During your franchise search, you’ve probably seen photos of long lines at grand openings and stories of people driving from far away when a new franchise location opened just to get a taste of their products. Looking at the broad appeal of a franchise to determine if building a fan base for your franchise is possible is one way to choose a successful franchise. Dedicated brand fans act as brand ambassadors and bring more customers to your doors but it takes a good fit between business owner and business plan to build a dedicated fan base.
Shane’s Rib Shack is one example of a franchise business opportunity designed to build a dedicated local fan base. The original Shane’s Rib Shack developed a customer-centric approach to community involvement by sponsoring meals for high school sport teams, helping raise money through fundraising nights at the restaurant, and by giving incentives for stronger student performance. The original location has made a big, positive impact on the community through donations of catering to hundreds of charities. With such success at helping the community, Shane’s has developed a dedicated group of supporters who tell Shane’s they like what the restaurant is doing with their wallets. In one video about Shane’s, the founder explains that shirts for Shane’s are in high demand—even more than the latest trendy clothing.
Shane’s franchisees are motivated to do the same kind of good things for their communities, and by doing so they build a dedicated fan base that helps bring others to the brand. When you have a group of dedicated brand loyalists, they will act as brand ambassadors for your business, helping you grow your business by reaching out to their community to tell them just how great your business is. With the widespread use of social media, positive word of mouth spreads faster than ever. If you have a strong business concept that gives people a reason to love your business, it’ll spread like wildfire.
How do you determine if a franchise has that kind of business model? Look at how customers react to different franchises across the various territories. Do franchises have great reviews online by a group of dedicated customers? Are customers engaging on social media with franchisees and sharing raves about the franchise with their friends? Are there good reasons why fans are dedicated to the franchise beyond the all-important great customer service and products?
Brands that support the causes their customers care about give those customers an extra reason to be loyal. You as a franchisee will be most successful with this method of building your fan base if you also care about those causes. Shane’s Rib Shack started small with just one original location but has since grown to make a bigger difference across the country. If you’re looking for something to be part of, check out Shane’s and see if you’re more than just a fan.