Engagement of your prospects and customers — and your candidates — is a moving target today, raising many ongoing questions for brand managers and franchise developers:
- How do consumers engage with the companies they do business with?
- Where do those customer interactions happen, and how does your brand show up in that space?
- Are you empowering your franchisees to be successful?
- What do franchise candidates expect of a competitive brand?
We addressed these questions through the 2013 Brand Development Study, an extensive survey of the franchise marketing strategies of more than 150 of today’s top brands, which we conducted in conjunction with the Franchise Leadership and Development Conference. The biggest surprises from this benchmark survey:
Almost half of franchisors don’t have a mobile site. When you are not sitting at your desk, how do you access the Internet? If you are waiting in line, sitting in a restaurant, in a meeting, on an airplane, or on your couch at home, you probably use your mobile phone or tablet. Your customers do the same, as do your franchise candidates. A mobile-friendly consumer site and franchise site are mandatory for doing business in 2013 and beyond.
73% of brands have a Google+ page, but only 25% of them provide a link to it on their website. Google+ has important SEO implications, but it can’t work its magic if you don’t tell your customers that it exists.
Only 4% of brands have responded to negative reviews. This has obvious implications for customer acquisition, but also has an impact on franchise candidates. Prior to contacting you, a franchise candidate will look your brand up on Google to validate your credibility. Negative customer feedback can deter candidates from filling out your franchise request form.
Nearly 70% of brands don’t have a location map on their Facebook page. Facebook provides this at NO COST to franchisors through a program that Process Peak administers. Make it easy for customers to do business with your franchisees by making them findable!
Only 11% of franchise brands list their franchise opportunity on their LinkedIn page. This is the world’s largest business network, and there are a lot of qualified candidates there, so why not present your opportunity? In addition, only 6% have recommendations for their opportunity on LinkedIn. This is another free opportunity that can go a long way for franchise candidate validation – and here’s how to do it. Sylvan has the done the best that I’ve seen at this and I recommend all franchise brands try to emulate their approach.
For more details, see this infographic about the Brand Development Study, or contact me to discuss how your brand stacks up. Call 760-720-5354, or email me at email@example.com and we’ll set a time to compare your brand with others in the study.