All successful businesses need to develop a public profile and a recognisable brand, particularly in the case of franchises because a key asset of a franchise is the power of its brand.
The credibility, reliability and reputation of the brand are major considerations for potential franchisees when deciding whether to invest in one franchise over another. Of course the quality of the product or service is important, but it is intangible elements like trust, reputation and goodwill that often get potential franchisees across the line.
While successful franchises always have a consumer marketing plan, many fail to understand that they have two distinct categories of customers: the people who buy their product or service and the people who buy their franchise system.
Consumer marketing will not necessarily help attract franchisees, so franchisors need to develop a secondary marketing plan aimed at reaching suitable franchisees.
Before this can be written, a company needs to devise a customised recruitment method designed for its specific franchise network. I believe that scientifically researched profiling should be used to ensure that a better quality of candidates is identified through lead generation activities.
Components of a recruitment strategy are:
• An analysis and profile of the job fit for the ideal candidate
• An analysis and profile of the territory including what media, and business and community groups and cultural mix are represented
• Devise a strategy to reach the right candidate for the territory using the right mix for the territory; advertising, executive recruitment and personalised approach
• Personalised approach to requitement means early identification of genuinely suited candidates for selection as opposed to a mass approach of one size fits all.
Once a strategy has been devised, the development and implementation of a franchise recruitment marketing plan can take place.
The plan includes:
• Preparation of media information kits; compilation of target media lists, photographs, case studies, media releases, backgrounders and logos.
• Media training; to ensure company spokespersons are in command of interviews.
• Organisation of media coverage; organising interviews with print and broadcast media, television and public appearances with company spokespersons and success story about franchisees, products, services and its clients.
• Development of website material; websites must be kept fresh through blogging and social media activity.
• Organising promotions; specialised and targeted promotions to keep the name in the public arena.
• Launch of franchise system milestones; the launch of the company milestones such as new products and services is important to ongoing lead generation.
• Launching recruitment drive; once the name is “out there” it is time to let hopefuls know that they can join in this exciting prospect.
• Launch of Franchisees; promoting each new franchise opening provides a constant stream of good news into the marketplace.
• Internal communications; internal customers, the franchisees, must be kept excited by the brand.
• Awards and Accolades; part of the ongoing support to the brand is recognition by various trade or business bodies. Winning awards strengthens credibility and brand recognition.
• Sponsorships, events and functions; sponsoring groups and conducting functions and events as appropriate.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by QSR Media. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Managing Director of Herson Communication Services Pty Limited, Michele Herson is a specialist in Franchise Recruitment Marketing, Sponsorships and Strategic Alliances, Exhibition and Event Management, National Marketing and Public Relations campaigns, Video Production and Media Training.
Website address: www.hersons.com.au.
Telephone: (02) 9029 2901.