When you start a new business, you need to think about your brand. We refer to this in our Small Business Management course, and go into some detail about choosing business names, web domains and the like, and encourage you to think about your great business and brand aspirations.
It’s Already Done for You
When you buy into a franchise, however, developing a corporate image and creating brand awareness isn’t generally something you need worry about. We’ve been talking about why people buy into franchises in our series of posts on franchises and franchising, because we’re ready to expand our business and we want entrepreneurs like you to join us.
Most franchises have an established corporate image as well as customer brand awareness, so that when you buy into a franchise, because they have an already established logo and marketing strategy in place, it’s easier for new franchisees to obtain and retain customers – in effect, franchises have a built-in customer base.
The Importance of a Brand
People like to do business with companies they’re familiar with, and with so much competition in the marketplace, customers aren’t just looking for decent products and services, but also for brands they know and recognize. It makes them feel secure in the choice they’ve made, because a well-known business, after all, isn’t just some fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants operation that’s here today, gone tomorrow. (Indeed, customers are inclined to do business with a franchise for almost the same reason that an entrepreneur would buy one.)
When it comes to advertising strategies, these are usually organized at a corporate level, giving your small business national – and sometimes, global – reach. At a local level, some franchises have jurisdiction over their local advertising and marketing strategies – sponsorship of the local football team or advertising in local paper, say – where others don’t.
Do You Have Free Reign?
LJ Hooker, for example, allows their franchisees to create their own promotional advertising and sponsor local community events, schools, and sporting teams as they see fit, whereas McGrath controls ever facet of the brand, and any promotional marketing or sponsorship must be approved by head office first, which they then oversee in minute detail, even down to the timing of newspaper ads.
In this case, it’s a good idea for potential franchisees to find out what resources the franchisors have in place to assist them in implementing advertising strategies at a local level where the competition from other similar businesses is sometimes high, as is the case in the real estate industry.
That being said, however, the combination of a strong national or global brand and a good local image is likely to bring about a highly successful venture, which is what makes a franchise such an appealing option for would-be entrepreneurs.