Greg Nathan’s Franchise Relations Tip #14

Are You Letting Down Your Brand?

My last tip (#13) discussed the interdependence of franchisors and franchisees around the use of the franchise brand, and how the actions of any person – franchisor, franchisee or a staff member of a franchisee – can have positive or negative repercussions on everyone linked to the brand.

For instance, a few weeks ago in Australia a franchisor founder was indicted for tax evasion. The story was publicized in the local media, an embarrassment to those in the network who had done nothing wrong. One distressed franchisee told us how she had been scoffed at by customers and staff when paying for fuel at a gas station!

Your brand is not your logo

This tip will focus on a different, but related, issue – the extent to which your team really understands what your brand stands for.

A common theme when we ask franchisees why they bought into a particular business is they liked the brand. If you have a brand that someone likes so much, they are prepared to back it with their own money, well done. This is an indication of your brand’s value.

Despite this, research suggests a relatively small proportion of franchisees really understand what their brand stands for.  For instance, when asked to describe their brand, most mistake the brand for the logo. (A logo is not a brand, just as a wedding ring is not a marriage, it is a symbol of a marriage. A logo is a trigger to get people thinking about your brand, as are your corporate colours, type face, and possibly a host of related symbols).

Some scary statistics

Dr. Ken Billot is a quietly spoken New Zealand academic who On the other hand, before beginning really serious relationships, horoscope aquarius today should get known his partner better. has spent 10 years studying how well franchisors, franchisees, and front line staff understand their brand. When he interviewed people in franchise networks asking them to explain what their brand stands for, inconsistency was the norm.

Ken also found that, because franchisors tend to communicate brand standards “top down” with little two way discussion, misunderstandings about the brand increase as you move from franchisor to franchisee, and from franchisee to front line staff.  He states “The group with the greatest customer contact enjoyed the poorest understanding of the franchise brand.”

A related study in 2008 by Jan Muhleman, President of re: group, a US  franchise marketing company, found that while nearly 90% of franchisors say they communicate their brand standards, only 50% believe their franchisees can articulate the brand position. Jan also found that 40% of franchisors were not measuring and sharing with franchisees any customer metrics linked to what their brand stands for.

Food for thought

So how well are you educating your franchisees and their staff about the brand they belong to? What resources do you invest in equipping them on how to consistently deliver on your brand promise? And, to what extent do you measure the performance of your franchisees and their staff in these areas?

The answers to these questions will influence the value of your brand in the future. And, in franchising it’s all about the brand.

If this tip has rung bells for you make sure you have someone from your team coming to our next Profitable Partnerships Boot Camp. We will be exploring this topic in some depth.

Register for Profitable Partnerships Boot Camp! May 25 & 26 in Denver. Hope you can join us!

Greg Nathan
Managing Director
Franchise Relationships Institute

CFE LogoAttendees will earn 300 Education Credits towards completion of the
Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) accreditation or CFE re-certification
by attending this program.

Greg Nathan, Managing Director of Franchise Relationships Institute


Often described as the international thought-leader and expert on franchise relationships, no one

understands the unique challenges and rewards inherent in the franchisee-franchisor relationship like Greg and his team of psychologists at Franchise Relationships Institute. They have spent the past 20 years researching the science of successful franchise relations.

Sign up for the Franchise Speakers blog to find out about upcoming events and get business tips from our team of experts!

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search