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Welcome to part 3 of our series outlining mistakes franchisors make when it comes to their online marketing. Check out part 1 here and part 2 here to get all caught up.

Our next and final #FranchisorFail? Not creating brand standards.

When a franchisor fails to articulate brand standards for franchisees to adhere to, what follows is not pretty: location owners and marketers can run amok, ruining the entire franchise’s reputation.

Or, in a better (yet still bad) scenario, perhaps the franchisees don’t completely screw up the brand, but they just aren’t sure how to best leverage it, so their marketing falls short.

Here’s exactly what can result when franchisors don’t dictate brand standards — and how Franchise Marketing Group can help.

Why You Need Brand Standards

Scenario 1: Social Media Snafus Dislike

We’ve seen it far too many times: a franchisee running their own social media campaigns attempts to cash in on the latest trending hashtag and unwittingly posts something offensive.

Without brand standards to guide their postings, your franchisees may end up making updates that don’t reach followers, but rather irritate or confuse them. For example, they may be trying to reach a broader audience by sharing a viral video, but doing so may be inappropriate in a B2B setting.

For your franchisees’ to succeed in social media without tarnishing your whole franchise’s rep, they need brand standards to refer back to. You can prohibit them from posting certain content (i.e. racy photos, curse words, or potentially controversial opinions), give suggestions for post topics, and more.

Scenario 2: NAPU Nightmares

One area that brand standards can sometimes overlook? How your franchise locations are to be named and referred to online. You may not think it’s a big deal if your franchisee decides to name their location after the city rather than the specific retail area they’re in, but down the line when you open another franchise in that city, there will be issues. Plus, differences in the naming convention will affect the location’s NAPU — Name, Address, Phone Number, and URL. As we’ve shared before, NAPU inconsistencies aren’t just irksome for potential customers — they can also hurt your online presence.

If you have brand standards in place that specify naming conventions for your franchisees, there won’t be any confusion when it comes to establishing what name each location will be referred to as online.

Scenario 3: Untapped Potential

It may seem like franchisees gone wild is the theme of this post, but that’s not the only danger franchisors face by not articulating brand standards.

Without some helpful guidelines and examples, franchisees may not know the best way to leverage the power of a national franchise brand in their local marketing efforts, so sales fall flat.

Your brand standards don’t just have to be a list of Don’ts — they should also be a list of Do’s! Provide some examples of successful online marketing campaigns, suggestions for quarterly content pushes, and more.

Let us develop your franchise’s brand standards.

Better yet, couple your franchise locations with seasoned franchise marketing experts. Franchise Marketing Group has experience with developing and implementing brand standards for national and global franchisors. With our standards in place, you can rest easy knowing your franchisees have uniform guidelines and your overall reputation will remain in tact. Our online marketing services are always performed with brand standards in mind.

To learn more about creating your franchise’s brand standards, contact Franchise Marketing Group today at (816) 875-9311.