The 5 Keys To Creating a Great Franchise Brand Story
Your brand story is the story of who you are, what you do, how you do it, and what is important to you. It’s your chance to show consumers why you exist and help them imagine the role you could play in their lives.
For franchises, a great brand story is a critical component of both customer loyalty and new franchisee recruitment. But many franchises are still using outdated models and could benefit from updated storytelling approaches.
Identifying a compelling brand story
A brand story is not a history of how a franchise started or a chronology of new stores opening. That’s a timeline. And though it’s informative, it’s not compelling. Consumers want a reason to connect to a brand and know why a company deserves their loyalty over the competition.
For franchises, the brand story addresses two markets: the consumers who buy things, and the potential franchisees who are targeted in franchise development. The core of your brand story should remain consistent, but the angle can vary depending on your audience. Buyers need to know that a brand provides a good service, while potential franchisees need to understand whether they would be a good fit for a particular brand.
The franchise story should not change by location. Regional franchises benefit from a strong, centralized brand story; modifying that story only confuses audiences. Individual franchises should look to other areas to stand out.
How to create a compelling brand story in 2018
Brand stories have been around as long as brands have, but the digital age has changed how businesses need to tell those stories. If your franchise’s brand story needs a refresh (or if you need to create one), follow these five strategies to create a story that’s effective for modern audiences.
1. Use a multimedia approach
Customers interact with brands on a variety of channels, from radio ads to online quizzes, and on myriad devices, from traditional desktop computers to smartwatches. No matter where they go, though, audience attention spans remain short. Don’t bore people with long-winded text. Provide only vital information, then fill in the gaps with engaging videos and images.
2. Focus on the customer
Consumers have little time to spare and don’t want to spend that time hearing about you. To capture their attention, make your brand story all about the customer. StoryBrand provides an excellent formula for success: 1) the story begins with a hero who has a problem; 2) the hero meets a guide who provides a plan; 3) the guide then calls the hero to action; and 4) the hero successfully completes the plan. In your brand story, be the guide and make your customers the heroes.
3. Provide a seamless user experience
Modern storytelling is not linear. People will encounter your story at different points in time and on different platforms. Your story should work not only as a cohesive narrative, but also as a series of individual marketing components. Maybe one customer hears a radio ad, then sees a Facebook ad, then watches a TV commercial. Another customer might see a magazine ad followed by an online video. No matter the steps, every journey should provide the same impression of your brand.
4. Leverage other voices
Your message is stronger when it comes from someone outside your organization. When you talk about yourself, consumers often hear a sales pitch. However, when happy customers talk about you they provide the social proof you need to bridge the gap between your company and your consumers. Capitalize on those recommendations and testimonials by adding them to your website, social media, and emails.
5. Demonstrate your differentiators
Address the ways you add value that your competitors do not. Use your brand story to stand out from the noise. Your differentiators can come from your products, your target market, your charity partnerships, and more. The important thing is that your story is unique to your franchise.
A great brand story can transform a franchise brand from a background player into a market leader — but only if that story resonates with its target audiences. Use these 5 tips to create a better brand strategy and, before long, your customer loyalty and interest from potential franchisees will skyrocket.
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