Why do some brands flourish and others seem to just hang around? Having worked with many small businesses for over a decade now, I’ve seen my fair share of new innovations and “Better Mousetraps” come my way. One of the most fantastic parts of dealing with entrepreneurs is the energy and enthusiasm that comes with an owner of a business. The priced, positive outlook and overall intensity is contagious and you can’t help but get really pumped up about most businesses with interacting with the founder. Why is it though that some businesses and brands seem unable to lose and others can’t seem to catch a break?
Take for example the world renowned Pat’s Philly Cheese Steaks in Philadelphia, PA. This is an example of a truly revolutionary set of entrepreneurs who invented a food product and put an entire city on the menu….or map. Pat’s is literally credited with the invention of the Philly Cheese steak we all know around the country and even the world. But most people don’t know Pat’s….why is that? Why doesn’t anyone think of the Olivieri Brothers when they think of famous restaurateurs? How could a country “Fried Chicken Specialist” cooking chickens out of a gas station turn Kentucky Fried Chicken into a Global Brand with billions of dollars of market share and franchises on every street corner?
The answer has many variables involved, but the number one factor can be summed up in one sentence….”Some people just get branding, others don’t.”
Whether you want to admit it or not, we all are suckers for brands. We trust them; they usually make us feel better about spending our money with them even about the quality of the product or service. Branding why Americans spend $3 on a cup of Starbucks coffee, why we spend $80,000 on a Mercedes car and why we pull through the McDonald’s drive through for dinner many nights. Big concepts are not always born out of the “Best” products, but they always have a great brand personality to go along with the business.
It is for this reason why franchising can be so powerful in building a business. Franchising is merely a leveraged marketing model. It exponentially powers a brands ability to expand into new regions and areas of the country. Look to concepts like Chick Filet and Subway in how fast the brand became the market leader into their particular industry. Although the product is not bad, it certainly is not the best in class in either case. Both Chick Filet and Subway utilized the power and ingenuity that is franchising to expand into new markets and open locations across the country. Jared losing weight on Subway and Chick Filet’s Cows advocating for the consumption of chicken have now put these two on the map globally and both are BIG brands.
So what’s the point? When operating a small business, it is easy to get lost in the day to day minutia involved in operating any concept. As the wonderfully accurate and simple book, the E-Myth describes, “You can’t build a business when you are stuck running it.” Branding is at the core of this principle. In order to go big, continue to develop the face and personality of your organization in as far reaching and effective of a way as possible. Your opportunities and growth potential will increase and potentially open the doors to national or International expansion.
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