If you work in the franchise industry, you will know all too well how challenging it can be to manage your materials and maintain brand compliance. Despite spending a lot of time and money writing your unique story and developing your individual brand, it can become nearly impossible to protect that effort entirely. Even the most well-intentioned marketer can get bogged down and find themselves lacking the time it takes to review and/or approve every marketing piece for every individual location. Unfortunately, rather than waiting for resources to meet demand, individual owners and managers will likely create their own materials and distribute on their own. We’ve seen it happen in most franchises and, unfortunately, that can open a business up to legal risks.
Fortunately, technology has made it easier for franchise marketers to maintain their message. Brand management software is an effective way to not only automate processes and lead nurture activities, it also helps to reign in that field “creativity” we just described. By incorporating consistent templates, branded materials and targeted campaigns, the task of keeping your brand under control and avoiding common repercussions becomes much more manageable.
Top 3 Ways Brand Management Software Helps with Brand Compliance
The examples above represent ways in which brand management software can benefit and protect a company, but that still leaves the question of how?
One-Stop-Shop - We don’t have to think very far back to remember the days of storing collateral in multiple folders and having to remember if you saved to the right place. Some things might be saved on desktops (an entire issue in and of itself), some might be in Google Drive and others might live in a shared environment visible to only a few team members. In a franchise business model, this risk increases exponentially out in the field.
Each of these three scenarios has limitations and cause a bottleneck in terms of accessibility, not to mention the consistency risk they create. With brand management software, materials are template-based and can easily be stored in one place. Now your field team (and whoever else needs it) can immediately see what types of materials are available and access them whenever they are needed.
Customization - When franchise owners and team members are equipped with a brand management system – including a list of formal standards related to design and industry compliance – they can easily see and learn what the rules are. In most other scenarios, a document might be sent out, but it cannot be guaranteed that the next person who joins the field team even sees it. This way, those who need it can access pre-approved marketing materials.
It’s worthwhile to note that by creating templates and allowing for a certain degree of customization, brand compliance and standards can be better managed. This also enables the field to target their local communities and relate to customers on a more personal level than corporate could.
Clear Approval Process - To avoid legal issues like the ones mentioned above, make sure that the only pieces available to them have been reviewed and approved by someone that is up-to-date on standards. Believe it or not, most managers don’t want to worry about creating marketing materials, they’d rather focus on sales. Making marketing materials readily available and allowing them to have their custom edits reviewed quickly takes that burden off of them.
The main points you'll want to keep in mind during approval are design, message consistency, industry regulations, accuracy and time sensitivity.
Brand compliance can be a costly mistake, fortunately, brand management software was created to protect your most precious asset and keep your marketing operations running smoothly.
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