In relation to my previous blog post about brand management in franchising, in this blog post I would like to talk about the importance of brand management in your franchise business.

Why brand management is important?

Brand management is important for any businesses. However, it is paramount for franchise businesses.

You know what really troubles me in running my franchise units?

No, it’s not really my franchisor who troubles me. Surprise, surprise – it’s my fellow franchisees.

This is fact – not all franchisees are cooperative. The owners buy the franchise units hoping for a shortcut into entrepreneurship. Although for some cases it’s true, it’s not really true for most.

Franchising requires franchisees to follow set rules enacted by the franchisor. The basic rule of thumb, if you followed all the rules and the operation manual point by point, you will likely to succeed.

The problem with those who hope for a shortcut into entrepreneurship, they usually think that they can do whatever they can to their franchise units. The truth: not! – Rule number one: follow the rule or get ‘sacked’ by the franchisor. Rule number two: read rule number one. Not all franchisees are happy with those rules.

What do unhappy franchisees do?

  1. They want out – they will either sell the unit or bail out of the agreement.
  2. They half-abandon their franchise unit.
  3. They speak bad words about the franchisor – even considering the fact that the blame is actually on them.

The unhappy franchisee type #1 is not damaging the brand of the franchisor, but the #2 and #3 is.

Why brand management is paramount in franchising? Because a franchise is not only built by the franchisor, but also by the franchisees.

If a franchise unit’s performace is spectacular, the other franchise units reap the positive reputation and enhanced brand image. If a franchise unit is a failure, the brand image is affected. Plain and simple.

I once complained to my franchisors on how other franchisees manage their franchise units – not because I feel I run my units the best, but for the fact that I want the benefit of the brand name I rented! Rented? Well, of course – I pay for the franchise, royalty and marketing fee – all in all, I pay rent for the brand name I use for my units. If somebody messed with the brand, not only he/she is messing around with the franchisor, but also with me :)

To cut the story short, I am a happy camper due the fact that my franchisor is listening to the franchisees’ complaint – some franchisees are, finally, ‘sacked’ and force to either close down their business or transfer ownership of their units – to preserve the brand image.

Are you involved in franchising or other businesses and have a story to share? Please do share yours by commenting to this article.

Ivan Widjaya
Brand builder