1. Set high expectations
The idea that franchisees are expected to produce marketing collateral to the highest standards should be established when they first join the business. Make marketing a key part of introductory franchisee training. Establish the franchise’s key values and manifesto, and explain how this is represented through marketing and branding. Show franchisees examples of this done well, and not so well, and supply reference materials for later use.
2. Establish guidelines
Provide franchisees with detailed guidelines around what should be used in marketing campaigns. This should be in the form of a written and digital reference guide that includes details of campaign dos and don'ts, a tone of voice guide with supporting examples, and requirements around the use of your brand logo, graphics, images, fonts, and colours.
Iterations of the City of Melbourne logo
A brand's style manual is what marks each piece of marketing collateral clearly, unambiguously theirs. Companies like Google have built visual standards that customers around the world instantly recognise, supported by a thorough, easy to follow style guide. Even a city can benefit from brand guidelines, as can be seen in this style guide for the City of Melbourne.
3. Create an approval process for collateral and campaigns
Regardless of whether a franchisee’s marketing campaign is regional or local, your head office should know of and approve all campaigns before they run. An approval process could involve the franchisee sending campaign materials to their regional or area manager, with the national marketing manager having final sign-off.
This process should be made as simple as possible for franchisees, and any staff overseeing the approvals must respond within a set time to ensure efficiency. Make feedback clear and actionable, and include the reasons why any specific elements weren’t to standard. For example, a campaign may not have been approved because it targeted another franchisee’s territory, or used low-resolution images.
Workflow systems such as our platform FUSE can help make sure your whole team is on the same page, and allow your franchisees to access style guides, the latest assets, and up-to-date information.
4. Give support and feedback
You can help your franchisees create on-brand marketing materials by providing them with access to up-to-date logos, branded templates, and pre-approved images that meet copyright requirements. All this digital collateral can be hosted on the cloud, or via your company intranet.
Make marketing a subject that is addressed in any regular scheduled meetings between head office and the franchisee. Use this as a forum to provide feedback and discuss campaigns created by the franchisee during that period.
5. Provide ongoing training and updates
A brand’s marketing is always evolving, so keep franchisees up to date on this. Schedule quarterly or biannual branding sessions with franchisees that discuss the franchise’s current branding position and planned marketing campaigns, and provide opportunities for franchisees to connect with new training and resources.
A key reason franchisees buy in to a franchise is the marketing support available. Whatever you can do to help them stay on brand and market their business will go a long way to retaining them as a committed, motivated representative of your brand. By providing your franchisees with support and guidance, they’ll be better resourced to create their own on-brand local franchise marketing campaigns.
Struggling to keep franchisees on-brand, or desperate to drive more leads from your local campaigns? Salmat’s multichannel marketing tool empowers multi-site businesses to deliver lead-driving campaigns at a local and national level. Discover the possibilities of FUSE.