Brand awareness and recognition are some of the most valuable marketing tools your franchise can have. Without it, how would anyone know to buy your product or service in the first place? Building a consistent, memorable and relevant brand can be tricky, however, and this is especially true for franchises. When dealing with franchisees and multiple franchise locations, maintaining one consistent and effective brand takes a lot of planning. But with the right marketing strategy, you can ensure that your brand is one that consumers will love.
Pinpoint What You Want Consumers to Associate with Your Brand
If you’re a new franchise or are going through a rebranding process, the first step is to decide how you want consumers to see your franchise and identify and understand your target audience. Ask yourself several questions: What is your product or service? What makes your franchise stand out? Who is your target audience? What do you want consumers to think of when they see your logo? The answers to all of these questions will affect how you develop your brand.
Build a Branded Message and Appearance Around that Focal Point
Once you have identified your franchise’s target audience and know what message you want to send to them with your branding strategy, it’s time to get to work actually developing that brand. Working with a professional marketing team is helpful at this stage because they can help you develop a highly-targeted and thoughtfully designed brand identity. It is important to develop a logo, font and color scheme and other marketing materials that will represent your brand well and evoke a positive response in consumers.
One of the best examples out there of great branding is Apple. Considering that it’s a technology company, Apple has taken a surprisingly human approach in terms of its marketing and branding strategy. Apple sends the message to consumers that its products are modern and innovative and will add value to their lives. Their logo is sleek and modern and perfectly in line with their brand message. They emphasized this in their Get a Mac campaign, which portrayed the Mac computer (portrayed by Justin Long) as young, smart and fun in contrast to old, inefficient PC (John Hodgman).
Build Brand Consistency Across All Platforms
Brand consistency is essential for all companies, but it is especially important for franchises. Because franchises are dealing with multiple owners and locations, it’s necessary to ensure that all franchisees understand the franchise’s marketing and branding strategy. Franchisees should have access to all the branded fonts, colors, content and images and use those across all platforms, including websites and social media. If franchise location owners are left on their own, brand consistency will likely go out the window. Providing all franchise owners with the same marketing and branding materials will help ensure brand consistency across all locations.
Utilize Social Media to Build Awareness
Once you have established a strong brand message, it’s time to spread that brand. Social media is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to connect with consumers build brand awareness and recognition. Facebook, in particular, is a great social media platform for businesses because of the sheer number of people who use Facebook and the variety of opportunities it gives businesses to promote themselves. Make sure that all franchise locations are using branded content when posting on social media to maintain brand consistency. It’s also important to manage all Facebook pages and regularly respond to and monitor any comments or reviews on the pages.