Getting Guests Involved with Your Brand Mission
It’s one thing to develop a mission statement for your brand. It’s another thing entirely for your business to have a mission that guests are excited to participate in and support. So how do you encourage guests to engage with your brand mission?
Start with a brand mission that resonates with your guests. A great brand mission is one that your guests would connect with and buy into because it aligns with their lifestyle or values. Seventy-five percent of consumers worldwide expect brands to contribute to their wellbeing and quality of life, so your mission should highlight how your brand plans to help guests improve their lives.
At Smoothie King, our brand mission is to inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle. As an increasing number of consumers demand better-for-you options, our mission aligns with the needs and goals of consumers by helping them achieve their fitness and wellness objectives.
But a mission that resonates with consumers isn’t all it takes to get buy-in from guests. Here’s how franchise brands can ensure guests’ enthusiasm for the brand mission:
Ensure an Authentic and Believable Mission
A brand’s mission needs to be an extension of the company culture for it to be believable and achievable. It must be a natural fit with the brand for it to resonate with guests, be remembered and be integrated into the DNA and actions of the brand rather than a disparate initiative.
At Smoothie King, our brand mission and vision guide every decision we make, which shows our guests that we truly believe in it – and they should, too. Our mission helps us focus on the “why” of every decision we make to ensure all of our products and efforts contribute to truly helping our guests make thoughtful choices.
The clearest example of this is our Clean Blends Initiative, which we launched to make cleaner eating more accessible for everyone. As part of this initiative, we have eliminated artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, rBST/rBGH and more from our smoothies. We’re also removing added sugars from many of our Purpose Blends.
Smoothie King sells approximately 100 million smoothies each year. Without clean ingredients, our guests would be consuming a significantly higher number of calories and amount of sugar. By committing to our Cleaner Blending Initiative, we’ve shown our guests that our brand mission isn’t all talk, and we’re genuinely dedicated to serving a better-for-you product.
Lead by Example
In order for guests to invest in your brand mission, employees first must live the mission. If your mission is disconnected from your company culture, it will fail. Companies must lead by example from the top down with consistent brand messaging and alignment with the mission through all levels of the franchise system.
Wan Kim, Smoothie King’s CEO, is deeply committed to our brand mission and ensuring all of our employees live the mission in all they do. For example, our corporate team members participate in monthly fitness challenges, along with other health and wellness initiatives. These initiatives signal to consumers that we are a brand that practices what we preach.
Partner with Franchisees who are Passionate about Your Mission
For franchise brands, franchisees represent the company to guests. This outward-facing role is crucial for working with great franchise partners who understand the relevance of the mission to their success and buy into it completely. Ask the right questions during the qualification and interview process to ensure every franchisee believes in your brand’s purpose and is excited to share your brand with guests.
At Smoothie King, our franchisees help people from all walks of life achieve their wellness goals through our partnership with the Challenged Athletes Foundation, franchisee’s innovative product recommendations and by living their own healthy and active lifestyles.
We also make a point to share our franchisees’ efforts and engagement with the rest of the franchise community. Showcasing the franchisees who live the brand mission goes a long way to inspire other franchise owners – and ultimately inspire our guests.
If you find yourself spending a lot of time trying to convince your guest base to get involved with your brand, you may want to re-evaluate and look for a potential disconnect. If your brand mission is not only authentic and believable but also leads by example at both the franchisee and corporate level, engaged guests will follow.