoid implementing the use of social media, as they fear not being able to cope with the major changes that this will cause in brand communication. Also, they also fear the possible negative repercussions caused by errors in this very exposed and critical environment that is the internet.
Nevertheless, businesses that position themselves like that are bound to fall short of their potential – both in communication and in sales!
Have in mind that you and your franchisees are likely to make mistakes. In fact, making mistakes is part of any job, especially on social media. On the other hand, this should not discourage you. Accept the risks involved, and see the possible mistakes as a form of valuable lessons for the growth of your digital communication.
It is obvious that you can, and should, take all possible measures to preserve the brand, but it is also essential to know how to deal with setbacks and turn unpleasant situations into learning cases. This is a thought that both franchisor and franchisees should keep in mind.
2. Create a didactic and practical brand manual for franchisees
Let’s go back to some facts already mentioned: franchisees are very busy. Their main objective is to keep their business running. So, why not make their lives easier?
It may seem obvious, but your brand will only be worked on correctly if you present your franchisees with ways to apply it correctly. In this sense, it is strategic to create a brand manual that could be simple, didactic and accessible. It is also worth remembering that most of them do not have any knowledge in creating advertisement pieces, much less about the principles that govern good graphic design.
So, the idea is to be simple! This makes the work of franchisees easier and also motivates them to act on social media without much fear.
With a practical brand manual, they will be ready to:
● develop advertisement pieces more correctly;
● maintain periodic communication on the internet and
● differentiate themselves from local competition.
3. Encourage them to use social media
Did you know that more than 80% of the consumer’s journeys take place online, and that 88% of consumers trust criticisms and reports made by other consumers on the internet as much as they trust the opinion of acquaintances?
During this journey, people consume and are impacted by dozens of advertising pieces before making their purchase decision and evaluating consumers on Facebook – and other media – contribute to decision making.
Franchisees are the main brand ambassadors within the organization. That is, they, more than anyone, must be active on the internet!
Being a franchisor, you should encourage them to be in this environment. They, better than anyone else, know their target, local culture and dates that impact their sales and can come up with excellent advertising strategies.
In view of this scenario, it is essential that the marketing departments of the franchises move in one direction: to maintain the unity of the brand in all its exposure fronts.
4. Keep an open communication channel to answer questions and help you
Not being, for the most part, marketing professionals or familiarized with practices in the area, franchisees will certainly not feel very secure and will have several questions when it comes to producing their marketing materials.
You don’t need to have a 24-hour service to help them, but if you can provide a portal or email through which they can have their questions answered, this certainly will be a big step.
Another way to help them is by gathering materials with the best and most current practices on social media and making them available.
All of these actions will certainly save franchisees valuable time and make them more prepared and more empowered to act on social media.
Outsource and centralize the production of marketing pieces
Imagine an ideal world in which all communication pieces are produced by the Marketing departments of the franchises and that the quality of these productions and the delivery time of the services could completely meet the expectations of the organization.
We all know that this is quite impractical. In fact, even meeting only the department’s internal demand is already a big challenge.
But it is possible, with good planning and the right strategy, to outsource and centralize the production of pieces (posts, videos, cover photos, etc.).
And to help you with that, Fastdezine is at your entire disposal!
And since we have the capacity to absorb all the productive demand, the Marketing departments of the franchises are free to focus on the business strategy and assist franchisees in improving their production.
In fact, maintaining the integrity of the brand and ensuring that it is correctly used in social media depends on those responsible for the Marketing strategy keeping their goals in mind. Furthermore, it is essential that this is transmitted in the correct way, that is, through a complete briefing.
We would like to mention the case of a franchise chain company for which we provide service. Sorvete Salada, an ice cream business, created the “Hot Ice Cream Season” campaign, and in order to have the participation of all the sores in the chain, Fastdezine adapted the art on the banners in the available dimensions. We made 10 pieces in 2 days, at the cost of R$ 96.00 (around US$ 18) each piece. See the range of measures:
- 5,26m x 2,58m;
- 1,53m x 2,36m;
- 1,90m x 1,90m;
- 1,80m x 1,20m;
- 2,60m x 1,00m;
- 2,70m x 2,45m;
- 9,90m x 0,70m e
- 2,90m x 1,40m