Friday, January 18, 2013

Trade Secrets to Managing the 5 P's in 2013

Consumer’s lifestyles, buying, and social habits have dramatically changed in recent years. This evolution amplifies the importance of making sure that you effectively manage the 5 P’s.  Every decision that you make needs to speak to the heart and mind of your core customer.  To demonstrate how to effectively manage the 5 P’s, I will evaluate Sport Clips as they do an amazing job managing their 5 P’s.
This week I'm guest blogging for Pointsmith to learn the trade secrets follow this link Pointsmith Blog it is worth your time.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

How To Create A Love-Love Franchisees Relationship

There is a natural love-hate relationship between Corporate and franchisees because of conflicting objectives and priorities. The objective of any successful chain is to eradicate tension between corporate and franchisees but this is not an easy task. 

Today I will share a bird’s-eye view of the priorities of both parties. More importantly, I will share with you foolproof ways to create a love-love relationship with your franchisees.  

I consulted a few of QSR and franchising experts to help me with this blog, and many of them wanted to remain anonymous. However, my friend and owner of Ignite Franchise group, Michael LaRue, summed it up best: 

“Happy franchisees equals happy franchise.” Michael LaRue

Unified Vision
While each party has unique priorities, they both share the same ultimate goal: to be successful. Regional managers are the liaisons and must ensure that franchisees share the same vision as the chain. It is also important for the regional manager to validate the franchisees’ thoughts and concerns. Regional managers must reinforce strategies, objectives, and how they benefit the franchisee. A unified vision has both parties marching towards the same goal.

Communication - Communication - Communication
Both parties can benefit from the other’s insights. Franchisees are on the front lines communicating with hundreds of customers every day. They understand the pulse of what is happening and how customers are responding to a new product or an LTO.  While Corporate may be more knowledgeable about consumer trends and marketing strategies that will benefit the franchisee. Mutual respect is key to a love-love relationship.

Create an advisory board, a chat room, or some method of open forum communication to offer timely communication. Encourage exchange between corporate and the franchisee. The more open the communication, the better the relationship. Technology has streamlined communication, but nothing trumps a face-to-face meeting of the minds. 

Ability to Localize Marketing
Many chains recognize the importance of local marketing. Create a platform that allows franchisees to create localized marketing that adheres to your brand standards. Boundaries and policies need to be established, but franchisees will appreciate the ability to stake a claim in driving their local marketing campaigns.

Aligned Goals & Bonuses
Financial incentives should be tied together so both parties have the same goals and objectives. That way, each party is motivated to make sure that their counterpart succeeds.  With everyone on the same page, it eliminates the necessity for  everything to be exclusively sales-driven. Consider elements like cleanliness standards, drive-thru time, and accuracy goals.

Tools & Resources
Provide all the tools and resources your franchisees need to be successful. Offer training workshops and mini online courses to empower and educate. Consider categories such as: customer experiences, improving drive-thru times, streamlining processes, and decreasing employee turnover.  Franchisees are swamped with the day-to-day responsibilities of running their operation—make sure you keep this in mind when creating training programs.  

Crew Rallies
This video from National Restaurant News highlights Firehouse Subs and the importance behind their crew rallies. 

This is a blog, not a book, so I could not include every great idea for creating a love-love relationship with your franchisees. 

             Please share your franchising relationship wisdom.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sites That Give Pinterest A Run For "Your" Money

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is primarily a website where you will find images of pretty table settings, food and desserts, flower arrangements, hair designs, and cute outfits. Some items are available for sale, but not many. 
In my opinion, Pinterest has not done a good job monetizing their site, unlike these sites that are giving Pinterest a run for your money.

Target Demo   Women 16+

Brands that Use Pinterest
Retailers like Payless ShoeSource, Pier 1® Imports, and JCPenney are leveraging Pinterest to showcase fashion looks and design ideas for your home. Grocers and restaurants like Whole Foods Market, Sonic®, and Quiznos® feature menu items, recipes, and fun marketing images to better connect with customers.

Fun Fact
Pinning (verb) means to pin items that you like and add them to your own ‘pin boards.’

What is it Wanelo?
Wanelo is a retailer’s paradise which hosts images of their products and includes a link back to their website so browsers can become customers. Wanelo is very millennial-esque and shares some similarities to Pinterest, but instead of pinning, users "tag" the images of products they like. The images with the most tags are showcased on the site as the hottest trending products. In true millennial fashion, the trending products featured on are displayed on the top of the page,  preceded by a # hashtag so users can tweet about those products.

Target Demographic Women Shoppers 15-40

Brands that are Cashing in on Wanelo
Retailers like Forever21, Foot Locker, Victoria’s Secret, 
Pottery Barn Teen, Amazon and too many others to mention.

Fun Fact  Wanelo means Want - Need - Love.

What is it has been around awhile. It is a site that curates hip and unique items that are primarily design driven. When Fab first launched, I was really impressed because they leveraged the basic principles of economics by creating demand for access to the site, but limited ability/access to members.  After applying  for a membership, I had to wait nearly a week before I was granted access.

Target Demographic Upscale Urban Hipster

Tribute to the Small Guys
Retailers are not mainstream, but, rather, individual artists, galleries, and small manufacturers.

Fun Fact  If you call yourself a hipster, you are not hip.

What is it
The Fancy is a one off of that features unique items 
that redirects you to a buying website.  It is very simplistic and definitely showcases higher end items. While fancy does feature items under  $100 the majority of their products cost $500 or more. I have a feeling this website will not be a huge money maker like or as it is priced itself out of the category.

Target Demographic $$$$$ Urban Hipster 25+

Tribute to the Small Guys 
The site features boutique retailers, manufacturers and galleries.

Fun Fact You can earn cash by inviting your friends.

Retailers Bottom Line 
As a retailer, gallery owner or artist, there are a lot of emerging sites that allow you to feature and sell your products. It is important that you determine the following  . . . 

1. What is your objective?
2. What are the pros and cons of the platform?
3. Does the demographic match your brand?
4. What is your exit strategy if it does not work?