What’s Your Story?
Steve Goble of Annex Brands; Steve Belko of Meineke; attorney Lane Fisher; Brent Alvord, formerly with Lenny’s Sub Shop; and moderator Nancy Weingartner of Franchise Times.
Getting your face, facts and figures in front of the media in order to sell franchises and drive traffic to your franchisees’ units was one of the topics discussed at the West Coast Franchise Expo in October.
The panel, sponsored by Lane Fisher of FisherZucker, included Brent Alvord, formerly with Lenny’s Sub Shop; Steve Belko of Meineke; and Steve Goble of Annex Brands.
Finding ways to keep your brand in the news relies on capitalizing on what you do well. Here are some examples Goble shared of how Postal Annex jumped on trends:
- When postal rates went up, Postal Annex gave away free sheets of 3-cent stamps so people didn’t have to stand in line at the post office;
- Now that California is banning disposal bags at grocery stores, Postal Annex stores will hand out free logo’d tote bags on the first day of the ban;
- Instead of struggling to find real news to post on their Facebook page, stores select a neighboring business to be their “Business of the Week” and link their post to the business’s page.
A campaign that worked well for Lenny’s, Alvord says, was “like us on Facebook and get a free sub.” “It can be hard of the franchisees, but it introduces the brand and usually they buy chips and a drink,” he says. Sales the week following the free-sub campaign were the highest in the chain’s history, he added.
“Morning shows always need content, especially around the holidays,” Alvord says. “Create a BS-less pitch that’s pertinent.”
Meineke has the luxury of a $40 million spend, Belko told the audience. They use a PR agency to get out the word for both corporate and franchisees.
The numbers in a franchisor’s Item 9 can also sell franchises to both prospects and the media, Fisher said. Find out the story behind your numbers and then find a way to frame it so that prospects can see themselves in your system.