The difference between a franchise that merely survives and one that thrives is all in the power of the personal touch. Most entrepreneurs crave the creative freedom to pursue their own business opportunities and stand out from the crowd. Franchising can, therefore, conjure up fears of uniformity and standardization.
When franchising, however, most owners encourage their franchisees to come up with creative ways to market their products or services. This means you don’t have to miss out on making your ‘stamp’ on the industry, when you purchase a franchise opportunity. Here are just some ways to make your franchise stand out from the crowd, to propel your business into success.
The most important way for any business to succeed, is to build connections within the local community. This is particularly important for franchisee’s who are hoping to stand out from the crowd. Involvement in the local community and trade associations helps your franchise gain exposure and visibility.
Partnering up with a complementary local business is a great way for your venture to receive positive exposure, and to build up collaborative marketing opportunities. Looking for ways to volunteer and sponsor members of the community also generates positive PR and ongoing exposure for your business.
Local Area Marketing (LAM)
Local Area Marketing (LAM) is a recognised component of the franchise business model. It recognises that, while national marketing campaigns help the franchise as a whole to gain exposure, ultimately, all marketing efforts must funnel down to the local areas.
LAM marketing is, therefore, a phase of broader national campaigns, integrating the local business into smaller community events. Taking the time to perfect your LAM strategy is, therefore, imperative to tailoring your marketing programs and better adapting to local conditions.
Location, Location, Location
Most franchisor’s will determine a range of approved products or services. However, most will also recognize the importance of allowing their franchisee’s to determine their own clientele, to achieve a ‘local flavour’.
Products that are popular in one area may not be popular in others due to various factors including the location, weather and demographic of the clients. This creates an opening for you to suggest new products or services, based on your area and feedback from local consumers.
Get Social Media Savvy
One of the dangers of purchasing a franchise, is the risk of it being viewed as ‘uniformed and standardized’. Social media offers you an opportunity to connect to your local customers on a personal level. Blogging about your new products, regular clients and the day-to-day workings of the business, is a great way for your customers to feel a more personal relationship to your franchise.
When turning to social media marketing, it is, therefore, important to localise the content to your specific franchise area. Post content that is of interest to your local customers, from community festivals to local sporting events. Having an individual social media account is the most effective way of adding a local face to your brand and the personalised touch that keeps customers coming back.
Listen to your Customers
Personalising a franchise is all about making your business stand out. What better way to do this than to provide superior service, setting your franchise apart from other counterparts.
Exceptional customer service strategies are your opportunity to follow up with your customers in personal ways, providing friendlier service than they will find elsewhere. Even if part of a larger corporation, you should always take the time to personally respond to customer feedback, questions or complaints. Whilst adhering to the franchise brand guidelines, you can also provide individual decor including local artwork and decorations, to make the overall customer service experience as welcoming as possible.
A common misconception of franchise ownership is that it means losing all of your individuality. However, there are hundred of ways to customise your business while still following the business model of the franchisor. Thinking locally and trying new products, marketing strategies and ventures, is the key to making your franchise stand out from the crowd.