Franchising is regarded as one of the most effective methods of expanding a business. However, underlying the successes of most franchises are marketing struggles, especially in regard to enabling each branch to maximize its marketing potential.
This is more difficult, not because of having branches in multiple locations, but as a result of the fact that each branch is under the control of a semi-autonomous franchisee. Therefore, any marketing strategy that does not guarantee the success of the local branches has failed already. Nevertheless, the digital revolution has opened up more opportunities for franchises to succeed through more localized marketing strategies.
Franchise marketing challenges
Franchise marketing can seem like a puzzle. Franchises are able to project their brand image further by maintaining consistency across all their branches. On the other hand, blind replication of strategies and ideas across platforms can be counterproductive.
Therefore, franchisors struggle between maintaining cohesion and permitting creativity. Letting the franchisees determine much of the marketing would result in disjointed tactics. Placing too many restrictions brings poor results since a franchisor is only as successful as their franchisees are. All of the problems of franchise marketing flows out of these principal challenges:
Lack of uniformity: Consistency is the bane of every franchise marketing strategy. However creative franchisees want to be, without a uniform brand identity, voice, customer experience, and overall marketing, there is only so little they can do.
Lack of localization: Franchising places most of the marketing responsibility on the headquarters and it seems the role of franchisees is only to receive orders from the top. In this age of digital media, that may not be applicable anymore. It is not enough for a franchise brand to be well-known, it is important that its franchisees are prominent as well in their local markets. Demographics differ, as