Word on the street: local marketing for your franchise

Having a big brand behind you counts for nothing if you fail to market effectively to your local community, says Rachel Shaw

Word on the street: local marketing for your franchise

Local store marketing and being part of the community really”pays off. Being a franchisee for a global company such as Subway can sometimes make a franchisee complacent in terms of the marketing they think their store requires. One would like to think that customers see the brand and that is enough to drive custom, but with increasing competition in the fast-food industry, I, like other franchisees am finding that this is not always the case.

There is no denying that the Subway brand is widely recognised. It recently announced its 1,800th store opening in the UK and Ireland, and now has more than 42,000 stores in more than 105 countries around the world. In turn, it receives a lot of media coverage and advertising, and it’s obviously great to be associated with the brand’s global success. However, franchisees should question whether they”can solely rely on the brand name to draw in a solid customer base in their immediate area. Ask yourself: does the customer actually know where you are and how to find you?

This part of marketing is down to the franchisee. I have had great personal success from local store marketing. Here are my top local marketing strategies that have helped to put my Subway stores on”the map within my local area:

Sponsoring local events such as fairs and street festivals has helped to generate a lot of attention for my stores. It has made them a respected part of the community and helped to position us as a high street store that invests in and gives back to the area.

My stores participate in seasonal activities, such as the Christmas lights switch-on, by providing refreshments for the carol singers and being included in the Easter-egg hunt. I also look after those running the local events such as the street wardens by supplying them with free subs to keep them going.”

As well as participating in a variety”of local events, I also actively sponsor and provide products for local groups and clubs. I sponsor a local Tae Kwon Do group, as well as provide free samples from the Low Fat Subs”range to our local slimming groups. Activities such as these have generated excellent return business and a very loyal customer base.

Another strategy I’ve used to raise”the profile of my stores in the local community is by offering work experience placements. This is another great way of giving back to the community while providing the next generation of potential franchisees”with the opportunity to experience what it is like working in a leading”fast-food outlet. The work experience placements also emphasise the high standards in place in a Subway store, which in turn has a really positive knock-on effect for the business.

Directional signage is also a great way to ensure that customers know where you are, especially when you are establishing a new store location. I’ve hired specific poster sites and even placed arrows on roundabouts pointing towards my stores, which have proved effective in increasing custom.

Local store marketing encourages positive word of mouth, which is still one of the most effective and invaluable methods of marketing your business to your target audience. Local business meetings are not only a good way of networking but also a fantastic chance to market your product to a professional audience.

My advice to any franchisee who”is committed to making their store”a success is take the time to invest in local marketing strategies and actively become a part of their community. After all, the success of your store is going to rely on those living in the area, so some early investment in them will pay off in the long run.” style=

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