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The ABCs of Brand Awareness
There are around 1,300 different franchise brands operating in Canada today, and it's not just about food any more. In fact, the Canadian Franchise Association reports that 60 percent of those franchises are in non-food sectors. With that sort of competition, it's vital for growth and development that the franchise you chose is working toward being visible to the general public. After all, local marketing will only get so far, so your franchiser needs to show dedication to standing out among the crowd.
One way franchises make themselves known to potential customers and franchisees is by promoting brand awareness. Whether your potential franchiser is new or established, they should be working on brand awareness, so here's what to look for.
"A" is for A Clear Definition
A franchise with a clear brand message will set itself apart from the competition and position itself in the customer market. You want a franchiser who has defined how they want to be seen by customers, how they will be seen differently from competitors, and why customers should chose them. It's hard to market a brand without a clearly defined message and even more difficult to attract customers when there is no clear vision or plan in place for the business as a whole.
"B" is for Boosting Reputation
Brand reputation is important with both franchisees and customers. A prospective franchisee will investigate a brand's reputation before investing, while customers will definitely consider it before buying a product or service. If you, as a prospective franchisee, find out that a particular brand has a reputation for not providing good training for new franchisees, chances are you're going to scratch that company from your list. When customers hear bad things about the service or product from a brand, chances are that company is getting scratched from their shopping list, too.
"C" is for Consistency
Consistency across a franchise system is its lifeblood. When customers receive a consistent brand message across all platforms, consistent service and consistent products across all locations, it breeds brand loyalty and brand equity. You have probably experienced poor franchise consistency at least once in your life, like avoiding that one "bad" location of your favorite coffee chain because the drinks aren't ever made right or the service is poor. While you might drive to the "better" location of that coffee chain instead, some customers who receive bad service or products at that one bad location never step foot into one of those chain's stores ever again.
When you are doing your franchise homework, remember to evaluate each company's brand awareness efforts using points A, B and C listed above. Their brand awareness directly impacts your chances at success, so you want to invest in a company that is dedicated to all three aspects.