Kickstart your franchise with these proven methods.
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Franchising can be a great opportunity to gain capital quickly with a lower level of risk involved. It’s no secret that marketing and publicity can make a huge difference in how successful your franchise becomes. Incorporating strong communication strategies can help you gain the attention of potential new customers and increase revenue exponentially.
But where do you start? With so much information, it can all become overwhelming. Here are the five best marketing strategies you can implement into your franchise to make it flourish.
1. Get your consumer involved
Getting your consumer involved will help you get to know your customers better and improve your relationship with them. Use social media in a way that is interactive for them, such as posting polls for input. Having passive content doesn’t work. Instead, be consistent with personalized blog posts, graphics and video content while thinking about consumer behavior and how you can show your customer how your product or service will satisfy their needs.
Get your customers involved in person as well. If you are searching for a new flavor or product, ask for input from your consumers and look for official taste testers. Your brand identity will be improved by including your consumers, and these activities allow you to collect customer database information.
2. Align your communication with the same underlying message
When thinking about an advertising campaign for a franchise, it is important to use integrated marketing communication that creates a consistent brand image for the company that is cohesive to all the marketing you are doing. Consistency with the colors, images, messages and themes used within your marketing as a whole allows you to create a theme with a central message that will be communicated by all activity.
If someone asked you what brand made cars that were, “The Ultimate Driving Machine”, you would know almost immediately that they were referring to BMW. A study done with the Seal of Cotton showed that in 2020, “8 out of 10 consumers are aware of the trademark, and 86 percent say it helps them make informed purchasing decisions.” Having consistency within all forms of marketing allows a brand to build trust, become more recognizable, reach a greater audience and even save money and contribute to successful, well-recognized, long-running campaigns. This creates a brand image that is identifiable no matter the angle you are advertising or what channel you are using.
Related: Success Secrets of 9 Top Franchises
3. Be generous to the community
The community can be one of your biggest supporters when you have a franchise, so in order to make it flourish you need to routinely get involved in order to improve your relationship with customers. You can be a presence in the community through things like going to events, sponsoring scholarships, donations and fundraising. This marketing strategy strengthens valuable relationships while also targeting valuable customers. Dunkin’ has routinely donated to the Boston Marathon, which is an iconic community event for Boston. After years of this form of community involvement, Dunkin’ is associated closely with being the face of the annual event.
4. Incorporate PR
Implementing PR into part of your marketing plan is something businesses often don’t think about. PR gives you the opportunity to share your message, highlight a special promotion and strengthen your competitive advantage.
KFC over the years has ramped up its PR efforts and is the perfect example of how you can leverage your brand to get you into the press to boost sales. From producing a line of edible nail polish in Hong Kong, called “Finger Lickin’ Good” to partnering with Lifetime to create a movie titled A Recipe For Seduction, KFC has certainly focused on incorporating PR into its strategy.
Related: 10 Ways to Get Global PR Exposure
5. Find your niche
When successfully marketing for a franchise, you must communicate to your audience using their language and the media that they consume. McDonald’s has nearly mastered the concept with having many offerings and directly advertising to each group of customer accordingly. The company has its $1 items for budget savers, McHappy Meals for parents and kids and even a range of options in its vegetarian offerings. The media and channels of marketing vary for each segment — when advertising to a younger audience, they would be on TikTok whereas an older audience would receive more print or TV ads.
While there are many franchises in the world, using the above five strategies as part of your marketing mix can certainly make a world of a difference. Often it’s not what you do, but how you do it that will boost your awareness — and ultimately your sales — while strengthening your competitive advantage.