How to target consumer audiences and ensure breakthrough franchise growth | Global Franchise
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Wednesday 10th August, 2022

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How to target consumer audiences and ensure breakthrough franchise growth


How to target consumer audiences and ensure breakthrough franchise growth

Zeroing in on a specific demographic allows businesses to strategically target potential consumers more easily – and it pays off in countless ways

Zeroing in on a specific demographic allows businesses to strategically target potential consumers more easily – and it pays off in countless ways.

Every franchise concept has competitors within their industry and for a franchise to be memorable and keep consumers coming back, it needs a differentiator – and a good one. For example, sandwich franchise Jimmy John’s competes against quick-service giant Subway. How did Jimmy John’s make a name for itself when pinned against one of the biggest franchise concepts in the world? Jimmy John’s perfected its delivery service, taking a “bite” out of Subway’s sales in the process. Dialing into their differentiator for consumers – “freaky fast” delivery – has allowed Jimmy John’s to establish itself as a category and industry leader.

What about zeroing in on one specific demographic as your differentiator? It might seem risky at first to exclude swaths of potential consumers, but it can seriously help build a brand and from there, lead to significant franchise growth. By focusing on one demographic and not building your business for everyone, brands can differentiate from competitors, fill a void within the industry, outlive fads, and in turn, grow their franchise.

Identify a need

The biggest challenge is figuring out who your ideal demographic is, and how to create a concept that appeals to that audience. Let’s be honest: it seems unlikely that a concept can truly serve and satisfy all demographics. So, crafty entrepreneurs take notice to voids within the industry and capitalize on them, differentiating themselves by choosing a niche to fill. Sometimes the inspiration comes from experience, for example, as a self-proclaimed fitness enthusiast, I noticed as much as I enjoyed working out, I dreaded the discomfort and intimidation of working out in a gym that consisted almost entirely of men. I wanted a place where women could feel comfortable, and empowered to work out, which is what inspired me to launch Jabz Boxing as a women’s-only gym.

Identifying your niche demographic allows a franchise to strengthen and elevate their brand. Brand messaging becomes easier to relay differentiators and distinguishers. Choosing to serve a particular demographic heightens your concept from more than just a brand, but a mission. Our gyms aren’t your standard fitness centers; we provide a comfortable and safe space for women to feel empowered throughout their workout. After realizing the need for gyms like ours, the concept took off and resonated with our target audience almost immediately. And, that commitment to women is at the core of our brand.

Outlive industry fads – and now, grow

So, I know what you may be thinking: is boxing just another fad? Will people be interested in boxing workouts five years from now? I think consumers will – it’s a great workout that’s fun and interactive. But even if boxing fades out of popularity, the way we’ve targeted our audience and built a culture and business that is so much bigger than boxing – one with purpose – means we’ve got staying power. And we did this through targeting a specific audience, taking a risk by building a concept that half the population can’t take part in.

Zeroing in on a specific demographic also allows businesses to strategically target potential consumers more easily – which pays off in countless ways. From a marketing and advertising perspective, you’re able to reach your target consumer directly through specific channels.

There are also development benefits. For example, it is easier to find a location for your business when you know the exact type of people you want to visit; if your brand is family-friendly, it can be assumed franchisees might have the best luck in the suburbs. If your brand resonates with young professionals and college grads, a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood, college town, or downtown metropolitan area might be the right fit. This understanding of your customer simplifies your real estate and site selection process significantly.

A final benefit to targeting a specific demo? Building a loyal fan base. Once your audience resonates with the purpose behind your brand, they’re going to become repeat customers, fueling sales. An additional upside? Many of your most passionate consumers will likely want to open locations of their own – and here we grow!

As you begin to scale with your most loyal customers as franchisees, and business is booming, multi-unit investors begin to take notice and national breakthrough growth is imminent.

The bottom line

Although it may seem risky betting on a certain demographic, when executed correctly the pay-off is huge. Targeting a specific niche means a business can fill a void within the industry, strengthen its brand messaging, and easily target key markets to help your brand grow quickly. Ultimately, this will highlight your concept’s differentiator within your industry, elevate name recognition and ideally ensure that your brand remains on top.


Kimberlee White is the co-founder of Jabz Boxing, a female boxing gym aiming to provide women of all fitness levels with a safe and comfortable workout

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