Build Trust and Grow Your Franchise

According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, 81 percent of consumers surveyed indicated that brand trust was a deciding factor when making a purchase. As a franchise owner, it’s important to focus on building that trust. And as a franchisor, you have an opportunity to set the tone from the top. Here are some franchise trust-building strategies you can utilize to help strengthen your customer relationships.

Stand for something larger than yourself. Consumers — especially millennials — increasingly want to believe in the brands they patronize. No longer satisfied with just a superior product or service, they also want to feel that the brands they support affect positive societal change — effectively raising the bar on businesses. So whether your franchise advocates for gender equality, sustainability or American manufacturing, your customers want to know what you stand for.

Do more than advertise. You can’t expect to earn trust just through advertising alone anymore. According to the Edelman report, you have to act on your values to earn the trust of your customers and your employees. And as a franchisor, that extends to your franchisees and their workers as well. The report noted that 58 percent of employees surveyed looked to their employer to provide accurate information on societal issues. As a franchisor, your franchisees want you to take the lead.

For example, franchisors can set the tone by adopting and modeling sustainable and modeling business practices, while encouraging franchisees to do the same. They can share news when women and minorities earn promotions. And they can support the charities they believe in through volunteer and monetary contributions. According to Edelman, “73% agreed that a company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the communities where it operates.” Franchisees can build trust through actions taken on a local level. Note that such efforts must always be authentic, as consumers will see through any attempts at “brandwashing.”

Be relatable. Franchises shouldn’t underestimate the power of leveraging lesser-known influencers on YouTube and other online platforms when promoting their franchise and their values. Edelman found influencers to be 6 times more powerful than celebrities as people tend to trust those they can more easily relate to.

And be responsive. Franchises also have to listen and respond appropriately when customers engage with them on value-based issues. They may want to give feedback on concerns like your sustainability practices (or lack thereof), sourcing practices, and more run-of-the-mill service complaints. It’s important to respond promptly and appropriately to any criticism. Reputation management is also one area where the franchisor can provide invaluable guidance and support to their franchisees.

By implementing these strategies, your franchise can build trust and belief in your brand. Kymera can help you take your franchise to the next level. Call us today at 407-330-6245.