Imagine the feel of success the heads of the world’s famous franchises enjoy in making a name for themselves in the niche. Check Great Clips and Ace Hardware and you will discover that behind the scenes of success, all these competitive franchisors and franchisees have had to deal with a major shift. It focuses on customers and their consumer journeys.

The world is changing and constant companion smartphones are the new wheels. Surveys tell us people search online before 90% of purchases they make physically.

A new challenge faces the franchises. They need to be available to customers always through their journey. But then who does this job of walking them through the journey? The franchisor or franchisee? Getting this right means retaining old customers and getting new ones. How then can this be done?

Acknowledge the Shift

The world has changed. Your customers are not buying the same way anymore. Before, they choose to buy at your business while they browse shelves. Now, 82% of smartphone users check their phones before buying offline. This is what digital marketing has caused.

Before now, franchisors handled national or regional marketing via broadcast and print. They also handled digital marketing which then meant social media accounts, website, and paid search.

The local beat was handled by Franchisees with coupons, direct mail, and other community marketing efforts.

Then the world changed and customers began using online directories to get information. They read online reviews before deciding. They make reservations with cell phones. Then the internet that used to be a “worldwide” resource became a local resource. People began deciding before coming to purchase the products they want.


Where We Are Now

Google tells us 76% of people who search for a product around them on their smartphone visit a related business within 24 hours, and 28% of this end in a purchase.

According to Bazaarvoice, 45% of brick-and-mortar sales in 2018 began online.

88% of shoppers usually check products online before buying physically. – Adweek


Great changes! Unfortunately, the franchise model was not ready.


Before now, there was a precise geographic split between a franchise’s corporate awareness marketing and franchisee local sales marketing. However, the statistics above tell otherwise. People now search and shop in a rush.


Hardware Folks at Ace

Without a solid franchisor/franchisee partnership, there is no point in talking. Do customers know a brand like Ace lives its slogan when they see a national TV campaign like this one which strives to distinguish the franchise from home improvement stores?


Customers feel the promise come true as soon as they walk into an Ace location. Why?  They find:


  • An accurate description of location online
  • Sufficient staff
  • Good customer relations
  • Online purchase ready for pickup
  • Finally, the brand earns its Trust


Brand promos only work when each location of the business is visible and accessible. This works for every aspect From boss to the doorkeeper, everyone has a role to play. Defining those roles make or mar brands in the new consumer world.