Franchises: Brand Standards & Employment Brand

When it comes to how much brand freedom a franchisee should have, franchisors have mixed emotions. While some franchisors feel that it is necessary to set stringent standards on how a franchisee displays their brand, others are okay with giving their franchisees flexibility to slightly deviate from the franchise model provided. So what is the best way to balance regulations that protect your brand, while still supporting the goals of your franchisees?

IFA’s stance on franchisor/franchisee relationship

Collaboration between franchisors and franchisees is necessary to ensure “franchisees are given a regular role in the strategic direction of the system,” according to the International Franchise Association. This open flow of communication, however, doesn’t mean a franchisee’s opinions override the brand manager – franchisees taking this role wouldn’t be effective within the franchise model. It does mean that franchisees should be able to provide feedback from the micro view of the franchise relationship that can be considered in the “macro managing of the system” by the franchisor (IFA). According to the IFA, franchisors should ultimately be responsible for the direction of the brand and any changes made to it.

Franchisors providing clear brand standards

Franchisors should provide clear brand standards for their franchisees in the franchise disclosure document to maintain franchisees uniformity in this respect. One important brand standard  is the use of the franchise’s logo. Consistency is paramount and helps leverage brand power and awareness. The type of marketing collateral, such as taglines, that franchisees use should also be made clear by the franchisor. Marketing collateral ensures the brand is presented and received in the way the franchisor intends.  A franchisee should be consistent and recognizable with the corporate brand since too much variance of these brand standards may be confusing to customers and possibly job applicants. Because a misrepresentation of the brand can be harmful to the whole franchise system, franchisees should only use corporate approved trademarks to maintain the integrity of the franchise. Best practices by the franchisor – such as conveying how beneficial any changes will be to the franchisee’s business and slowly phasing changes in – can help secure franchisees from being blindsided by any new brand standards as well as give them time to adjust.   

Franchisees shape their own employment brand

While franchisors should set forth clear franchise brand standards, franchisees should take charge of their own employment brand.  A good employment brand is what makes people want to start working for you and continue working for you. A franchisee can foster a good employment brand by engaging in good business practices, such as offering fair wages, a healthy company culture, and creating a recruiting/hiring process that improves the candidate experience. Employment brand standards can lead to an environment with higher employee productivity, morale, and retention, and ultimately a great recruiting point for new employees. Franchisees that promote a strong employment brand can be very successful, especially if they are empowered with the right tools by their franchisor.

How CareerPlug can help

Careerplug can help franchisees build a strong employment brand by helping them develop a structured recruiting and hiring process to consistently bring on employees who will add to the success of their franchise.

To learn more about how CareerPlug can help empower your franchise, contact us today!

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