What’s In a Name, Anyway?

Mariel Miller


Jan 05, 2018

Mark asks: I am pretty far down the road with one franchise business and I like what I see, but I am concerned they only have a few dozen units and there is not enough brand recognition. Where’s the value?

Mariel says, “Mark, no one aspect of a franchise system is where you will find all the value. We can discuss all the value-adds a franchisor offers the franchisee, including the proven systems, training, support and buying power to name a few. (Value-adds that make the system valuable and investable with or without national recognition.)

But I’d rather tackle the question of “brand’ and what it really means.

A brand is much more than a appealing logo or nationwide recognition. Professionals in the field agree that a brand consists of these elements:

1. Brand Promise

2. Brand Strategy

3. Brand Appeal

4. Brand Consistency

5. Marketing Effectiveness

6. Customer Loyalty

7. Social Ability

8. Brand Experience

9. Brand Culture

10. Brand Management

There is a lot to it! This is part of what a solid franchisor will develop, manage and grow so that you and the other franchisees build significant equity in their businesses over time. The franchisor will grow the brand strategically. Usually regionally and eventually nationally to build brand presence and market share. Getting into a system prior to it being a household name can be the very best play, given your goals, objectives, risk-tolerance and skills.

The ultimate purpose of a business is to build wealth. Someday you will sell the business and on that day, you will want it to be of much more value than when you launched it. You can rely on a good, solid franchisor to grow on the national front while you build brand and customer loyalty on the hyper-local level. Together, this marriage often works for franchisees to enjoy more equity than if they opened then sold a “mom & pop” business in the same category.

So, question the franchisor about growth plans and strategy. Do some research into existing locations and what customers are saying. Is there a reputation established already? Is there a “vibe”?  Are enough seeds planted and do you believe this company is poised to grow to become nationally recognized?

While recognized brands bring a great deal of benefits, so, too do younger concepts that are on the right road, with the right vision, and with the right people at the helm.”

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