By: Omar Alhaza’a – Founder & CEO of Franchise Arabia
Brand owners should not overlook the fertile marketplace of the Middle East. MENA is a big market with endless opportunities and tremendous potential for growth. However, the fundamental thing that we all must remember and remember well is that the market has drastically changed and will keep changing forever.
In the old days, a brand concept did not necessarily need to be remarkable to have a footprint in the marketplace because there weren’t that many choices available. Back then, there was no such thing as brand preference. Today, and in the future, brands have no other choice but to build a strong brand preference and offer something truly remarkable to capture the attention of potential franchise partners.
Local investors are no longer an easy target to sell your brand concept to. They have become more sophisticated buyers. They have shifted from “being sold to” to “buying”. This shift is largely caused by the variety and rise of local & global brands. And if you don’t keep pace with this significant change, you will be like trying to drive forward by watching the rear-view mirror.
Franchisors, the era of trying to recruit franchise partners without providing a compelling ‘why’ before they buy is over, DEAD. It is as dead as yesterday!
A new era has arrived, and with it comes the need for a new approach. Brand owners must be willing to re-examine their old strategies and develop new ones. For your brand to flourish in the region, you will need to develop a new way of thinking about how to attract potential franchise partners. Don’t try to make the mistake of importing a one-size-fits-all approach from your home market and expect it to motivate local investors and have them run after your brand. If that’s what you’re thinking, it’s time to rethink your strategy. The sad thing is, if you don’t start doing things differently now, before it is too late, your competition will catch up fast and your brand will be thrown out of the ring.
Well, while there are no quick fixes for finding the right franchise partners, here are 5 proven ways to help you re-examine your approach to achieving brand success in MENA:
Finally, in the old, old days, selling and chasing prospects used to be a good strategy. Today, enticing and serving people is the only strategy that works. It’s about identifying the common ground between your brand and potential franchise partners. It’s about defining people’s expectations and delivering on them. Ultimately, it's all about building a strong brand preference. When you give people more compelling reasons to do business with you, their hearts, minds, and wallets will follow!
♦ Khaleej Times: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/old-approach-to-brand-success-is-dead