“Act local, think global” is a mantra that has never been so applicable to the franchise industry. With franchisors all over the world facing the final frontier for growth by making their franchise offering accessible internationally, the globalised franchise market has never been in a more exciting position. Many international markets are wide open and offer enormous potential for franchisors that have right vision, products, services, and culture. Here, the Managing Director of Ísey Skyr Bar, Sigríður Steinunn Jónsdóttir, offering her insight into what it takes for a modern, progressive franchise offering to be able to fit in any market around the world.
It sounds like a simple concept, but many franchises struggle to translate their brand identity across international markets, thus falling at the first hurdle. Franchises may have an incredibly strong foundation in one country, but that does not automatically mean that it will be equally successful when becoming established in a new country that follows different cultures and traditions. Therefore, a USP that is synonymous with your franchise is vital when becoming a strong voice in a crowded international market. But what’s more important is having a USP that cannot be imitated. Consumers have access to thousands of products and services that offer similar outcomes and experiences, so why is your franchise the best option? Consider how consumers in new markets interact with brands and what more can be done, beyond that of the service or product, that will resonate globally.
Consumers today are actively seeking services or products that are not only accessible but meet important cultural and personal demands which regularly change. A highly innovative global franchisor is keenly aware of these interests and ensures they are well balanced with the international identity of their brand. But brand innovation often comes from franchisors identifying the ‘chinks in the armour’ of competitors, then finding ways in which that product or service can be improved upon. Being ahead of the curve and ensuring you are the first franchise to offer what is being sought after is vital as franchisors balance a consistent service with a world that refuses to stand still. Consider emerging social media trends, pop culture and wider world events that may impact the delivery of a service or product and how a franchisor can innovate to make the franchise offering relatable and available.
Utilising the right communications channels
It is imperative that a franchisor carefully chooses how to communicate with an audience. In this instance, quality over quantity is the most effective approach. Communication channels help build and establish a brand with a consumer base and enable them to understand an audience’s behaviour. Whether it is face-to-face, broadcast, social media announcements, written or other, identifying which channel your audience responds most positively to is the most effective way to build brand reputation and is the best approach to become established in a global market. Having that understanding of which channels a consumer base is most active on and being proactive to the nature of the content they respond most positively to is a great way to build trust and familiarity. From short form video content to relatable audio clips, multimedia has never been a more important marketing tool for franchise brands today. What’s more, the very nature of a globalised social media space makes it incredibly easy for brands to capitalise on what consumers are reacting to in real time.
With marketing, maintaining the same visuals – colour patterns, logos, and fonts – will make the brand consistent across different countries, even if there are some variations in translation and localisation for the individual campaigns. This is equally true to the product or service being offered. The identity of a brand is a promise, and that promise is the guarantee of a consumer having access to what they expect, no matter where they are in the world. From consistent colour schemes, aesthetics, messaging and tone, everything contributes to a strong, and more importantly unique, brand. Building the strong foundations of an asset that will resonate to customers in a globalised market is essential and is why consistency should not be overlooked.
Globalisation is a desirable concept, especially for franchisors and franchisees operating within the structure of an established, reputable brand. Like so many franchises today, as Ísey Skyr Bar learns and develops within multiple domestic markets, more entrepreneurs are capitalising on the exciting opportunity to pursue the international stage and become leaders in their respective industries. As with the nature of franchising itself, global expansion offers huge upside potential for scaling capabilities and helps brands innovate and connect with more consumers around the world.