John Lassiter said, "If you have a wild fabric, use it to make something conventional. If you have a conventional fabric, make something wild. Don't make a wild thing with a wild fabric." Lassiter explained that you have to give people something to relate it, something to connect with. When we are in unfamiliar territory, it is human to look for the familiar.
When exploring new territory, finding something familiar feels comfortable. This works with services as well as products. It is one way to reduce risk. As Simon Sinek said, the part of your brain that responsible for decisions is not the part of your brain responsible for language. People decide first and then rationalize. Emotions powerfully effect those decisions. Research shows if a decision feels risky, we are twice as likely to choose the "safe bet." As John Lassiter said, we look for something we can connect with. Also, most people are twice as motivated to avoid looking like a chump as they are motivated to look like a winner.
This psychology explains why national franchise brands dominate the American consumer landscape. A brand is a promise, consistently made, and consistently delivered. That consistency makes people feel safe. It is this consistency that gives brands their power. Although most franchises are owned and operated locally, they present themselves to consumers as a safe choice. How do franchises do this? They get their owners to buy into standards. A brand is much more than logos, colors, and name. The most powerful brand standards are formed around values. When owners agree, "This is how we do things" a franchise has a huge advantage.
With social media changing the way people think of their friend groups, these standards give franchise owners a leg up over independent operators when it comes to word-of-mouth sales. People love to help their friends by recommending a great new product or service, if they believe the risk in doing so is low. What's more, the higher the perceived risk, the more cautious people are with those recommendations. Sending a friend to try a new cup of coffee is one thing. However, suggesting a service for an event that happens only once a year? That is altogether different.
And here's the irony, we crave recommendations from friends. Recommendations are so powerful, we use online reviews from complete strangers as a surrogate. To generate word of mouth, the person has to feel it is safe to do so. Common standards built round values that drive consistent behaviors increase consumer confidence they can make that recommendation. Consistency builds trust.
Franchising is not for everyone, but for people looking to accelerate momentum it can be a powerful platform. I know first-hand how difficult it can be to establish a new concept in the market. It took years to build GameTruck into a trusted brand. What really accelerated consumer awareness were the many owners who joined me. By rowing in the same direction, we created what Jim Collins calls the fly wheel effect. Enormous momentum is built up in the system itself. One way to measure this momentum is to use the Net Promoter Score. It measures a consumers’ willingness to recommend your company. I am very proud of the GameTruck system-wide score of 86%. This means nearly nine out of ten people who had a GameTruck party will recommend it to a friend.
I experienced the difference between doing it myself and being part of a system. Franchise standards empower people to unite around a common cause. You can feel the difference.
If you have questions about any of this, or want to know more about GameTruck, or might be considering a franchise, reach out to us. We can help.