One of the toughest areas when starting your own business is developing the most effective marketing strategy. As an independent franchise business owner, you should be able to rely heavily on the marketing expertise of the franchisor you’ve aligned with to:
- Provide an identity
- Offer solutions to the consumer
- Project the right message
- Market on the most advantageous platforms
Home Franchise Concepts (HFC) does all that and more for its family of brands that includes Budget Blinds®, Tailored Living®, Concrete Craft®, AdvantaClean® and Kitchen Tune-Up. With HFC, you’re supported by marketing teams dedicated to keeping you on the cutting edge with professionally designed marketing tools that are market-tested for effectiveness. Coordinated national and local marketing initiatives ensure a consistent voice wherever consumers connect with your brand: TV, radio, magazine, mailers, and online. Each brand offers its franchise owners online marketing assets for customized advertising pieces for every local advertising need.
Find your local brand voice
Building on the established national brand, you still need to develop a unique, local voice that ties people to the brand and carves out a niche in your local area. Here are five steps that will help you find your local brand voice, stand out from the competition, and develop a dynamic local area marketing plan to super-charge growth and lead generation.
Step One: Clearly define what you want to communicate
You want to communicate the values and benefits of doing business with your individual franchise. Everything you do in sales, in virtual and in-home consultations, and in customer service creates that reputation. The end game for the consumer is, “What’s in it For Me?” (WIIFM) and you want to let them know what they can count on from you.
- Your local brand voice needs to truly reflect who you are.
- Be transparent to build trust and commitment with customers.
- Employees and installers also need to reflect your local brand voice.
- Know and proclaim what sets you apart from the competition.
Step Two: Know your target audiences inside out
To make an impact, you have to know who you are trying to reach and what they want to hear. You may have more than one target audience, such as individual homeowners and small commercial businesses. While some concerns will be universal, each audience will have a slightly different perspective.
- What are their pain points, challenges and needs?
- How can you address these issues to make life better?
- Where do they hear about you? Radio, television, print, online?
- Pay attention to what generates the most business for you and do more of it.
Step Three: Speak the language your customers speak
Talk to your customers and prospects as you would a friend. They will want to know the features and benefits of your product and services, but technical or formal language could be a turnoff. You need to know everything about the products but, chances are, any given customer needs only what relates to their situation. Learn the words they use in online search and pay attention to questions and comments they make and emulate that in your marketing.
- Learn when technical and industry terms are effective with customers.
- Find the right balance between emotional and educational appeal.
- Is your audience so unique that it “has a language of its own?”
- If you have multiple territories, do individual franchise locations reflect different personalities?
Step Four: Keep your local franchise brand voice consistent
Once your local franchise brand voice is determined, it should be consistent in all communication and interaction with customers and prospects. HFC makes it easy with everything from leave-behind printed pieces to home show displays, press releases, and other marketing materials that keep you on target and on brand, ensuring proper use of logos, tag lines, images, etc. Ongoing national ad campaigns drive brand awareness and support your local efforts, generating sales and leads.
On the local level, make sure that every employee, installer or vendor you use is aware of the brand image you want to project:
- Professionalism in-person and on the telephone.
- On time and fully prepared for consultations and installations.
- Approved, branded shirts/uniforms and well-maintained, clean vehicles.
- Current samples and sales materials.
Step Five: Strive to be “share” and “like” worthy
Always be prepared to go the extra mile to ensure a satisfied customer and it will pay dividends. Word of mouth is the best advertising there is, but it can also be the most damaging if your customer is unhappy. Be assured that your customers are going to talk about their experience with you, so it’s up to you to guarantee that it’s “share,” “like,” and “five-star-review” worthy. If you’ve done a great job for someone, they’ll tell their family and friends so ask every customer for at least one referral and a positive review before you leave.
Understand the power of the brand
Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine, stated, “Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.” Obviously if you bought a franchise business, you were impressed with the brand, carefully crafted and promoted by the franchisor. Ultimately, it is how you live out the brand and how you are perceived by your local audience that will determine your success. Be certain that your local franchise’s brand performance lives up to that promise. Be authentic and real with your customers, embodying such brand qualities as professionalism, quality, and integrity.
If you are considering becoming your own boss by investing in a franchise business, HFC has been helping entrepreneurs build successful franchise businesses for over 27 years. Call 1-800-420-5374 to speak with one of our franchise licensing advisors or go online to Home Franchise Concepts to learn more about franchise ownership and HFC’s five award-winning franchise opportunities that are available today. Stellar brands and amazing marketing support are just two of the many benefits of franchise ownership with the HFC family of brands.
For more on brand power, read What Does Buying A Brand As A Franchise Owner Really Mean?