How to Stand Out in the Crowded Franchise Market
Written by Thomas Scott
According to the International Franchise Association, over 17,000 new franchise locations opened their doors in 2022, and more than one new franchise system starts every day. That’s almost 400 new systems a year!
In North America, there are no real-time and accurate numbers for how many active companies are franchising. There are as many as 6-7,000 systems today. The IFA and FranData attempt to track this, but the data is 1-2 years behind and doesn’t fully cover all new FDDs as they are filed.
In such a crowded franchise market, it can be challenging to stand out from the competition and attract the right franchisees to your brand. One of the most critical factors in franchise recruitment is having a unique value proposition that clearly communicates the benefits of your franchise system and why it is the right choice for potential franchisees.
What is a Franchise Recruitment Value Proposition?
At its core, a value proposition is a unique value that a franchise opportunity offers to its potential buyer. It’s the reason why an entrepreneur should choose your brand over the competition. A strong value proposition is essential for any brand that wants to differentiate itself in a crowded market and build a loyal customer base or gain development momentum.
A value proposition should be clear, concise, and focused on the customer’s needs and preferences. It should clearly communicate the benefits your brand provides, and how it solves the customer’s pain points or meets their needs. It is an amplified “why should I do this with my life” statement.
To create a strong value proposition, your brand needs to understand its target audience and their unique needs and preferences. This requires research and insights into the customer’s motivations, desires, and pain points. By understanding what your potential franchisee wants and needs in a business, you can create a value proposition that resonates with them and communicates the benefits of your franchise opportunity.
A value proposition should also be backed up by evidence and proof points that demonstrate the brand’s ability to deliver on its promises. This may include customer testimonials, case studies, or data that demonstrate the brand’s effectiveness or superiority.
How to Develop Your Franchise Recruitment Value Proposition
Here are some tips for developing a unique value proposition for your franchise recruitment efforts:
Identify your unique selling points
Begin by identifying the unique aspects of your franchise system that set it apart from the competition. This may include proprietary technology, a distinctive brand or marketing strategy, a proven track record, or a unique business model. Think of these as very specific talking points. Don’t be broad or general – be as focused as you can. Remember, not all franchisees are alike, and each franchise buyer persona you target will have different selling points.
Understand your target franchise buyers
To create a compelling value proposition, you need to understand the needs and preferences of your target audience. This includes their motivations for investing in a franchise, their experience and background, and their long-term goals. Is this a 2nd generation New American immigrant buyer looking to expand a portfolio of food franchises, a young GenZ franchise buyer looking to hustle their way to an empire, or a transitioning corporate manager laid off from a remote work job? Each is completely different, and the more personalized you can be in who you target, the more specific your value proposition becomes. Zig Ziegler, the famous sales coach, said “People don’t buy drills, they buy holes.” The more you take time to understand why specific people want to drill holes, the easier it will be to adjust marketing and storytelling to match.
Highlight the benefits of your franchise system
Your value proposition should focus on the benefits your franchise system provides to franchisees. This may include training and support, a proven business model, a strong brand, and access to a network of fellow franchisees. Again, caution against being general – if what you say sounds like what everyone else says, you are too broad. Everyone has systems, everyone is recession resistant. Say something unique, such as our client Up Closets, which articulates the statement “We use AI-powered design software to help you produce more professional designs without years of training, so everyone on your team can produce quick designs that customers purchase.”
Use specific language
Your value proposition should use specific language that clearly communicates the benefits of your franchise system. Avoid vague or generic statements and focus on tangible benefits that resonate with potential franchisees. Don’t use jargon! When people are reading copy on your franchise recruitment website – and having a deep and well-structured recruitment website is a must – they are dreaming. Give them positive and enthusiastic storytelling that makes the business clear and concrete in their minds. Say something as we do for our client, The Lighting Squad, ‘Our franchisees drive Mercedes cargo vans because upscale clients appreciate a professional service. Anyone can drive a Ford or a Ram van, but driving a Mercedes sets us apart from our competition and makes a clear, favorable first impression with customers.’ Your goal is to make your potential franchisee SEE your business in their mind, and specific, clear, and descriptive language accomplishes this.
Differentiate yourself from the competition
Your value proposition should clearly differentiate your franchise system from the competition. This may include highlighting unique features or benefits that other franchises do not offer, or demonstrating how your franchise system provides a superior experience for franchisees. This doesn’t mean stacking up your FDDs side by side, or even mentioning your direct competition, but talking about aspects of your offering that stand out. Our Dryer Vent Superheroes client is very similar in scope to Neighborly’s Dryer Vent Wizard, but has fixed, flat rate royalties and a small CRM and marketing fund fee, averaging 5-7% total fees. Wizard, by comparison, has fees that total almost 17% or more of revenue. That’s a huge difference, and people researching the 3-4 brands in that space can tell the difference. Be specific!
Stand Out with Brand Journalists
Developing a unique value proposition is critical to standing out in the crowded franchise market and attracting the right franchisees to your brand. By identifying your unique selling points, understanding your target audience, highlighting the benefits of your franchise system, using specific language, and differentiating yourself from the competition, you can create a compelling value proposition that sets your franchise system apart and attracts the right franchisees.
Want professional help or advice on how to create a value proposition that fits your brand? Schedule a call with us for some discovery – it’s a mission-critical skill to develop!