How much is strong brand recognition worth to you? Just like most small-business owners, Smoothie King franchisees place a premium on earning awareness in their local markets.
However, the majority of small-business owners don’t have the resources to build a marketing team to help them generate recognition on a local level. A recent study of business owners – with the majority employing 50 staff members or fewer – found 21 percent of respondents didn’t have a marketing team, and 35 percent had a one-person marketing department.
Not surprisingly, the most commonly cited roadblocks to growing their business are time and money. A significant advantage being part of a franchise system offers small-business owners is getting marketing support that helps them grow in their specific markets, while also benefiting from national brand recognition.
A franchisor like Smoothie King gives business owners access to national advertising campaigns through traditional channels, such as TV and print, as well as digital platforms including a recently revamped corporate website, social media, digital advertising and mobile app.
Through Smoothie King’s marketing support, franchise owners are able to achieve the following business objectives:
1. Brand Awareness
When first introducing a concept or product to a new market, brand awareness is the single most important objective for any marketing campaign.
Smoothie King provides franchisees with a wide range of promotional materials prior to a new store opening. These materials include banners and signage, fliers and press materials, which are all designed to generate greater notoriety in the local market. Simply hanging a “coming soon” or “now hiring” banner can get local consumers talking about the brand.
Smoothie King has also invested in fostering brand awareness on a national level through the naming rights agreement for the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Through this agreement, the Smoothie King brand name regularly appears on broadcast television markets across the United States. In addition, nationally touring entertainment groups and performers consistently make stops at the Smoothie King Center, which keeps the brand in the news on a consistent basis.
2. Brand Affinity
At the same time, we’ve worked hard to develop messaging and platforms that helps guests form a positive relationship with our brand. For instance, Rule The Day™ is a national campaign that introduces Smoothie King as a health and fitness-focused brand that helps guests achieve their specific wellness goals through the use of any one or our fully customizable smoothies.
We tapped professional quarterback and family man Drew Brees as the face of the Rule The Day campaign. He has helped us produce a series of videos that highlight the ways consumers can incorporate Smoothie King into their daily lives as means to achieve a healthy and active lifestyle. The campaign runs through multiple digital platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
The videos and other related content are available to Smoothie King franchisees to publish and distribute on their own local Facebook and Instagram pages, which helps build affinity for the brand – particularly with a sports hero who holds a special place in the hearts of many residents of New Orleans, where Smoothie King was founded.
3. Guest Engagement
In addition to building affinity through customer-centric campaigns and hometown heroes, we’ve developed local store marketing strategies that facilitate strong guest engagement.
Smoothie King field marketing managers work one-on-one with franchisees as they approach opening day of their new stores, which is a pivotal time to initiate guest engagement. Roughly two weeks before a new store opening, franchisees work with the Smoothie King corporate team to organize a VIP party to which family, friends and team members can come and get a first look at the store – and hold a practice run for the actual new store opening. In the meantime, Smoothie King provides fliers for the actual new store opening. On opening day, a Smoothie King corporate trainer is onsite to help franchise owners get set up for the event, invite guests and ensure everything goes according to plan.
Alongside signage that stands out and events that draw guests into the store, it’s important for franchisees to be more active on social media. Again, we provide content that franchisees can publish daily that is designed to reinforce our brand message and inspire engagement. These include posts from social media influencers, promotions for limited-time offers, incentives to try different types of smoothies and other posts that tie into consumer and national holidays.
4. Guest Loyalty
Once your store is open and guests have become familiar with the brand and exceptional product, the next key component is inspiring repeat business.
Central to this key objective is the Smoothie King Healthy Rewards app. Recently relaunched, our loyalty app gives guests an incentive to Rule The Day with the help of one of our more than 50 purpose blends. For every $1 spent, guests earn 100 Purpose Points. Once they earn 2,500 points, they are able to redeem them for $2 off of their order. Guests can either get the $2 off their order immediately or collect their points to accumulate a larger redeemable value.
For franchise owners, this strategy helps them inspire loyalty among their guests. The more guests spend, the greater the rewards they can earn. This keeps them coming back to purchase their favorite blends, which then helps facilitate stronger relationships between guests and the franchisee and/or management team.