Lay down the law

I just don’t understand some franchisors…

As a statement that’s generally true, but I have a specific point this time round.

I do some competitor analysis work.  You know the sort of thing: Asda does it all the time, comparing the price of products and that sort of thing.  The work I do is more on the sales and service side of business.

For example, how can a business say ‘our service is second to none’ if they haven’t benchmarked themselves against their competition?  So, I do some of that benchmarking work.

Phew!

Long preamble to my lack of understanding…

I was doing to some competitor analysis and was reviewing a website.  The business I was reviewing was a franchise I happen to know of with quite a lot of franchisees across the country.

They have a really good central website, lots of info, nicely designed, proper logos… even the links to Facebook worked and had plenty of up to date subject matter, too!

All in all, then, this particular competitor was shaping up to be just that: a real competitor and a threat to the business I was working for.  Until, that is, I investigated further.  You see, I found an alternative website for the franchisee.  The URL didn’t include the name of the franchise operation (which, at least, is something) but the rest of the site was a disaster.

It used the franchisor’s logo which was stretched and out of shape, there was too much material, the site was crowded, the photography was awful, there were links to a Facebook page which has been live since 2010 and has 3 entries on it, all on 15th September 2010!

In fact, the site was brand damaging.

Now, I have to say, I’ve assumed the franchisor knows about the site… and if they do know about it, why on Earth are they allowing it to stay live?

I can’t work it out.

A franchisor really has 2 choices.  Either there’s only one site, provided by the franchisor and all other sites are banned or each franchisee gets their own site on which they can manage content but it’s template and controlled by the franchisor.

There should also be clear guidelines for what content is used, how it’s used and how the social media platforms are employed.

Still, it has to be said, the rogue website was absolutely brilliant for my client!

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