Posts Tagged ‘business growth

25
Feb
13

Top 10 Things We Learned at the IFA Conference (Part 1)

Seven inches of snow greeted the Weise Communications team upon landing in Denver from the International Franchise Association (IFA) 2013 conference in Las Vegas. Paris Hilton AdThe conference was full of highlights, including:

CEO of CKE Restaurants, Andrew Puzder explaining how Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s bucked the trend of targeting mom’s with children for a fast food restaurant and changing to a ‘Young Hungry Guys’ target which led to the infamous Paris Hilton commercial and unprecedented revenue increases.

A lasting, and to many frustating experience, was the image is the ½ mile long line of people queuing up to attend the speech given by former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice. Her speech and the following Q&A were fantastic. She received multiple standing ovations from this friendly audience.

The four-day conference didn’t disappoint. After panels, concurrent sessions, roundtables and a host of meetings, we are going to break-up the top ten takeaways Tracy and I collected at the conference. Today, the first 5 takeaways deal with macro trends and issues that are franchise business specific. In part 2, we will reveal our marketing takeaways.

1. In 2012, there was optimism that economy is turning and that financing for franchisors and potential franchisees was beginning to loosen. That optimism has continued despite the November election eliminating the chance of a lower corporate tax rate.

2. Speaking of the elections, instead of focusing on electing business-friendly government officials, the election has provided certainty how the country will be governed. We are already seeing the impact of higher taxes, burdensome regulations and costly entitlement programs. The franchising industry response needs to be: adapt, figure out how to work the rules and grow business.

3. In a panel discussion featuring Shelly Sun of BrightStar Tariq Farid, CEO Edible Arrangements and Steve Greenbaum, CEO PostNet there was an exchange about indicators of when to make changes to the franchise business model. Tariq said all franchise systems will eventually have to change. Steve provided us with key indicators on when to consider making changes. They included:

  • When your customers’ needs have changed
  • When technology has evolved past your business
  • When there is over-saturation in the marketplace
  • When there is an absence of differentiation with your business and the marketplace
  • When year over year sales are flat or declining

4. There was a lot of discussion about paying referrals to franchisees to gain new franchise sales leads. There are two legal concerns that need to be considered:

  • If a franchisor pays too much for a referral, they are exposing themselves to a potential liability. The franchisee could be considered a broker and be exposed to licensing issues
  • The franchisee could be held to the same financial disclosure requirements as the FDD

5. Operation Enduring Freedom and the VetFran Program has been a raving success. The stated goals were to recruit and hire 75,000 veterans to careers in franchising by the end of 2014. IFA President Steve Caldeira gave an update during his State of Franchising address: 64,880 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors have started careers in franchising.

Let us know if you think we missed something. Share your thoughts about IFA with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

Be on the lookout for our top five marketing takeaways from 2013 International Franchise Association Conference.

 

10
Jul
12

Franchise Marketing – Craving an Upgrade: Quiznos Launches a New Campaign

Higher prices, higher quality: the Quiznos new philosophy.

In an effort to boost sales, Quiznos is going back to their roots: “high-quality, great tasting food.”

Gone are the days of the $3 Sammies and $4 Torpedoes which were directed solely toward consumer value. They are pushing away from competing by lowering prices, and focusing on their customers’ taste buds. They are creating a craving to come to Quiznos and, more importantly, to come back and come back often. This is serving as an important marketing strategy for the Quiznos future.

The new menu is quality driven. It features more fresh seasonal veggies, natural chicken, savory steak, premium cheeses and even lobster and seafood salad. A menu that ensures a feeling of fresh culinary food, with a price that compliments the quality.

With nutrition education more prevalent than ever, now is the perfect time to give people the quality food they know they should be eating. When healthy meets delicious, people will pay for it.

Franchisees are feeling the love as well. They are now receiving a partial rebate on supply costs of the enhanced ingredients; a program to promote the company’s growth and keep their franchisees on board with the new direction.

Tell us what you think about Quiznos new direction. Is it Mmmmmmm…Good? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise Ideas.

 

26
Mar
12

I’ll have a burger please, with a side of social networking

If social networking hasn’t become the craving of the century, I don’t know what has.

Not only are people fascinated with how communication has turned into an interactive dialog, but whether they are finding friends on Facebook, tweeting their every move on Twitter, or now marketing their own customized burgers in the new frenzy that 4food has created, they are finding every excuse to play on the social media playground.

The restaurant, 4Food, in midtown Manhattan has brilliantly introduced a way to make creating your own burger an interactive experience.  Like some other build your own burger joints, the patty comes in a variety of meats (even veggie) and you can chose every aspect of your meal, from bun to sauces.  The donut shape of the patty is eye catching, however, leaving a hole in the middle of the patty for you to fill with a variety of “scoops” ranging from mac and cheese to Thai eggplant curry.

What sets 4Food apart is the marketing privilege the consumer acquires after their creation (from the 140 million combination possibilities) is complete.  Through 4Food’s accounts on FacebookTwitter  and their blog, you can name and market your personalized burger.

After you have marketed your creation, you earn a royalty every time that burger is ordered at 4Food.  The $.25 payment is credited to your account on 4food.com.

The learning curve is small, but fun for customers who currently use the provided iPads to order at the restaurant, and will be able to order on their smartphones in the near future.

The exposure that this new burger joint is experiencing purely at the fingertips of their customers is remarkable.  Social networking has driven itself to virtually take the legwork out of marketing for you, purely for free…how is your business using the power of social media to expand?

 

20
Mar
12

And it Has Changed…Again.

Just when we all have gotten used to the “new” look of Facebook, the beast has evolved once again.

It seems that Facebook is trying to keep people on their toes with the endless face-lifts, and while most of us struggle to figure out how to simply maneuver to view photos, businesses are using the new Timeline to their full advantage.

How you ask? Here are a few perks of the new Timeline that will get your company ready for the switch:

  • Cover photo and profile image

Instead of just one small image to represent your brand, you can now also use another image as your cover photo. This photo spans the top of your page and is the background for your smaller profile image.

  • Large pinned posts

 Timeline will not allow you to create a default-landing page, however you can manage the posts that appear on your wall.  By moving a pinned post to the top of your wall, you can keep the most important and intriguing information and images in the forefront.

  • Ability to set company milestones

 The Milestone section of your Timeline can update your fans about big events in the life of your company.  People can visually see the history of your company and relate past experiences to themselves and other companies similar to you.

  • Facebook Offers

 Similar to the Facebook Deals seen on the old Facebook format, the Facebook Offers are sent out to your fans via the news feeds.  Not only is this more visible, but it is more personable when they click to claim the offer and it is sent directly to their email.

Whether you are a new company or a mature one, the new Timeline can help to increase awareness of your brand and expand your network.

Give it a go, and let us know how the re-facing of Facebook is working for you, or if you need help adjusting- give us a call!

27
Feb
12

Move over Facebook, there is a new social media channel in town

Pinterest has turned the act of “pinning” into a downright obsession among its 10 million users, providing never-ending pages of images that suck you in and leave you scrolling for more.  Needless to say, this site has taken procrastination to the next level.

Maybe it is the ease of pinning a variety of interests to your own boards that other people can “like” as well, or maybe it is just simply enticing because of the wealth of diverse images at your fingertips.  In any case, the female fan base has found reason to take up pinning as their new hobby.

Not only is Pinterest surpassing Facebook, Tumblr and the like in driving traffic to top websites such as marthastewartweddings.com, cookinglight.com, and self.com but according to The Week, it is doing so at an exponential rate unseen in other social media channels.

Once an image is repined, it is exposed to an entire new circle of people.  A cycle of advertising exposure that is essentially never-ending.

It makes sense, then, that businesses should jump on board this speed train.   And that, my friends, is exactly what is happening.  Because when it comes down to it, this is target marketing at its finest.

Businesses considering Pinterest can:

  1. Create their own pin boards that represent their company and their values. Think past and future designs, products, interesting product uses, ect.
  2. Smaller companies can even go as far as pinning interests that its employees have, making their company more personally relatable.
  3.  Add pin buttons (similar to the Facebook “like” button) to their website so people surfing their site can follow their boards on Pinterest.
  4. Feature new and upcoming products on these boards so the company can get a feel for the popularity based on the number of repins.  In short, it is test marketing without the legwork.

Obviously Pinterest is a great social media channel for any company who is advertising products that can be represented visually (food, magazines, fashion, automobiles, home improvement, art, etc.).   But it doesn’t have to stop there.  For instance, travel agencies can use visually enticing beaches or monuments to capture attention and fitness centers can use images of fit models to make people stop, think and click for more.

When it comes down to it, the basic psychology is this: people want to share their interests, but more importantly they want what everyone else has.  The higher the repin number, the more appealing that product becomes and the more attention it gets.

What do you think about Pinterest and how is your company including it in your social media efforts?  Have you pinned today?




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