How Healthy Is Your Brand?: Take This Quick "Big Three" Test Now!

How Healthy Is Your Brand?: Take This Quick "Big Three" Test Now!

If your perspective on the meaning of franchise development is a narrow focus on how many deals you get signed this quarter, I'd suggest you reconsider. Unless, of course, the focus of the organization is around selling franchises, not on adding shareholder value.

Whether conscious or not, the sad truth is that many management teams out there today still believe it's okay to sign and bring on anyone willing to sign a franchise agreement. The other side of the view is the management team dedicated to expanding and growing the franchise network through increases in system sales, unit count, and unit economics. This brand is heading in the right direction.

Nothing drives shareholder value in a franchise more than annual double-digit growth with the "Big Three": system sales, unit count, and unit economics. Get this reality happening year over year with your brand and you've punched the winning ticket!

ACTION: Pause from reading this column and take the "Big Three" brand health test I've included. This easy self-assessment will help you identify possible brand health issues. Take the test now.

Big Three Franchise Brand Health Test

  1. Last 3 years of year-over-year system sales growth?
    1. 11%+
    2. 6% to 10%
    3. 1% to 5%
    4. 0% to −10%
    5. −11%+
  2. Last 3 years of net new unit openings?
    1. 11%+
    2. 6% to 10%
    3. 1% to 5%
    4. 0% to −10%
    5. −11%+
  3. Last 3 years of YOY key unit economic metric growth?
    1. 11%+
    2. 6% to 10%
    3. 1% to 5%
    4. 0% to −10%
    5. −11%+

How did you do?

So you took the test and you're wondering about the results. If "A" or "B" were the answers to each question, that's good. Keep moving forward. If any answers were "C," "D," or "E," take a timeout and explore further. This should be discussed at your next management meeting.

Though the test is simple, getting to the root cause of what's driving either great or poor performance can be a challenge. I want to hit on one area I have found that just might be the #1 contributor to poor brand health.

Poor brand health is often the result of misunderstanding franchise development. What am I talking about?

  • It's a narrow focus on how many signed franchise agreements you can get each year.
  • It's having a "selling" mindset vs. a "recruiting" mindset.
  • It's not starting with the end in mind and reverse engineering to get the right development strategy and plan.
  • It's not understanding that development doesn't stop with a signed agreement, but is just getting started and includes successfully onboarding a new unit/franchisee.

And more...

The fact that you're reading this column tells me you want to do development right. You want to be a champion in recruiting and onboarding new franchisees. Through this column, I'm dedicated to exploring development challenges and offering solutions that might just help you and your brand make the move to the next level.

Let's go to work!

Art Coley is CEO of CGI, a recruitment and onboarding firm dedicated to helping franchise brands maximize their recruitment and development efforts. Contact him at 254-239-5411 or

Published: November 4th, 2017

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