Brand consistency is powerful. By maintaining brand consistency, a company can project a uniform image across various platforms and at different touchpoints, instilling confidence in both existing and potential customers.
While brand consistency is important for all types of businesses, it is especially crucial for franchises. A franchise’s brand is one of its most significant business assets, and taking action to promote brand consistency helps protect that asset while also leveraging it to its full potential.
Understanding the Dangers of Inconsistency for Franchise Brands
Having a strong brand is an indicator of a franchise’s strength and success. However, encouraging brand consistency across geographically dispersed locations can be incredibly challenging. Many franchisees don’t realize that while they may have chosen to invest in a certain brand because of its strength, their actions can have a weakening effect on both their own business and the image of the franchise brand as a whole.
In the following, we’ve highlighted three negative effects that a lack of brand consistency could have on your franchise business.
Opening the Door to Misattribution
It’s not uncommon for franchisees to attempt to take shortcuts to make their marketing efforts either cheaper or easier to implement. However, when franchisees throw together their own promotion flyer or post self-made graphics on social media, chances are they will introduce visual inconsistencies along the way.
These inconsistencies can lead ads or promotions to be misattributed by the audience, especially if the brand is not instantly identifiable. Because of the nature of social media, users tend to scroll through posts quite quickly, meaning any visuals that aren’t immediately recognizable as belonging to a certain brand simply won’t register in the user’s mind.
Diminishing the Synergy of a Strategic Campaign
The customer journey is rarely straightforward. Typically, people must receive communications across several touchpoints and through various channels before they ever decide to take action. These touchpoints could include digital ads on social media and SERPs, physical mailers, TV and radio commercials, or email advertising. It is through this cumulative effect of branded communications that a company makes itself known to consumers and establishes their presence and reliability.
However, inconsistent branding can throw off an entire marketing campaign and undermine all the hard work that has gone into this strategic plan. Instead of reminding customers about the brand’s presence, franchisees who conduct their own marketing at the expense of brand consistency could actually be shooting themselves in the foot and diminishing the impact of an otherwise well-organized and effective campaign.
Sending the Wrong Message
It’s one thing to render a marketing campaign ineffective because of brand inconsistency. However, this isn’t even the worst case scenario. If a franchisee’s marketing efforts look anything less than professional, it can negatively affect how consumers perceive the entire brand.
Brand damage is serious for franchises, yet few imagine that something as simple as a font style that’s a bit off or a wonky spatial layout could cause such damage. Taken together, these little details devalue the hard work and consistency that has gone into building the brand. Not only does this send the wrong message to current and potential customers, but it can also turn off potential franchisees, negatively influencing the brand’s ability to expand in the future.
Promote Brand Consistency with an Experienced Marketing Partner
It’s clear that developing a durable franchise brand with lasting success is not a simple feat. Because of the way franchises are structured, it can be difficult to control many aspects of business operations and maintain ongoing communication among franchisees.
Fortunately, when it comes to marketing, franchise brands don’t have to be at the mercy of their individual franchisees’ decisions. Opting to hire a marketing partner that has plenty of experience working with franchise brands can help you gain control of your brand’s image and prevent damage related to inconsistency.
Be sure to select a marketing partner with a strong record of success in the franchise industry, especially with franchise brands in your sector. Finding a company with a solid team of digital and traditional marketing professionals will allow you to maintain the brand image you’ve worked so hard to achieve while also enabling you to experience the benefits of expanding your franchise network.