Most customer-facing franchise-based groups, especially in industries such as hospitality, food service and retail, publish and distribute brand standards to their franchisees and operators. Brand standards govern broad areas of the operations of a franchise, including customer service, product preparation, merchandising, cleanliness, human resources, security, loss prevention and fire prevention. Brand standards are what makes any franchise a brand ambassador.
On the surface, the issue is simple. Simply publish the standards, place them on an Intranet, email them to franchisees. Add some training. Do all of that and brand standards will be followed, right?
Is anything ever that easy?
There are reasons why measuring brand standards is critical to achieving brand standards. Let’s dive in.
Measuring Brand Standards Boosts Adoption
You can publish standards and train your staff but only when you measure compliance do you achieve it. Just like we all paid more attention to the lecture when we heard “This will be on the test”, brand standards are best achieved when all know they will be verified and measured. Verification of brand standards leads to adoption.
Training is necessary but not sufficient
Measurement in the field allows training ROI to be objectively assessed against real-world objectives. 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 essential but, on it own, is a false KPI. Your objective is not to train for training sake. Your objective is to deliver a superlative product and service. Are you actually delivering and executing on brand standards for each and every guest and customer? How will you know, unless you measure it?
Measuring Brand Standards engages franchisees
Measurement engages owners/franchisees by continually reinforcing brand standards and best practices. Measuring compliance is not a passive activity. It actively engages the store owner or franchisee to continually refer to the brand standard, the “perfect score”, the “best practice” and set the location on the path of continuous improvement.
Measuring Brand Standards shapes operations
Measurement in electronic form allows head office to turn the data into actionable information: spot trends, problems areas, improvements and repeat unacceptables. Compliant IA customers often update programs and standards in response to the field evidence they have collected. Perhaps additional training is needed in specific areas or new standards or guidelines need to be adopted. Measuring gives head office “eyes on the ground” and shapes your operations road map.
Measuring Brand Standards Boosts the customer experience
Brand standards are not a “feel good” thing. They mean leaner, cleaner and more efficient stores. Customers have a way of thanking stores that are clean and efficient, they come back! Brand standards is the reason your customers come back, or not. Make sure you measure them.
Measuring Brand Standards boosts sales
Market research suggests non-compliance with in-store programs is costing the retail industry 1% of gross sales. Just like measurement breeds compliance, compliance breeds sales. Read more on the cost of non-compliance.