My wife and I have a daughter living in Texas and she loves Dutch Brothers Coffee.  According to her, Starbucks is out and Dutch Brothers is in. If you’ve been researching franchises, you’ve probably seen that Dutch Brothers are growing and adding locations.

On a recent trip to Texas to visit our daughter, I said to my wife, “Hey, let’s get a coffee from Dutch Brothers.” Since we don’t have Dutch Brothers where we live, I wanted to try it. 

Before I know it, my wife immediately pulls up her Starbucks app and says, “Hey, we got two free coffees on my Starbucks app with points.” So where did we buy our coffee?…. Starbucks

The point. I often ask people in consultation, “Do you prefer an established brand (Starbucks) or an emerging brand (Dutch Brothers)?”  Many people associate brand name recognition with the benefit of owning a franchise but they also like the idea of owning the next hot concept.

Here’s the challenge for both emerging and established brands. Brand name recognition doesn’t necessarily translate into customers. Franchisors really focus on brand name recognition. But franchisees like customers. 

When you are researching franchise brands, it’s critical to determine if the brand:

Many established brands have lots of locations across the country, and you know the names of those franchises, but they’re stuck in yesterday.  As you probably know, advertising and customer acquisition strategies have changed dramatically in the last few years.  The things that worked in the past sometimes stop working or the cost no longer justifies the benefit. 

There’s also a lot of fantastic brands that you’ve never heard of that are focused on tomorrow.  They started right before the pandemic or started selling franchises during that same time and they learned the hard way how to effectively find customers that are willing to buy 

My words of wisdom… “Find a brand that’s focused on tomorrow and actually understands how to find customers in today’s economy”.  Better yet, find a franchise system that has multiple ways to attract customers and the data to back it up.  Track-record of success can be found in many ways other than the number of locations.

David Weaver is the Founder of Franchise Your Freedom and a senior consultant with FranChoice, the premier national network of franchise consultants. David helps people all over the country find the right franchise fit by sharing his personal experience and philosophy on how to select the right brand.  He shares proven strategies and over a decade of experience growing franchise companies for himself with those that are doing it for the first time. You can learn more about David at FranchiseYourFreedom.