Who Are You and What’s Your Story?
Building Your Franchise – Online and Off – in the Local Market
As a franchise owner, you can utilize the best franchise digital marketing tools, implement stellar strategies and create the most searchable of SEO content, and still have people scratching their heads about what it is your business is or does. That’s a lot of wasted time and money. This happens when your messaging is off, and nobody knows your name. The good news is it’s an easy fix.
Brand messaging, the brand story behind your franchise, is perhaps the most important part of any franchise marketing strategy. It’s the foundation everything else is built on. The two parts of a brand story are about you, the owner, and your company.
First, let’s talk about you. Who are you? How did your franchise business come about, and why should people believe in you and what you are doing? This is a time to showcase your expertise. Do this by positioning yourself as a leader in your local market. Join and represent local business groups like the Chamber of Commerce, Mainstreet Initiative or Downtown Development Association. Seek out leadership positions on their Boards of Directors. Volunteer with local non-profits like Rotary, Lions or the school district. Lead community events.
The idea is to show your face, give your time, and let your community get to know you. As a perk of membership, most of these organizations reward you with digital advertising and sponsor opportunities on their website and social media platforms. The more active you are as a community leader, the more chance of terrific local PR – all of which can be shared across your franchise marketing channels.
A Good Story is a Key Part of Your Franchise Marketing Strategy
A good brand story sparks an emotional connection. It makes you and your brand relatable to potential franchisees and rallies your community.
“People want to gather in a place that is centered on doing good works, not just making money.” That’s what Rob Webb says. He is the Founder and CEO of the Just Love Franchise Group, known for their popular coffee cafes and culture of community outreach. “Just Love Coffee franchise is founded in helping ease the financial burden of adoptive families. From this foundation we have always made our shops a hub for the local communities to hold fundraisers, drop off locations for the homeless, families in need, and other philanthropic programs. We make it clear to potential Franchisees that they do not necessarily need to share my passion for adoption and the orphan crisis, but they do need to be active in something that touches them.”
There is no doubt about who Rob is or how his company operates. Pair culture with excellent products and services, and everyone wins. “We are not in the coffee business selling to people. We are in the people business selling coffee,” Webb says. “This does not diminish the importance of our product. We take very seriously the quality of our coffee and food, but if the customer service is lacking and the owners don’t have a shared passion for who we are as a company, then the quality doesn’t matter.”
More Franchise Marketing Ideas: The Owner as a Leader
Success stories are the bread and butter of franchise marketing ideas, both via word of mouth and the digital landscape. Success stories give prospects a window to the future, someone like themselves to relate to, to aspire to duplicate. Further, they can validate the expertise of the franchise development leadership team, the amount of support and training that is available to new franchise owners, and every other positive light that makes your concept shine.
Both messaging methods – a well-painted picture of the franchisor and success stories of franchisees – bring an emotional element to the sales process. Without an emotional connection, even a good lead won’t likely convert. Anchor your messaging with a leading business owner and a relatable network of people and watch your digital franchise marketing efforts thrive.
Matthew Jonas is president and co-founder of TopFire Media. As TopFire Media’s brand steward, he defines high-impact digital PR and marketing strategies for an impressive cache of consumer and franchise-based clientele. For more information, visit www.topfiremedia.com