Increase Consumer Awareness to Drive Sales and Franchise Units


The advancements and achievements of the franchise industry do not exist without strong marketing. Leaders at the forefront of franchise marketing play a significant role in helping brands establish core pillars of their identity, increase consumer awareness and drive growth both in terms of sales and franchise units. Shana Krisan, Vice President of Marketing at Goldfish Swim School, and her marketing team have done just that.

Notably, Goldfish Swim School has prioritized marketing programs and digital innovation to best support franchisees and their success via the development of new, improved Digital Marketing Playbooks. The Playbooks were designed with the primary objective to create a more efficient way to distribute marketing material for franchisees to easily execute national and quarterly campaigns on a local level. Previously, the Playbooks were distributed as hard copies with little execution. This triggered the initiative to streamline the process via an innovative digital platform that would maximize systemwide engagement and allow franchisees to outperform their competition while increasing local brand awareness. There has since been a tremendous increase in adoption and execution among franchisees as the Playbooks now provide one-stop-shop access to all collateral and materials with a click of a button – literally putting roadmaps to successful campaign execution at each school’s fingertips. The project took Gold for Local Marketing Leadership as part of the Franchise Innovation Awards.

The Goldfish Swim School Marketing Department continues to push the limits of innovation to be at the cutting edge of industry trends and strategies – achieving systemwide goals regardless of time, budget, or even a global pandemic.

For example, as consumer comfort-levels have varied the past two years due to pandemic uncertainties, Goldfish was faced with the challenge of regaining, retaining and growing its membership-base. This meant it was time for a strategic, creative campaign to appeal to a ‘new consumer’ profile.

With a limited budget and limited resources, the marketing team relied heavily on research and creativity for a grassroots approach in masterminding and executing the brand’s Safer. Stronger. Together. ™ initiative.

While other companies were furiously sending out email updates on new safety protocols, reopening guidelines, mandates and more, Goldfish was determined to find a way to stand out, connect with its members and rollout a comprehensive, innovative campaign to continue welcoming families back to its pools.

As a data-driven leader, Shana turned to research to help inform the campaign – knowing that it would provide insight on how to reengage the membership-base and strengthen the health of the franchise system. Goldfish conducted ‘reopening surveys’ across its different markets to get a pulse on members’ needs and comfort levels. By listening to the consumers, Goldfish was able to gain a deeper sense of how they were feeling, which equipped the team with a better understanding of how to inform the Safer. Stronger. Together. ™ initiative.

From here, the marketing and creative teams were quick to bring this research to life via a multi-layered brand campaign aligned with what consumers felt mattered most. As a result, all 125-plus schools are open and operating, and enrollment numbers now exceed those of pre-COVID - teaching more than 150,000 children each week how to be safer in and around the water.

It is this type of fresh, forward-thinking that will continue to lend itself to the long-term success of the franchise industry.