26 Jun Maintaining brand consistency across franchises
Maintaining brand consistency across franchises
Brand consistency is key
You’ve carefully built your brand and reputation over the years to convey quality, trust and great customer service. But as a franchise owner, you’ll know exactly how hard it is to manage your brand when working through your franchisee network.
Projecting a consistent brand image is vital to build a connection with your customers. But with inconsistent materials, poor messaging, incorrect colours, old logos – there’s a huge list of ways franchisees can drop the ball and compromise your brand image.
Traditionally, it’s all incredibly difficult and time consuming to monitor and can be a real drain on your resources.
However, there are now (free) tools and techniques companies can use to manage brand guardianship, benefitting all parties and keeping your messaging on-brand and consistent across all franchisees.
Maintaining brand across franchisees
To really know whether your brand is being communicated effectively across franchises, you need to monitor them. But without help, it can be a very complicated business.
While franchisees have bought into your brand and business, they’ll often still want a certain level of autonomy – I mean, they know their customers better than anyone, right?
Excessive oversight can encroach on this, leaving both you and your franchisee frustrated. So, a balance needs to be found where there’s an equilibrium between the overarching company strategy and localised marketing effort.
Training and guidelines
Providing quality training along with frequent top-up training courses is a good way to ensure franchisees have a strong feel for the brand. It also helps franchisees feel supported and will help underline the importance of brand consistency.
It helps them to further buy-in to the process too and become willing participants – something that’s particularly important when you make strategic changes of direction which could leave franchisees confused and switched-off.
Software solutions are key for brand compliance
Many franchisers are turning to software to help them with brand guardianship.
Using cloud-based storage connected to smart portals (like Webmart’s), franchise owners can centralise all brand collateral. With frequent uploads of brand-compliant materials and with the flexibility to be adapted as much or as little as the franchiser needs, it removes any temptation for franchisees to deviate from the brand.
Control with flexibility
Each franchisee’s geographic area may well have different requirements, so collateral can be editable, with enough flexibility to let franchisees modify things like offers and addresses so they can personalise collateral for local conditions.
This allows franchise owners to control the amount of editing that can be made to ensure collateral not only enhances brand guardianship, but reduces the time franchisees have to spend creating and adapting collateral themselves.
Essentially, ‘franchise marketing portals’ enhance brand guardianship and allow franchisees to quickly update and localise collateral, freeing up valuable time to get on with the many other tasks that come with running their successful businesses.
Control and reporting
The best portals offer high levels of control and detailed reporting.
Reports are particularly useful for procurement, showing costs, savings, stock, call-offs, usage, interaction, product popularity; a whole host of essential reports that give you real insight and control over your franchisee network, compliance and spend.
The insight can help ensure there’s harmony across all areas of marketing; from socials, leaflets and flyers, to in-store point of sale. For companies where there is a need for greater control over marketing collateral and ease of monitoring, software solutions provide a really effective means of brand guardianship.
Finding the right balance between brand authority and franchise autonomy is tricky. With good training, monitoring processes and the use of cloud-based portals to manage collateral and other compliance, companies can have better trust in brand consistency across their business and franchise network.
And ultimately it will strengthen your brand and help deliver future growth.
Webmart’s portal for franchises
Our portal is available to franchises free of charge, including full setup and training. We work with a number of large franchises who use our tools to manage their brand across their networks. So if you need help or would just like to find out more, please get in touch – call 01869 321321 or fill out the form below.