Advisory May, 22 2015

How can a franchisee market the brand locally?

Foraying into franchising business without having a marketing and advertising plan is just like preparing a lip-smacking dish and keeping it safe in the kitchen.

By Upant Sharma
Feature Writer
How can a franchisee market the brand locally?

marketing in plain terms is taking your concept to the market to let people know what you sell and the specific customers you’re eyeing on.

One hand, when franchisors are busy finding prospective franchisees- not the customers alone following the rule of franchise development marketing, you as a franchisee need to knit marketing plans to expand business locally. Sometimes, investors going via franchise route miss marketing strategies in their to-do list. Perhaps, franchisees get bit carried away considering brand name they’ve associated with sufficient to pull in local customers or pass the buck on franchisor to get involve in every teensy-weensy task.

What can be done and how?

  • Having a word with franchisor

It’s very important to know before a franchisee enters a franchise agreement with franchisor as to whether franchisor will help market the brand at local level or franchisee would do it alone. Even, doing marketing independently, franchisee should make sure if they have been following marketing strategies as per the franchisor’s prospectus or mentioned in the brochure provided by it. Some brands would follow uniform marketing and advertising strategies wherever they mark their presence and help their franchisee abide by the same procedure through the process of training and support. On offering marketing support to our franchisees, K V S Seshasai, CEO, Zee Learn Ltd opines: “Local area marketing is the key for an education franchise, as no parent is going to send his/her child over large distances to get education. In the age of convenience and click, everything has to be at an arm’s length. Hence doing marketing in and around the centre/school is the best way to get enrollments. At Zee Learn, the business partner and our central team have a single objective of delivering quality education and hence it’s a joint effort in everything that we do to achieve the common goal. We encourage our business partners to take part in local marketing activities and completely support them in doing the same. We also encourage conducting local community connect programmes in sync with the business partner like organising the Navratri Utsav in Gujarat, etc that helps build a greater connect with parents and with partners.”

  • Keeping separate budget for marketing

What might happen to your business if, god forbid, you as a franchisee starts a franchise outlet and thereon, running short of money for marketing? Before this nightmare turns into reality, it’s high time for the franchisees to manage their finance sensibly, keeping separate budget for marketing and advertising the brand. Moreover, the brand previous success can’t be taken for granted as every region has its own demographics, people and conventions that impact the brand’s popularity in that particular region. Means, marketing and advertising the brand at the local level is quite vital to underline the business success drawing out notable profits. Commenting on the same, Vinod Kapoor, Multi-Unit Franchisee of Tanishq says; “All our marketing activities are done with consent of our franchisor. Majority of our promotional marketing activities are done around the festivals.”

  • Mastering the marketing art

A question how to begin the marketing and advertising process often throws the franchisee in a tight spot.  All franchisees need to do is know the local customers and their needs that slightly or sometimes significantly vary from region to region. Like the franchisor, even franchisees can print their own brochures and flyers meant for distribution at the local level. Not stopping here, in the world wherein marketing scores over any other aspect of business, investor can take  to marketing procedures like design and packaging, paid advertising, e-marketing, social media, networking events, exhibitions and conferences, demonstrations and promotional events. It always adds a reliable element to franchisor-franchisee relationship if the latter seeks approval from the former before proceeding with any local marketing plan. Franchisor’s main web site holds a key as it has wide spectrum of customers visiting their websites so making into franchisor main website showing relevant information about the franchisee will be an advantage by itself.

  • Thinking beyond raising money

Franchisees can be the part of the local communities’ activities and sponsor some of those so that the local people could get to know about the brand’s franchisee has been associated with.

Importance of marketing and advertising for the franchisee can be wired into the fact that associating with a well-established brand and then, making it penetrate deep into the local market via sharp marketing and advertising strategies surely titles franchisee as a successful entrepreneur.   

Related: Explore External Funding Options

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