Misconceptions about Brand Standards

Let’s be completely honest. Are your franchisees, stores and locations really on top of brand standards?

A survey by the In-Store Implementation Network sought to quantify a facet of this issue, specifically merchandising, and asked retail professionals how they measure performance of in-store merchandising.

Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed responded that they “make the assumption that the job got done” and 23% “do not measure in-store execution” at all.

Yet, the same research estimates that non-compliance costs the industry 1% of sales annually.

Ouch.

Most multi-unit operators know execution remains an issue and that this issue is costing them. So what’s getting in the way?

Misconceptions could be holding you back. Let’s dive in.

Training is sufficient

Training is essential but training alone does not guarantee brand standards are followed. Store staff may be trained, answer the quiz and pass the test, but are they applying their learned skills where it matters, enhancing the customer experience?

Training is necessary but not sufficient.

No need to MEASURE Brand Standards

Measure what you communicate so brand standards are communicated, reinforced and measured using a consistent scale.

Measurements also enable analytics and reporting at head-office to help manage the business and drive the brand forward.

You need to measure brand standards to achieve them.

excel is Fine

Operators who do monitor location performance sometimes rely on Excel and email. This is slow, error-prone and labor-intensive. Additionally, not having a centralized system deprives the organization of the analytics it needs to make informed business decisions.

A centralized communication and inspection system can achieve return-on-investment on the process improvement alone while giving all levels of the organization access to real-time reporting and analytics.

Excel is not a management system and will not help you achieve brand standards at scale. It is not helping your business, it’s holding it back.

District manager retail audit in a store with a tablet

Mystery Shopping has you Covered

A district manager visit is educational and preventive in nature. This process ensures the locations are efficient, safe, profitable and customer ready. This is essential because, unlike mystery shopping, a District Manager led visit can vet operations and prevent problems before they happen.

The district manager isn’t strictly inspecting the outcome, she is checking that the process itself is conducive to a successful outcome.

A positive customer experience does not happen in vacuum. It happens when all parts of the operations machine are functioning individually and together well.

A mystery shopping program is not a substitute for internal communication and inspection programs.

Execution of brand Standards has many benefits

  • Drive sales through in-store merchandising and standards compliance
  • Drive the brand forward through consistent execution
  • Track the performance of stores, programs and individuals in real time
  • Help communicate and implement new standards to the field, faster
  • Protect your customers and employees’ health and safety
  • Increase customer satisfaction. Customers have a way of thanking stores that are well run: they come back!

The most successful brands all share one trait: they execute better than the competition. Don’t be held back by misconceptions. Put the focus on the execution of brand standards, better run and more profitable locations and franchisees.

One More Thing...

Winning brands execute brand standards. This is why Bindy helps boost your operations and brand standards.

3 thoughts on “Misconceptions about Brand Standards

  1. Nice work describing the pain point, Fabien. That sounds like a no-brainer to me.

    I would even go one step further, a little in the spirit of the “real-time web”: I think that reporting shouldn’t be limited to the occasional visit of the area manager, it should be done by the store manager as well, and more importantly, increasingly over time, by web-enabled devices capable of monitoring the environment.

    Ok, it sounds a little orwellian, but I don’t think it has to be. Having a clean place and the right display definitely drives business for most outlets and there is nothing threatening privacy in making sure that’s the case! As an example, my family stopped going to the nearby Burger king b/c we found the place so dirty.

  2. Which makes me think, you could also include customer feedback, increasingly available through sites like yelp and getsatisfaction, in the compliance dashboard for the store and area managers! Wow, the possibility are endless and it seems like it should be pretty quick to identify those with the highest ROI for the chains.

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