Find your next franchisee using the power of your brand
Unless a company has a massive budget to invest in all mediums, advertising alone is not enough, and even with a big budget, the company’s profile needs to be high enough to motivate potential franchisees to consider the franchisor’s offers.
A most important component to the success of this approach is the development of a strong public profile and well known brand name. This is crucial to the success of any business and particularly in the case of a franchise business system, as a key asset of a franchise is the power of its brand.
The credibility, reliability and reputation of the brand are major factors to the success a company achieves when recruiting franchisees. How wonderful it would be if prospective franchise owners were clambering at the door to join the successful company; but unfortunately, too often this is not the case.
So how does a company achieve this all important profile and brand name?
It can achieve it by implementing a well thought out marketing campaign. Under the marketing banner are the sales, advertising, public relations and promotions components of the company and these areas need to be coordinated and maximised.
Building the profile of the company requires that nothing is left to chance or done on an ad hoc basis.
We all know that the best form of advertising is ‘word of mouth’ but developing this takes time and needs to be helped along with an excellent marketing plan.
As media is the primary way to deliver key messages to the public, it is essential to understand how to do so in a positive manner.
Media comprises all forms of communication including television, radio, print, online publications, video and contemporary forms of internet and social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Blogs. And never underestimate the power of local area marketing, such as leaflet drops and cross promotions with other local businesses.
This is not to say that the company’s IP, products, services, and offers are not important; they are crucial. But without the public knowing about the company or its franchisees, who take the product to the market, success cannot be assured and the best idea in the world could fail.
This is why I recommend that a full marketing plan be created with appropriate activities undertaken to ensure that the company has the very best chance at success in the market place. This is especially important when a franchise system is going to the market, especially as a support and stimulus for recruitment.
Development and implementation of the Franchise Recruitment Marketing Plan
The first activity undertaken is the preparation of a comprehensive franchise recruitment marketing plan prior to the implementation of its activities. This is the blueprint to ensure that the company achieves its objectives.
This plan includes a number of key areas:
• Research of the market; this includes gaining a thorough understanding of the market place; the requirements of your target customer base, your competitor’s offers and implementation strategies, and identification of mediums that will effectively reach its desired targets.
• Franchisee profile; knowing the attributes and mindset of your ideal franchisee is essential to reaching the target audience. Material needs to be written to attract potential franchisee with the ‘right fit’ for network and then it needs to be positioned in the correct mediums to reach them.
• Preparation of media information kits; this includes the compilation of comprehensive target media lists, excellent photographs and images in both high and low resolution formats, background information about the company, its senior management team and its franchisees, case studies regarding the company’s performance and success stories, media releases and logos.
• Media training; this is important to ensure that company spokespersons are in command of interviews with all areas of the media.
• Organisation of media coverage; this includes the organisation of interviews with print, online and broadcast media, television and public appearances with company spokespersons and success stories about franchisees, products, services and its clients.
• Development of website material; in today’s internet world keeping the website fresh, using blogging and having active social media such as Facebook and tweeting is essential.
• Organising promotions; specialised and targeted promotions need to be designed to keep the name in the public arena.
• Launch of franchise system milestones; depending on the company requirements, the launch of the company milestones such as new products and services are important to the campaign.
• Launching recruitment drive; once the name is ‘out there’ it is time to let hopefuls know that they can buy into this exciting prospect.
• Launch of franchisees; from the first franchisee onwards it is important to share good news with the public and this is a good way to achieve the goal.
• Internal communications; your internal stakeholders are as important as the public to the brand’s success. The franchisees must also be kept excited by the brand. Their pride in the company can be stimulated in a number of ways and they need to be included in any brand building exercise.
• Awards and accolades; part of the ongoing support to the brand is recognition by various trade or business bodies. These accolades provide credibility and recognition of the brand.
• Sponsorships, events and functions; depending on the company’s requirements sponsoring various groups, conducting functions and events need to be assessed for inclusion in the marketing plan.
• Advertising; No matter what else the company does, it will still need to have a targeted advertising campaign to re-enforce the brand and stimulate franchisee interest. Even though this is a high cost area, it can still be conducted in a cost effective manner and should include a mix of all forms of mediums.
Managing Director of Herson Communication Services Pty Limited, Michele Herson is a specialist in Franchise Recruitment Marketing, Sponsorships and Strategic Alliances, Exhibition and Event Management, National Marketing and Public Relations campaigns, Award submissions, Video Production and Media Training.
To contact Michele:
P: 02 9029 2901