How To Ensure Consistency Across Multiple Locations

Do you want to get even more people to enjoy the RV or Marine lifestyle? Are you looking to open (or have already opened) more than one location? Opening a new location is an exciting endeavor, but it comes with unique challenges. A big part of it is managing your brand effectively. According to a study from Demand Metric, 71% of respondents said an inconsistent brand creates confusion in the market.

And, successful multi-location brands such as the ubiquitous Subway know that more consistency means more revenue. The average revenue increase attributed to always presenting the brand consistently, estimated by those organizations with brand consistency issues, is 23%. With this in mind, how do you ensure consistency? Check out our tips below.

Create Brand Champions

Create Brand ChampionsA consistent brand across multiple locations needs strong leadership. So, you want to have someone at your dealer who is accountable for the brand internally. It starts from the top – so the owner has to be engaged first. You also want to have someone in charge of Marketing in terms of the day-to-day who sees themselves as accountable for the brand – even if it is not a full-time job.

Develop Brand Guidelines

Develop Brand GuidelinesThe first step in building a consistent brand is creating guidelines, which some call the “brand bible.” These include a logo, colors and fonts. A more strategic approach will have a “brand pyramid,” which will have the features at the bottom, with the benefits on the second rung, all the way to the top with the brand idea.

Most purchases are emotional rather than rational, as any successful salesperson will tell you! When we buy a can of Coca-Cola, part of it is sharing good times – it’s not just a tasty and refreshing drink. A good brand guide will also contain core messages, including a tagline.

Overcome the Culture Challenge

Overcome the Culture ChallengeFor five-location Port Harbor Marine in Maine, they want to have the same culture across all five locations. President Robert C. Soucy Jr. says, “One of the biggest challenges that we have as owners is to maintain the same culture in all five stores. We work very hard to deliver that. We feel that people buy their boats from us or bring them in for service not just because of our brands, but because of who we are and what we represent.”

For this successful dealer, choosing the right people and getting them to believe what you believe is a great start.

Focus on Processes

Focus on ProcessesExperiential branding agency Jack Morton Worldwide says that “brand is a verb.” According to the agency, “in today’s attention economy, consumers have come to care less about what brands are saying than what they are doing.”

So, although brand leadership does come as a marketing function, the experience of it is everyone’s responsibility. For example, if you put customers first, you want that to come from sales, service and even in the way that they are invoiced.

Have Technology That Supports Multiple Locations

Have Technology That Supports Multiple LocationsHaving technology with the features to support multiple locations makes a big difference. Strong’s Marine has six locations across Long Island, New York. To them, moving a boat from one location to another initially created challenges. Paul Silansky, Director of Strategy and Process says:

Before IDS, every time we sold a boat from one location to the other, we had to do a sales transaction and jump through a bunch of hoops before finalizing the entire process. Now, we just log onto G2, change the general ledger location from A to B, and all of the transactions are done in bulk in the background.

After all, you want to think of your technology as a toolbox. Effective tools and reports for multi-location management is part of it.

Do Brand Audits

Do Brand AuditsWhether you are in Indianapolis or Tokyo, a Big Mac always tastes the same. Why? Because McDonalds knows about consistency. Having a brand audit is at the heart of it. A brand audit is essentially a checklist that helps you determine if the brand is the same across the locations. This starts with signage and marketing materials, but as “brand is a verb,” it also looks at customer service and facilities. Having an annual audit in terms of brand is a fantastic first step.

Next Steps

Brand consistency is just part of the overall goal of multi-location management. This way, you can get more people to enjoy that fun RV and Marine lifestyle that you love. To get a whole view of managing across multiple locations, be sure to dig into our exclusive guide:

Download Guide to Multi-Location Management.

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