Unity Rd.: The Role of Innovation on Sales and Development
We asked Justin Livingston, VP of franchise development at Unity Rd., about how innovation has affected the brand's sales and development process.
Change is hard. Many in sales and development rest on the tried-and-true processes of the past, but the reality is that the world is evolving around them. The adage "If it ain't broke" will inevitably be etched into the career tombstone of those unwilling to embrace the fact that every day is a new day.
Constant innovation and adaptation to buyer behavior is key to success. Technology evolves, consumer trends morph, and the competition is constantly experimenting with innovative strategies to stand out above the white noise potential prospects must endure. This bold new world is forcing new skills onto companies seeking to capture and hold the attention of a concept's future franchisees. It begins with marketing and understanding that the old ponds are not the only places to fish today.
Our development process relies heavily on innovation. Innovations in technology allow us to make data-driven decisions about the behaviors of the target prospects we're trying to attract. We now have technology and analytics that allow us to be better informed and focus our custom messaging as a spear approach (as opposed to a net).
These changes in how we seek potential franchise partners and understand their searching and buying criteria have led to a unique dynamic between communication and relationship-building. Thriving concepts embrace new opportunities to communicate their brand message and culture through a variety of mediums. Active social media presence, interactive website exploration, and development processes that leverage new technologies to lead prospects through experiential mutual investigations all contribute to the overarching goal: fully immersing a prospect in the total brand experience, complemented by opportunities to build rapport with the development team.
Bringing an entirely new industry to franchising, innovation is our normal. We challenge ourselves every day to create new programs and stay open to new possibilities of how to connect. Whether we're working on developing new segments or targets like social equity programs, or appealing to multi-unit franchisees as a method of diversification, remaining committed to creativity has been critical in opening new doors to new possible franchisees.
A myopic stance clinging to the "way things have always been" will paint a dim future for concepts unwilling or unable to adapt. Embracing innovation and the new freedom to present your brand in many exciting ways will build a brand culture and attract brand partners who will carry the concept into a bright and promising future.
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