What You Need to Know to Reinvent Your Brand

Franchise Development

Revamp and reintroduce your brand by following this tried and true path. 

By Larisa Walega, CFE, Ziebart

Our brand’s purpose revolves around the knowledge that the entire team and the entire brand experience will make or break business relationships. Ensuring brand consistency across advertising, public relations, products, operations and sales, with support of home office staff, is key to driving forward the reinvention of any brand. Coupled with ongoing development and coaching of your franchisees, as well as developing a deep understanding of problems your consumers face, the art of brand building is at the core of every franchise system, every day.  It is important to map out, educate and stay the course when reinventing a franchise brand.  

1. Know Where You Are and Where You Want to Be 

To create a plan, you first need to understand where your brand scores against the audience’s needs — Employee Experience (EX), Franchise Owner Experience (FX) and Customer Experience (CX) are all key factors. Whether working from a home office or at a franchise location, employees are at the heart of your brand. They eat, sleep and breathe it every day. 

Conducting a survey to help gauge where your culture stands with EX is the first step in understanding traits of your working environment that are worth continuing, as well as attributes worth reviewing and correcting. Your home office employees set the tone for a great customer experience for your franchisees, and as a result, your customers do too. Invest time and resources to make sure you’re understanding and creating the right culture that breeds a certain mindset. 

Franchise Owner Experience (FX) is equally important when delivering your brand’s purpose. The same EX approach can be applied here. Utilizing franchisee satisfaction surveys, such as Franchise Business Review and Franchise Research Institute, helps gauge where you excel and where improvement is needed to create a symbiotic relationship with franchisees. Very similar to EX, FX is the next step in delivery of a consistent brand experience for your customers. 

Finally, develop an understanding of who your retail customers are, who they could be, what their buying habits around your industry are and what their current knowledge of your brand is. This helps create potential growth opportunities for your brand, as well as refine your brand positioning. To get all this great information, partner with an outside data and analytics firm to have an analysis done of your customer data (from your point-of-sale). Coupling this data with in-person and online focus groups, managed by a consumer research firm, gives you the information needed to make an informed decision on where you want to be. 

2. Revisit Your Mission, Vision, Values and Brand Positioning

After gathering all information and recommendations, take a step back and assess whether your mission, vision, values and brand positioning are still relevant. Your EX, FX, and CX groups all want to engage with your brand for different reasons and all have an emotional connection to you. Understand that emotional connection, common values and perceived key benefits will help you stay relevant and sustain loyalty across each of the three audiences. A brand workshop, led by an outside branding partner and including all three key audiences, will help you dive into — and revise if necessary —your mission, vision, values and brand positioning. Each are important to craft a consistent brand experience that resonates with your key three audiences. 

3. Create Customer Journeys for All Your Audiences 

Once you connect the heart of your brand to each key audience, creating a customer journey can ensure you understand the goal for employees and franchisees. This includes the right message delivery and the medium the message should be delivered through. This is the point in a brand reintroduction where you begin to see a need for growth in innovation, which may lead to a technology investment. It’s very important to return to your mission, target customer and mapped customer journey to identify the best places for investing in technology. Where all audiences are concerned, innovation via technology should only be considered when it benefits the experience.  

4. Empower Each Audience with Education 

Bringing all the above together into an integrated marketing plan will help gain buy-in from senior leadership, educate your home office and franchisees on the plan to reintroduce your brand and provide reasoning as to why it’s crucial for success. Empowering your core audiences with education ensures clear direction is established for the brand. A brand reintroduction is an exciting time! Take time and invest in celebrating with each of those audiences to get them excited about the future direction of your beloved brand. 

5. Measure, Analyze, Revise, Repeat

Now that you’ve educated and announced your plans for introducing your reinvented brand to the world, ensure your marketing plan includes how and when you will measure success. Remember to communicate those results clearly and often. 

Reintroducing a brand, whether five, 10 or 60 years old is an exciting time. Make sure to take the team along for the ride and it will be a great success. 

Larisa Walega, CFE, is the Director of Marketing for Ziebart, the global franchise leader in automotive appearance and protection services. Find out more about Ziebart here