A strong brand is one of the largest assets for a franchising business. The company’s brand is, essentially, its promise to a customer about what experience to expect and consistency across all locations is of paramount importance. That also means that there is a large risk for the entire franchising business associated with non-compliance. If even one franchisee doesn’t meet the brand experience guidelines, the entire company’s reputation could be at risk.
To build a successful franchise, it’s important to have systems in place to support and enable your franchisees, without risking your brand. While a franchisor can see the business at a high level and understands that the integrity of the brand is what drives long-term performance, many franchisees are challenged to balance driving profits and maintaining brand standards at the same time. As a result, more and more franchise organizations are introducing technology platforms like digital asset management to create a process that builds brand integrity and enables franchisees to succeed.
Here are 3 key ways that a digital asset management (DAM) system can help mitigate the risk of non-compliance, by empowering your franchisees with the brand materials and training they need to be successful.
Up-to-Date Branding Material
As mentioned, one of the biggest risks that a company takes on when becoming a franchise is the potential for a franchisee to disrupt the brand’s reputation. This risk makes it extra important for franchisors to take every step possible to get the correct brand materials in the hands of those who need them. Without direct access to the assets they need, franchisees will often resort to non-compliant forms of branding, communicating and promoting, creating an inconsistent and disruptive experience for customers.
At the heart of it, a DAM acts as a central library to improve collaboration across multiple departments, offices and locations worldwide, by providing users with secure access to brand logos, photos, videos and documents. By giving your franchisees a single library to find brand guidelines, up-to-date logos, and marketing materials, you’re giving your franchisees the ability to access the assets they need, reducing the need for them to revert to external sources for collateral (such as old logos and inaccurate company details).
Example: A franchisee is reaching the end of the month, and notices that their revenue is particularly low, and they want to offer a promotion to entice more customers to buy before the end of the month. Without a DAM system, it’s common for franchisees to create their own promotions, which may or may not be in line with the brand (both in design and offer). With a DAM in place, however, franchisees can quickly find pre-approved promotions and/or templates that allow them to attract additional customers, while still remaining compliant with the overall brand.
Adapt to Local Markets
When thinking about franchise locations, franchisors have to understand that not all markets are built the same. Consumers in different countries, regions, or even neighborhoods have differing preferences that need to be taken into consideration when deciding what services & products to offer, what marketing tactics to select, and what branding to use throughout each store.
With multi-level permissions and categories within a DAM, franchisors can share marketing materials specific to each local market, to ensure that franchisees’ needs are met, while the brand itself remains intact. This helps boost profits in local regions, while keeping the head office satisfied with consistent branding.
Example: A food franchise located in a hotter market has a higher demand for ice cream than the same franchise in cooler locations. As a result, the franchisor chooses to expand their ice cream product line in the hotter market, requiring new menu prints, promotional posters, coupons, and more, as well as new recipes. While the franchisor wants some locations to have access to this collateral, it would be detrimental if these signs and menus showed up in a store that didn’t carry the new products. With a DAM in place the franchisor can mitigate this risk by only making these assets available to a select group of franchisees (using permissions).
Consistent Training and Guides
In addition to a consistent visual brand, it’s equally important for customers to have a consistent brand experience, regardless of the location. To achieve this, all franchisee managers need to be exposed to the same training, so they follow the same rules and guidelines. By extension, all new and existing employees should be educated using the same guides, videos and worksheets.
With a DAM, you can give your franchisees instant access to all training materials, ensuring everyone is receiving the same information. And with online previewing for documents and videos, franchisees can simply open the training category in the DAM and view it all within the system (no downloading necessary). This means training materials can be updated as necessary without the need to re-send documents in various notification emails. It’s also an added bonus when the DAM has a mobile app, so training documents can be viewed on the fly, without the need for a desktop. Having a consistent training program is one of the first steps in making sure that every employee follows the same safety, cleanliness, and customer service standards.
Example: A customer comes into a restaurant to order a meal and states that they’re allergic to peanuts. Without a consistent training procedure in place, employees can be unsure of how to handle allergy requests, potentially resulting in a trip to the emergency room and a costly law-suit. With a DAM, managers can quickly access the most up-to-date training documents, ensuring that all employees know the right procedures for any situation.
Learn More About Digital Asset Management
These three examples only brush the surface of what a DAM has to offer for franchises – to learn more about digital asset management and how it can improve your business, take a look at our recent blog post, What is Digital Asset Management.