Early one morning my wife and I heard a radio commercial and thought, “Yes” we will get some of those.
(Now I am not going to name and shame the advertiser, what the product was, or when this was – but I feel I really, really should)
So, that morning before work, I drove 25 minutes to the franchise location to be there as soon as the door for that business opened in the morning.
Only to be told by the franchise operator that, no, they were not actually supplying that product. Even though they had posters up advertising it in their windows.
They claimed that no one would want it and they weren’t going to waste their time trying to supply a product that, that in their opinion, no one would want.
I explained to them that I had heard the radio commercial, and driven 35+ km to get there, and was there to buy.
But no, they wouldn’t budge.
Being who I am (and not having social media to fall back on to try to create an outcry about it) I decided instead to contact the franchise head office and ask why, in a national advertising campaign (where there was no disclaimer saying, “not available at all stores”) a franchise would not partake in a national promotion?
The response from the head office less than thrilled me, in-fact I would almost say it was insulting.
I was told that "it was up to the franchise to participate, that they had no control over what they did, and that franchise participation was entirely up to the franchisee."
That’s not what happens in my experience of franchises!
So what I want to know is this: If you are a franchisee you pay a marketing component to your franchise fees (I know from experience that this is NOT a cheap thing to pay each month or quarter), if you choose NOT to participate in the promotion you are short-changing yourself, and your customers… You are literally paying money to advertise a product or service that you do not intend to supply, but a competitor franchise will.
Why throw money promoting other businesses and not your own? Why create a bad experience with your customers, who will undoubtedly vent their frustration on social media or to your head office when you don’t do what your ads say they will. Why should the franchise itself choose to advertise in your region the national campaign at all?
Advertising in all mediums (we eventually saw ads on TV, and in print for the product. But remember that it was the radio commercials drove us to action), plus supplying point of sale material is a costly thing for franchises to do when putting together a national campaign. You have contributed to that when you pay your fees. Why would you not take advantage of it?
I would love to hear from a franchise about their reasoning behind ignoring this cost… please feel free to comment below.
I may be wrong... but I really want some feedback from our readers about this.