I created Tannerisms for aspiring franchisees. Now I’m crafting a companion booklet titled, Tannerisms for Franchisors. It’s franchise coaching for franchisors. Yes, I draw on my 40+ years of experience and insights as a franchisee, franchisor and franchise development manager to give you ideas, concrete examples, and a roadmap for your future. In fact, Tannerisms for Franchisors is going to upend conventional wisdom—absolutely turn what you thought was important on its head. Not because I want you to think differently—because I do—but because doing today what you did yesterday will not work tomorrow.
Let me give you a short (I could write another book) example: I hear franchisors, with persistent prodding from turf-scrappy marketing folks, extolling the benefits of branding as the primary reason for the success of a franchise system. It’s a MYTH. If you abide by their proposition, you are doomed to failure. Marketers will point to iconic brands like Coca Cola, any number of Procter & Gamble products and McDonald’s as proof positive that branding is paramount. No. What drove these brands were not catchy names, smart logos and graphics, and award-winning imagery, though helpful, of course, it was the bare-knuckled, persistent focus on distribution.
Before a Coke TV commercial made you cry or smile, the Coca Cola Company created a network of aggressive, shrewd, well-connected bottlers to capture retail space and dominate fountain drinks. Procter & Gamble invested more money, time and effort in couponing, sampling and shelving fees than on branding. And McDonald’s aggressively opened stores well ahead of a consistent image in the marketplace. In fact, they’re still opening 800+ units worldwide every year even with a sorry branding program.
For all those companies and brands, the lesson is you grow through distribution. Franchising is distribution at its core. In the best way, too: with someone else’s money. So put branding in its place. Attend to franchising first and always and you will win. Franchise development is the cornerstone of building a successful franchise system.