The most important, if not essential, element of the ultimate success of a business is the development of a brand. A brand is a promise and assurance to a customer that establishes the customer’s expectation of a company’s goods and services. To truly develop a brand, a business must consistently deliver on these promises and assurances. Every business event positively or negatively affects consumers’ perception of the brand. It’s a never-ending process, a continuum. A brand should be distinctive and unique from other companies’ goods and services, as well as emblematic of a company’s self-identity, self-vision, and market perception.
A component of business success is the information and ensuing knowledge of all of the costs and risks that apply to a business enterprise before the fact. Franchised businesses are charters from entities that permit a franchisee to conduct specific operations using the franchisor’s trademarks and brand names, as well as its products and services. The significant advantage of a franchised business is that its products and services are commercially pre-established in the market. Franchisees may bypass the initial challenge and obstacle of establishing a viable marketplace product or service.
An important stage of brand development is the identification of the company’s target market. Another significant issue is the determination of the company’s overall mission related to the benefits and features of its products and services. With a franchise, the target market of the business is pre-established as is the company’s mission based on the needs of the target market.
A brand is the focus of a company’s marketing strategy. Franchisees like McDonald’s have used the golden arches as the brand’s distinct and identifiable logo for decades. It’s featured on the company website and completely integrated into every area and facet of the business. Again, the brand, the logo are both already in place. A franchisee may carry on the business utilizing these assets without ever having to devote any energy to their creation.
Of course, operating a franchised business demands a vast amount of time, energy, and money. The latter typically requires a minimum million dollar investment in start-up costs and the base franchise fee. Not only are franchisees responsible to customers and employees, but also to the franchisor, which presents other issues for consideration. Despite the fact that risk is reduced for a franchised business, there still remains a risk.
The brand itself may be protected by applying for a trademark, which is essentially a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods and/or services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods and/or services. It is crucial that the brand to be trademarked is able to be registered and legally protected at the federal level.