A Guide To Refreshing Your Franchise Brand

11/04/2018 17:00 | Start a business

Refreshing your franchise brand

Choosing to rebrand any business is a decision which shouldn’t be taken lightly, but for franchise brands, there are even more considerations to take into account. If you’re a franchisor who thinks your brand is due a refresh to continue to appeal to customers, then this guide can help you to overhaul your image without impacting your business.

How do you know that your brand is outdated?

Rebranding costs a lot of money and time and can have a hugely adverse effect on a franchised business if it’s not done right. After all, the value of your intellectual property including logos and trademarks, is what makes your business so recognisable and so appealing to prospective franchisees. Even famous franchises need to update their brand to keep up with the times. But how do you know whether this level of franchise development is right for your business?

Here are four signs that your brand may need repositioning:

1. The expectations of your target audience change

As your franchise develops and grows, the expectations of your customer base will evolve too. To ensure that you always understand your target audience hold regular focus groups or polls to find out as much as you can about your customers. This will enable you to create profiles on your target audience to constantly sense check if your brand appeals to them.

2. You update your product offering or service.

Just like any business, franchise brands grow and change over time. For example, your logo may have been very relevant to your business when you launched your franchise, but now may confuse what it is your business does. Outdated branding can result in your customers not understanding what you do and what you stand for.

3. You want to appeal to a new customer base.

Your brand may have served you well to attract a particular audience or appeal within a specific geographical area, but if you're looking to grab the attention of a new audience, you may need to update your brand. Especially if your brand has remained unchanged for many years, a fresh take on your established brand may be the new lease of life it needs.

4. Current brand is performing poorly

Sometimes franchise development is needed to inject new life into a tired and poor performing business. This can be achieved by creating a refreshed logo and marketing campaign to accompany its launch. Remember that it’s not just a logo or a tagline that defines your brand, and sometimes just reminding people of the products and services that you offer through a relaunched brand can help improve customer awareness and performance.

If any of these reasons apply to your business, it may be time for some franchise development, but what’s the best way to update your brand identity?

How to successfully refresh franchise brands

From famous franchises to lesser-known franchise brands, success depends on the strength of brands to represent consistent and good quality experiences to customers. If your franchise is in need of a brand makeover, here are 3 top tips on how to get it right:

1. Don’t move too far away from your original branding

Your brand may need to be refreshed, but don't be tempted to completely overhaul the core elements of your brand so that it becomes unrecognisable. Particularly for your logo, it's essential that you integrate some original features into the new one so that it looks updated rather than entirely different. Hire the services of a professional branding agency to help you create a connection between the new and the old. Attempting to rebrand in-house can result in costly mistakes being made.

2. Involve your franchisees

Your franchisees will know your customers better than anyone. Involving several franchisees throughout the design phase will help to ensure that any adjustments to the brand remain aligned to customer expectations.

Not only should franchisees be consulted but they need to be educated too. To ensure that you have the support and backing of your franchisees you should make them all aware of how the refreshed brand will affect them. An excellent way to do this is to share the rebranding process, timelines and draft designs with franchisees at a specially organised franchisee event. This way you can get immediate feedback and address any concerns that there may be.

When communicating the rebrand, you should focus on how it will help franchisees’ businesses to become more successful and therefore profitable. Remember that as well as customer facing material, the operations manual will also need to be updated and additional training should be arranged for franchisees and their employees.

3. Promote your new brand

When you have gone to the expense and effort to refresh your brand, you should focus on making the launch as useful as it can be. Firstly, make sure that you update all your visual elements before launching a refresh. It’s not just your logo and tagline, but everything your customers can see, including your website, uniforms and stationery.

Create a buzz about the brand relaunch. Promote it on your social media pages, your website as well as contacting the local and national press. Making customers aware of the update is key to the success of your whole brand refresh, and so it may be best to entrust the brand agency that created the new brand to promote it too. Refreshes with poorly executed or uninspiring launches lose the opportunity to generate customer interest in a franchise.

Your brand identity is essential to the success of your franchise and represents your product, services and values. Over time, these elements may change, and so it's crucial that branding doesn’t get overlooked when you’re busy growing your franchise business.

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