Saturday, June 28, 2008

Franchising your Content

Whether you are a fan or you consider them the coffee antichrist the Starbucks model of brick & mortar development is a marvel that is difficult to ignore. As we all know there is a Starbucks in every airport, train station, college campus, in every business district, on almost every corner. Additionally the brand can be found is sin grocery stores, Hospitals, Local Deli etc. Similar to the early days of spread of the ATM machine the presence of the location is by default and opportunity to promote and extend the brand.

The concept is simple. The more places that you are found the more opportunity there is for your customers or potential customers to reach, and connect with you. Is the location important? Of course. However, the strategy behind the location is more important than who your neighbors are. Is it good business practice to choose not to open a Starbucks in a business district if you don’t like the billboards in the neighborhood? Does this potentially dilute the brand? Yes, but only as far as mass brand recognition damages exclusivity.

The needs of your customer should be the drive of where you choose to place your product or service. In health care we know that (1) consumers start their search for health care information on search engines. We also know (2) they take advice and recommendations from the people they trust, their friends, family, community and professionals.

Inclusion in most social media sites also means additional inclusion within the search engines.
Creation of content within a social media site provides opportunity for customers to connect to your presence directly and/or share your content within their own community.

Of course your communication goals should be considered in your decision to “franchise” your content outside of your site. Just as a new brick and mortar this expansion requires management in the form of dedicated resource/s. Just like the Starbucks machine in your local deli, this does not necessarily mean a new “body” but it may require training of your current team and attention to the needs that may come from the additional traffic that your expansion may cause.

No comments: