Franchise Marketing: Why a Corporate Only Strategy Can Fail Franchisees

There’s a reason the Franchise Corporate Office provides advertising materials for local and regional use. It doesn’t even cost extra, yet many franchise business owners bypass a marketing plan at their local level. They perceive there is no need for this expense because “Corporate already does it.” Is that accurate?

People invest in a franchise because they see value in the corporate identity and turnkey model with built in systems and branding- including national marketing. Franchise owners believe they have purchased a complete stand-alone business, so they often overlook the need to market on their own behalf.

There are solid reasons why local advertising should be treated as an investment in business development. For example:

·         How does one franchise differentiate itself from the same brand 12 miles away?

·         How does one franchise separate itself from another that consistently gets bad reviews?

Here’s a case that illustrates both examples and involves two locations of the same tutoring franchise. Corporate did all the homework but their boundary designs did not pick up two different towns in close proximity: One franchise brand, two locations vying for the same neighborhoods.

It is significant that one location was owned and run by a former Drill Sergeant, the other by a former Art Teacher. It’s easy to see how different these environments are, and even easier to see how they would appeal to different families.

Only one of them advertised locally. The other did not, and that led to…Bad reviews for the corporate branding only location. A good advertising strategy would have prevented confusion by managing expectations and attracting the right audience from the start.

The savvy local advertiser? Once the bad reviews at another location began creeping into conversation, the local marketing included location reviews to reinforce a separate identity for that location, and repeated content that helped customers identify that location as “theirs”.

Corporate marketing provides a branding solution for every location, but local marketing creates a connection with the appropriate local audience..