In a recent episode of The Creative Operations Podcast, hosted by Pica9, we had the pleasure of speaking with Ashley Mitchell, the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Streamline Brands. With vast expertise in managing a portfolio of five different franchise brands, Ashley shares valuable insights on how to tackle the unique challenges of franchise local marketing effectively. In this blog post, we will delve into the critical role of authenticity and consistency in franchise marketing and explore how technology can help streamline operations for scalable growth.
1. The Power of Authenticity in Franchise Local Marketing:
Ashley's remarkable journey in marketing and franchise operations began with the Walt Disney Company, where she learned the undeniable value of authenticity. Now leading the marketing for a portfolio of swim school franchises with hundreds of locations spanning various markets, Ashley emphasizes the importance of capturing real emotions, experiences, and interactions at local facilities. Avoiding staged scenarios, she highlights the significance of allowing the brand's personality to shine through naturally.
2. Logistical Challenges: Balancing Authenticity and Consistency:
Streamline Brands faces unique logistical challenges due to the diverse nature of their facilities. The company owns dedicated standalone buildings and operates host facilities in various locations such as hotels, gyms, and country clubs. The challenge lies in maintaining brand consistency across these different settings while acknowledging the uniqueness of each market. Ashley sheds light on the significance of effective planning, shot lists, and post-processing to ensure they capture the right images for each location.
3. Leveraging DAM for Creative Operations:
Understanding the complexity of brand assets, Streamline Brands recognizes the importance of Digital Asset Management (DAM) to address their marketing needs efficiently. The company is currently in the process of organizing and categorizing their materials to enable better accessibility. Leveraging DAM empowers franchisees to access assets relevant to their specific market, ensuring seamless brand consistency and localized customization.
4. Balancing Brand Consistency and Local Flair:
Creating playbooks and providing multiple options are key strategies in empowering franchisees to customize marketing materials based on local preferences while adhering to the brand's guidelines. Ashley emphasizes the significance of maintaining a fine balance between brand consistency and local flair. By understanding each market's unique needs and preferences, Streamline Brands ensures they stay true to their brand identity while catering to diverse communities.
5. Technology and Human Relationships:
Technology plays a pivotal role in franchise local marketing, enabling seamless coordination, streamlined workflows, and centralized access to assets for franchisees. However, Ashley points out that successful technology integration requires strong vendor partnerships that share the brand's vision and values. Building robust human relationships with vendors is equally important to foster collaboration and ensure effective execution.
6. The Roadmap for Future Growth:
Streamline Brands is focused on continuous growth and expansion through franchise development, acquisitions, and organic business growth. The company is investing in innovative technologies to stay ahead of the curve and deliver exceptional experiences for both franchisees and customers. By remaining committed to innovation and customer-focused strategies, Streamline Brands promises an exciting future for franchise local marketing.
Empower Local Franchisees While Maintaining Brand Consistency
In the ever-evolving world of franchise local marketing, finding the perfect balance between authenticity and consistency is paramount. Ashley Mitchell's insights from Streamline Brands highlight the significance of empowering franchisees while maintaining a strong brand identity. Technology serves as a powerful tool to streamline operations, but it is the synergy between technology and human relationships that truly drives success. As Streamline Brands continues to grow, its dedication to innovation and customer-focused strategies paves the way for a promising future in the franchise market.