Should it matter if the store you shop at is a franchise location or a corporate store?
As a customer it should be seamless. Recently, while in a local mom and pop store in Minneapolis, I inquired about a new location that just opened close to my house. My question was met with confused looks until a light bulb went off, and they shared with me that it was afranchise location. Their tone implied this was a bad thing.
As a customer, I don’t care or need to know that it is a franchise location. I just want to know if I’ll get the same products and value if I shop there. Since I’ve spent a lot of years working in the franchising world, I am sure this statement hit me differently than it might someone else. But I wondered what the corporate office would have said if they had been mystery shopping this store and got this response? What would the franchisee who just invested his/her life savings to be part of a premiere brand name say about a comment that subtly devalued their operation?
When you make the decision to become a franchisor and have both corporate-owned and franchise-owned locations, there is some work that needs to be done internally to educate the employees so everyone understands your positioning and point of view, and everyone knows they have to commit to those values.
Franchising the business is an opportunity to drive growth and prosperity for the brand and find new ways to expand and increase distribution through these franchise partners. To realize those benefits, the message to the market should be one of consistency, whether the customer is shopping in a corporate-owned or franchise-owned location.