Maintaining brand consistency is a challenge faced by many franchises. According to Gary Findley of the International Franchise Association, “multi-unit franchises may face a variety of difficulties along the way toward building brand consistency.” Findley points out that “balancing brand uniformity while respecting franchisee independence and regulating brand messages while effectively targeting local communities are two of the struggles that often arise.”
For many franchises, consolidating print and fulfillment functions is the answer. Having one source manage both print and fulfillment allows franchises to support franchisees while ensuring brand consistency across all print channels.
Franchises who have a marketing team, advertising agency or other source manage fulfillment are able to control warehouses, maintain inventory, produce and custom ship printed materials more effectively, which allows the franchise to produce, manage and execute consistent branding throughout the marketing process.
Consistent branding is critical to a franchise for many reasons, but according to Venveo’s Beth Pop Nikolov, two of the most important include showing your brand is dependable and building consumer trust.
Consolidation of print and fulfillment is especially relevant to franchises who often struggle to maintain brand consistency. Consolidation solves the issue of brand consistency while also ensuring print and marketing materials are readily available to the franchise network through fast, effective, efficient channels and processes.
The advantages of consolidating print and fulfillment include…
- Better tracking and control
When your franchise has one source produce and manage fulfillment and print materials better tracking and control becomes an evident advantage. Take QR (quick response) codes, for example. These are similar to barcodes, in that they are a printed but they contain digital information that can be read by a consumer’s smart phone.To be effective QR codes have to be enticing to consumers and contain equally salient content. Search Engine Journal suggests that some of the most effective uses for QR codes include: coupons, social media links, downloadable information, product details, directions, digital tickets, and email newsletters.
Having one source create and manage your franchise network’s use of QR codes as well as the coupons, products, tickets and other printed materials that the QR code appears on makes it much easier to track the success of the campaign (often by franchisee), make changes to promotions and keep the entire process organized and smooth.
- Improved marketing campaigns
An advantage of print marketing is that it can be highly targeted when released through publications aimed at a particular demographic. Trade magazines are great for B2B companies and billboards, bus ads and direct mail are equally well targeted to particular neighbourhoods.Having one source – either your franchise’s head office or marketing agency manage your print marketing campaigns as well as your fulfillment process makes it easier to properly integrate the campaign throughout the entire franchise network. Not only will the brand consistency be in place, your marketing efforts will be more effectively executed when your inventory (like menus, flyers, coupons and other print) is well-aligned and consistently executed.
In addition to increased organization and a tighter, more effective overall marketing strategy, one of the primary benefits to consolidating print and marketing fulfilment is ensuring brand consistency across your franchise network. By consistently using your brand’s style guide through all print materials your franchise is able to present a strong, seamless brand image no matter the channel or franchise location.
- Legitimacy through print marketing
Although online marketing has come a long way, print advertising conveys a sense of legitimacy, partly because it is more expensive than online advertising. The cost of running print campaigns can actually give franchise networks a marketing advantage.Bigger isn’t always better, but when it comes to a marketing budget it certainly helps. Franchises can pool resources in order to secure print materials (often with better pricing through economies of scale). Plus, through print campaigns franchises are better able to control the entire fulfillment process, and are less reliant on having individual franchisees maintain branding style guidelines.
How to consolidate print and marketing fulfillment strategies
As franchise owners know, much of the value of owning a franchise comes from the franchise brand. Consolidating print and fulfillment provides franchises with an excellent opportunity to strengthen their brand. But to do this you need to have clear communication across your franchise network.
Brochures, pamphlets, coupons, menus and other printed materials need to be readily available to your franchisees on demand. Ensure you have a clearly defined process for franchisees to keep track and order new printed inventory as needed.
Having consistent branding across all steps of your consumer’s purchase cycle reinforces the legitimacy and trust consumers have in your franchise. In order to deliver a consistent consumer experience across franchise locations you need to ensure your brand’s message is consistent and executed across all areas of your franchise, including on printed materials. A clear brand style guide is necessary, but a style guide that is not used consistently isn’t very useful. Consolidating print and fulfillment processes is an important step that franchises should take to execute consistent branding which in turn will build and protect their brand, develop consumer loyalty, attract potential consumers, and ultimately grow the franchise network.