What do we do with people we can’t predict? We lock them up or we avoid them. The reason is simple: unpredictable people cannot be trusted. Unpredictable people do not play by the same rules so they cannot be held accountable for the same outcomes.
In the same way, a successful business franchise must have a level of predictability so that people who use it know what to expect. If we want a decent sandwich we go to McDonalds. If we want decent coffee, we go to Starbucks. Why? Because we want predictable outcomes.
People need predictability in their lives because the opposite (randomness) just doesn’t work. We expect water to be clear. We expect sugar to be sweet, and so on. We expect things to behave the way they’re supposed to behave at a very basic predictable level because its what we’re used to already. And anything we get used to, becomes the norm.
Before McDonald’s, food service was normally slow. But because of this new standard, everyone has to be faster. Predictability in any industry becomes the norm or the standard unto which businesses are measured. So in your business, what are the things that people normally expect?
Here are some things that can help you create predictability in your franchised business:
1. Be consistent. Be the same identity everywhere. Use the same logo; use the same color of uniform; and use the same brand assets in everything you touch. When customers see the same identity in other locations, they feel safer and in control.
2. Question. Always ask if what you’re doing is part of the norm. If any part of your process does not seem normal, then seek out the norms and implement them. Better normal than weird.
3. Measure. Make sure that every little detail is the same at every branch. You always want to project familiarity not chaos. Mismatching identities that share the same name is the fastest way to kill a brand.
4. One signature. Use the same signature scent, the same signature music, and the same signature look. These not only reinforce a stable identity, it also rubs off on everything you are offering whether it’s a product or a service.
5. Highlight. Pick something from your identity and deliver consistently. Let’s say it’s the personal greeting when a customers enters—use that personal greeting in the exact same way in your other locations.
6. Compare. Audit your competition and list down all the things that make you the same and list down all the things that make you different. Highlight those differences and exaggerate whenever possible.
7. Differentiate. Find something unique and use that as a differentiator. What are you the very best at? Where do you have the most credibility? Write the answers down and find a special angle about those answers and magnify them.
8. Document. Invest in creating brand guidelines. This document ensures that everyone who represents your brand, is on the exact same page. Without a written and tangible document, people relax and take matters into their own hands.
9. Copy. Check the standards in your industry and use those that help you. There are standards for almost anything and there is nothing wrong with being inspired by other brands. Copy with class and confidence.
If you need help upgrading your brand, or if you need a coach to sharpen your business, just text or call Godmother at 0915-564-8877 or email email@example.com. Gen Millare is the CEO of Godmother Philippines, a brand support agency that helps SME’s brand independently.