How to build a buzz around your franchise

Word of mouth can prove invaluable, not only helping to draw in customers but also franchisees. And fortunately franchises can access more sources of buzz than any other business

How to build a buzz around your franchise

Creating that elusive buzz about your business is one of the toughest challenges in any context, particularly when it comes to finding franchisees. The good news is that as a franchisor, you have more avenues to increase awareness than your non-franchised counterparts. And generating recognition through word of mouth largely doesn’t require a big budget; an understanding of people is the biggest requirement. Make them feel something and they’ll tell others about it. Above all else, stand out – differentiating your brand is crucial. Here are four groups to impress if you’re looking to generate business buzz.


Harnessing people power begins with franchising 101: make your franchisees successful. We all know franchising still suffers from a lack of understanding and awareness among the general public and the best way to educate more people is through those that are already benefiting from it. The same holds true for your particular franchise – and it starts right from the first contact you have, through your recruitment process, into launch and beyond.

Exhibit A – in an interview with a franchisee recently I was told: “I thought what they were giving as part of the package was outstanding and far more than other franchises would. I was telling friends and family about it and they couldn’t believe the level of support and the package I was getting.”

That was a month in and the ongoing support was similarly praised. Now, when people ask that franchisee’s wife or brother how he’s doing in his new business, they’re going to learn more about the franchise than any marketing material could possibly provide.

Exhibit B – a well-known franchisor was telling me about two impending newcomers at a recent event: a family member of a current franchisee and an old university friend of another. Happy, engaged franchisees want to show off their success. They are your biggest advocates when it comes to generating buzz about your opportunity, so make sure you’re wowing them regularly and they’ll pay you back in kind.


Many brands, particularly B2C franchises, have a vast audience of potential franchisees buying their products and services. Take Water Babies, which has achieved UK-wide coverage without ever having advertised for franchisees, completing its network almost entirely through customers and staff taking on new franchises. While that may be unique, it highlights the possibilities for many businesses. If you can go above and beyond in your service or ‘surprise and delight’ them – as marketers like to call it – in some way then you’ll get them talking about your business. Find a way to wow them and good things will follow. Happy customers already have a magic ingredient when becoming franchisees – they love your brand and know what it stands for.

Paul Stafford
Paul Stafford