In our day to day, we visit shops and restaurants with names that are quite familiar to us; I would not have to mention them, because with the simple fact of speaking about their symbols, typographies and even sounds, it would be enough for any person to connect the name with the stimulus they receive. Even these names have gone through rough patches in their company history.
When these big franchises go through sinuous waters that we normally call “MKT crisis,” there is an element that determines both their “afloat” exit and their definitive collapse. I’m talking about the concept of brand and above all, positioning in the mind of the consumer.
And it is precisely this power, this positioning of a brand as a global variable in the public image of its franchises, which permeates the positive or negative feeling and ergo affects or not the sales of each franchise individually.
It is common sense, right? If we say for instance, that the most famous hamburger brand in the world, once in its history of accelerated growth had a crisis of public image, so serious that threatened the very foundations of his empire would you believe me? Let’s check out the facts.
Of course I’m talking about Mc Donalds, is there another brand? (I’m a big fan of this franchise) I will summarize the context in which McDonalds was just a few steps from the new millennium, what factors were undermining the brand and of course, its sales on a franchise level.
Everything was fine…
By 1996 McDonalds proudly announced that it had reached 126 consecutive quarters with record revenue.
They had a high quality menu: brief but strong.
They were referents in standards of quality, hygiene and customer service.
They attacked families and young people directly.
They had an aggressive marketing strategy focused on the growth of new points of sale.
Problems with its franchisees: Due to the large number of outlets, these began to cannibalize, which generated displeasure among the franchisees and lowered the quality of service.
Aggressive competition: Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and, of course, Burger King, began to attack the same family sector with an even more varied menu and for the same price. While the public was looking for variety, McDonalds began to lower the quality of its menu.
The situation of the mad cow: This big problem hit hard the credibility and public image of the sector, it shrank the brand and generated uncertainty in consumption. Therefore, the sale at home level for the brand (USA) decreased in such a way that in the year 2000 international businesses contributed 52% of the operating income, mainly, Japan.
As you can see dear reader, this brand went through great difficulties that had to do mainly with the perception that the public had of the brand. Scandals, quality problems, bad employee attention as a result of the displeasure of the franchisees …
All these factors created a snowball that affected the total sales of McDonalds, showing for the first time in its history negative numbers. This led to the resignation of the CEO at the time, Jack Greenberg, after 4 frustrating years of wrong solutions.
What did the brand do to solve these problems and reposition itself in the consumer’s mind?
Slowing the growth of points of sale: It stoped creating new points of sale worldwide; low-profile, low-selling franchises were eliminated. This economic resource was used to modify the branding, the facilities of existing franchises and improvements to the processes of quality and customer service on a large scale. They returned the confidence of their franchisees.
Menu improvements: They began to experiment. They constantly created a different menu with the hiring of a professional chef, who not only improved the taste of the food, but also flooded the market with large variations that kept the customer in expectation.
New Marketing Strategy: The brand focused on its perception and not on its franchises. They understood that franchises are an extension of the brand and not the other way around. Therefore, and by common sense, if the global brand is strong, well positioned and required by the consumer, people will come to all the franchises naturally.
Now, you may ask, how can this scenario be seen or how can the new digital age support me to increase the return on investment of my brand and its respective franchises?
Through my work as a Digital Strategist, I have found different types of clients. Similarly, different brands in different stages of their lives: newly created, already positioned, in decline, and so on. Therefore, I always advise you to understand the reality of your brand and how it affects your sales and, should you have them, your franchises.
Here are some tips on how a comprehensive digital marketing strategy can support you to improve your position in the market:
Potentialize your global brand exposure: Through the reach that social media and their advertising platforms allow us, it is increasingly easy for an unknown or semi-known brand to jump and get fans quickly. Of course, this is always proportional to the amount you are willing to invest 😉
Listen to your consumer: Through all the tools available to the consumer, it is much easier to listen to their complaints, suggestions and any comments that can allow you to understand how your customers perceive you and what elements you need to improve in physical stores, to increase engagement with them.
Take traffic to stores: Ask your strategist or digital mkt agency to prepare a traffic campaign to stores. Facebook and Google have very good tracking tools to determine how many people see your digital ads and how many of those people were motivated to make a purchase. It’s almost like magic!
These are just some examples of what Mijo! Brands can do it for you.
Mijo! brands, a digital marketing creative agency with headquarters in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, has a team of professionals from all disciplines that will take your brand to the next level and begin to boost sales in your franchises. Do not hesitate to call us!
David Soffer is a Junior Digital Strategist at Mijo! Brands. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences from the Technological University of Mexico (UNITEC), complemented by courses in editorial design, photography and digital marketing. David has a vocation of service focused on the client and the knowledge of human nature, a vision developed through his passage through different companies with different cultures and degrees of attention. He is in love and loyal, and only allows for flirtation with literature or through the lens of a camera, which he tunes in his free time, as an independent photographer.