When it comes to your franchise brand, you need to develop and maintain strict standards and strategies that connect every aspect of your brand in a unified way for your franchisees to follow and for you to ensure branding is consistent.
Developing your brand takes time and dedication, and once you have achieved the perfect brand for your company’s identity, if there are any inconsistencies across any platform, you risk chipping away at your brand’s value.
So, what does the future hold for your franchise? Will you follow the keys to compliance and ensure a successful future?
What is Brand Compliance?
Brand compliance is the set of strategies which ensure that your brands message is and remains consistent. This means no matter how many marketing materials, channels, or franchisees you bring in, your brand is delivered in the same way with the same identity and quality to whoever is exposed to it.
Essentially, brand compliance is the approach you take to maintain the fundamentals of your brand and to eliminate any potential inconsistencies.
Why Brand Compliance is so Important for Your Franchise
As a franchisor, it can be challenging to manage every asset that plays a part in your brand. When you have many employees, franchisees, locations or branches, your brand management becomes even more difficult to maintain and keep track of. That’s why brand compliance is so important.
Building a brand means developing a unique identity, qualities, and values. Think of these elements as the fingerprint of your company. All these variables work together in making your franchise brand stand out from the crowd. And when even one element is inconsistent with the rest, it can be confusing for your audience and could result in a loss of trust and revenue.
When you have brand compliance you develop an unobstructed vison and pathway for your brand and your franchise benefits from:
- Consistency and quality
- Better brand recognition
- A protected brand
- An overall increase in sales
Key # 1 Create Brand Guidelines
When you have clear franchise brand guidelines, your brand compliance efforts are improved. These guidelines are what helps you achieve and maintain an effective brand identity.
Your brand guidelines should cover the following so that your franchise, as a whole, is set up for success.
Appearance and Materials
There are many variables that go into the appearance of you brand. All these variables help make up the identity for your brand which should be carried out consistently by every franchisee.
Some of these variables include the colors, your logo, fonts or typefaces, imagery, direct mail materials, web design, print advertisements and more. All these elements are the face of your brand and is what helps make your franchise marketing efforts effective. When they are consistent, they help in making your brand become more recognizable or familiar. This means that it’s important that every location, and employee understands and follows the guidelines set forth in your brands appearance, design assets and marketing materials.
Tone and Messaging
It’s important to set the tone of your brand when establishing brand guidelines so your brand compliance is strong. This tone and the way each message is perceived will represent your franchise and be an identifier in your brands values.
Tone and messaging, or the feeling your franchise evokes when communicating, helps your brand develop a memorable voice and personality. And the voice and personality of your brand needs to be consistent.
This is because when you apply your branded voice and personality into all platforms, in the same way, your customers and prospects are better able to identify your brand. And as your franchise grows with a consistent voice, your franchise become more recognizable. For example, if one franchisee markets with a playful and casual tone and another reaches their audience with a formal and serious tone, your franchise's voice and personality becomes confusing.
We mentioned consistency in the appearance and tone of your brand, this is because consistency needs to be addressed within every aspect of your franchise. Making sure your brands appearance, marketing communications, sales and promotions, marketing strategy, tone and message are consistent across all platforms ensures a powerful marketing campaign.
When you visit a chain restaurant in Virginia the menu and employees' uniforms are the same as the restaurant’s menu and uniforms in Kansas. Consistency is such an important guideline that each franchise owner needs to follow. This includes within their postcard marketing, catalog campaign, email marketing, business cards and more.
Consistency is what develops, maintains, and grows the image and message of your franchise. When your franchise has consistency among all platforms and locations, your brand becomes more successful and stands out to all franchisees’ audiences and will generate more sales and customers.
Key #2 Set Your Franchisees Up for Success
To set your franchisees up for success, you need to centralize all your marketing materials, digital marketing assets, promotional products and all other marketing collateral so that they are easily accessible to them and you. When you put everything into one place, like an Ordering Portal, everyone who has access can easily order while ensuring consistent branding is in place. Otherwise, your designs and materials are difficult to acquire, and it risks potential inconsistencies which can diminish your brands value.
What is an Ordering Portal? There are a few terms used to refer to this advanced type of software, including “Web-to-Print Storefront,” “Marketing Portal,” “Print Portal” and “Brand Portal.” A portal is a system which allows you and your franchisees to quickly access and order materials, while also being able to change certain variable data like names on business cards or addresses on brochures.
Whether your franchise is just starting out or has 500 locations, it’s important to make sure your marketing collateral is easily accessible to your franchisees. It’s also essential to make sure every order, design, and material matches your brand's identity. That’s why housing all assets within one online storefront sets your franchisees up for success.
Key #3 Make it Easy to Manage
As a franchisor, you have a lot on your plate which means managing branded assets that are distributed in different folders or libraries is extremely time consuming. Not to mention approving each franchisees materials and designs, if not done in an efficient manner, can become hectic.
Creating and maintaining brand compliance doesn’t have to be this difficult. And although your franchise compliance begins with brand guidelines and setting your franchise up for success, you will also need an effortless system to manage your franchise marketing.
Ordering Portals not only make it easy for your franchisees to order and customize marketing materials and other branded assets, but they also make your franchise management a seamless process. This includes allowing access to certain stakeholders, limiting how many materials or which designs each authorized user can order, and even allowing new employees access to order certain materials, like business cards, on their own while being confident that branding is in place. You can also allow your marketing team to upload new designs or marketing materials. To make managing even easier, you can require manager approval so that with just a click of a button you or other supervisors you have allowed access, can approve pending orders before they get produced.
Compliance is essential for managing and protecting your brand’s identity, it allows your franchisees to market your brand consistently and effectively while allowing you to easily control how your brand is represented. Conquest Graphics’ online Ordering Portals makes compliance easy for you to manage and your franchisees to follow. If you're ready to take your franchise brand management to the next level, click below to schedule a free demo today.
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