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3 Steps to Bridge Brand Mission with Operations

Author: Dan Harmon, President and Chief Operating Officer at Smoothie King on: Sep 20, 2019

It’s a quandary in which any international franchise can find itself – with thousands of locations across the world, how do you make sure you’re living your brand vision and mission at each location every day?

Having a well-written corporate mission statement is one thing, but it’s another to actually apply your purpose in everyday business operations. Unless franchisees implement your company values every day, your mission is nothing more than words.

Finding ways to authentically incorporate your mission can be a challenge, but when you have hundreds or thousands of stores that cross geographical and cultural borders, positioning your purpose as a central part of operations is paramount.

Here are some ways franchise brands can successfully encourage franchisees to live out their mission every day:

Step 1: Find the Right Franchisees

The first step in ensuring your franchisees will live out your brand mission begins before they even become part of your brand.

When it comes to an authentic, purpose-driven franchise, quality trumps quantity every time with franchise development. Instead of inundating your network with franchisees whose ideologies and goals don’t align with your company’s, you should instead seek out those standout prospects who really believe in the brand.

How can you tell if someone really believes in the brand? At Smoothie King, many of our franchisees actually start out as regular guests. After years of frequenting our stores, they’re already familiar with our brand, location layout, marketing materials, guest experience, values, and most importantly, they love our product, company and mission.

It’s much easier to get buy-in from franchisees who have a long-established relationship with the brand and our purpose, since they’ve been on the other side of it as a guest. Many of the franchisees we’re currently adding to our network are former guests that know who we are, and they join the Smoothie King team with a great deal of excitement.

Step 2: Drive Your Mission Home in Training and Onboarding

Not surprisingly, training and onboarding are the next steps toward ensuring your franchisees implement your mission in everyday business operations.

The Smoothie King training program is designed to encourage franchisees to follow our model and bring our mission alive. Through hands-on training and The Blend, our learning management system, we emphasize our purpose and why it’s central to our brand.

Since a primary component of our mission is to inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle, we review the nutritional value and importance of every smoothie we offer. On a broader scale, our goal is to be part of our guest’s purpose – whether that means to treat themselves, find a good pre or post-workout snack, or simply get a convenient, on-the-go meal replacement.

We not only convey to franchisees the nutritional importance of each smoothie, but also which smoothies to suggest, depending on our guest’s specific purpose. During training, we also explain how to relay this information to guests so they understand all the products and components in a store.

As a guest and community-oriented brand, we also emphasize the importance of community involvement. When onboarding new franchisees, we always say they can never get out into the community fast enough. We encourage franchisees to become cornerstones of their community – finding schools and causes to support – to let their potential guests they are invested locally and they care.

When it comes to actually making our mission come alive in the store, the field team plays a major role – that is where it all comes together. When the field team visits a store, they make sure the franchisee and team members are all engaged in helping our guest live out their purpose.

Step 3: Implement Innovative Technology to Make Your Mission Accessible to Guests

Technology, like our learning management system, is an essential component of our training process and we are always looking for ways to integrate new technology into store operations. Not only does this typically streamline different processes and make things easier for the franchisee, it also helps guests feel more attached to our brand and mission.

Our team is continuously brain-storming new ideas on how to use technology to enhance guest and team member interactions. In the future, we would like to implement a system-wide tablet ordering system that enables guests and team members to interact on a more personal basis – without the traditional counter barrier; allowing a more personal conversation where the guest feels less rushed. The team member then has the opportunity to really understand the guest’s purpose and goals, while explaining which smoothies would work best to help them accomplish these objectives.

With the rollout of our new Healthy Rewards app, we’re also aiming to create an even better guest – and franchisee – experience. We’ve simplified our rewards structure, and the new platform allows guests to earn points, redeem points and pay – all in one simple step. Not only does this streamline and simplify things for the guest, it also fosters smoother, faster operations in-store.

The new app gives guests full menu access, the time to think about their individual journey and quickly find the smoothie that matches their purpose. With all of this information at their fingertips, guests don’t feel rushed and are able to spend some time to really understand their own goals. This also encourages guests to really grasp our brand mission – and think about it every time they order a smoothie.

It’s important to constantly look for new ways to further enhance your mission and bring it to life. There will always be obstacles to integrating your brand mission throughout your franchise system, but if you emphasize your values in all aspects of operations, the learning curve is more gradual. At the center, fostering widespread brand mission implementation comes down to your franchisees, and how you’ve nurtured them along the way to really believe in your brand.