multisite brand implementation

Top 5 Ways to Mess Up a Multisite Brand Implementation

Every location throughout your footprint plays a part in sharing your brand with your audience. Whether that’s a success or a failure depends on your approach.

We all know the power that brand has on our daily lives and decisions. Our experiences in retail environments, grocery stores, and service centers are two-fold: our interactions with the people responsible for that brand, and our interactions with the physical locations themselves. Both are critical to a holistically positive engagement.

The first aspect (the people experience) can be managed and addressed on a daily basis through training programs and manager-employee coaching. The second aspect is more challenging because updating hundreds or thousands of locations is no easy feat. It takes significant time, resources, and planning. So when the time comes for a multisite brand implementation, it’s important to make sure you’re approaching it correctly.

There are a number of things that can go wrong with a multisite brand implementation. Here, we’ll explore several of the most common that have the potential to delay a program or derail it completely — adding even more time, money, and frustration to an already heavy burden. We’ll explore this through the lens of remodeling, such as when a retailer or restaurant decides to upgrade its interiors to better reflect contemporary tastes and new technology. Let’s dig in.

1. Failing to Plan and Execute at the Program Level

As an organization operating multiple locations, everything must begin and end at the program level. Each location is its own project, and the program is a collection of those projects. Allowing individual locations to manage their own remodeling should be out of the question. They’ll be on an island, have no direction or volume-based cost benefits, will have to manage timelines and orders, and so on. It’s simply too much for one location to manage separately from the whole and brings too much risk to the plate.

Approaching a multisite brand implementation at the program levels brings all individual projects under one umbrella to be managed by trained experts. Each location benefits from the same project managers, processes, communications, technologies, timelines, contractors and vendors, and reporting. This collectively helps to drive each location’s remodel closer to completion while benefiting the organization at a higher level. Bottom line: success starts from the top down.

Dig deeper: Learn five more program management challenges and how the right partner helps brands avoid them.

2. Failure to Plan Construction Requirements Properly

If you’ve ever been involved in a multisite brand implementation program or construction effort before, you know that there are plenty of things that can go wrong. Often, these issues stem from poor planning or problems that arise once crews begin working and discover a roadblock. While you won’t be able to identify every potential problem until the remodeling formally begins, what matters is understanding the impact that it will have on the individual project and the program as a whole. Take a multisite brand implementation for a quick-serve restaurant chain, for example.

The organization has hundreds of locations along the East Coast and is looking to remodel them. The new design calls for structural changes that, unbeknownst to the project manager, require inspection in several cities. The contractor for this group of store remodels knows this but fails to communicate it to the project manager, assuming that he or she already knows. When the time comes for inspection, inspectors can’t come out for another week. This causes a significant delay for these regional stores and the organization as a whole, which is looking to reopen by a certain date. Additionally, materials for other work are en route to these stores, but because of the delay, that work can’t proceed until the previous changes are done. Identifying all construction requirements upfront and ensuring proper communication would have helped the project manager and contractor avoid this.

Be prepared: Learn about other common construction renovation challenges and the impact they make on multisite brand implementations.

3. Failure to Plan for Area-Specific Requirements

Closely related to the above challenge is understanding the local codes, laws, and requirements of each of your locations’ municipal areas. Every city has its own codes and processes that must be followed in order to secure the permits needed to keep work moving forward. Permits must be obtained in a specific order as well. All of this must be properly planned ahead of time to ensure that the process starts when it needs to, any questions or variances are managed efficiently, and payments are made on time.

Getting behind on one permit or significant back-and-forth with the building department can put other important work on hold. In turn, this can cause confusion on timelines, and frustration with vendors and suppliers. Now, multiply these difficulties by the number of locations being renovated. Clearly, having a process and knowledgeable team in place who understands permitting for different areas is essential and will help keep your multisite brand implementation moving forward smoothly. Everything will be properly documented, and the requirements of each area will be known in advance.

4. Failure to Plan the Electrical Installation Correctly

One of the most important parts of any multisite brand implementation program is the electrical installation. In this renovation example, each location will be upgraded with new outlet locations, contemporary lighting, building control systems, interactive displays, menu boards, and new interior illuminated signage. Each of these brand assets requires power to function, so new electrical systems must be properly and accurately installed.

The electrical aspect of your multisite brand implementation must be considered early in the process to ensure that your brand assets are quickly installed once they arrive on-site and that there are no issues along the way. Improper installation, failure to account for a specific asset, or unplanned changes can quickly cause significant delays, as electricians must be brought back on site to reroute power.

Stay ahead: Learn more about what to consider with electrical installation and how it affects operations and the long-term success of any program.

5. Failure to Remember That This is a Brand Initiative

Everything we’ve talked about thus far, while requiring strategy, is a tactical component of your multisite brand implementation. But what about your brand itself? How does this effort reflect what the brand means and is trying to communicate to customers and employees? This is your north star in any brand implementation program and will influence every aspect of it.

In this renovation example for a quick-serve restaurant, interior changes will directly influence the experience that customers have. That’s why it’s essential that every location being touched in the program reflects what the brand is about and what it’s looking to achieve. Inconsistency throughout your footprint causes a dissonance that can negatively influence your customers’ perceptions of your brand, and, as we all know, a single negative experience can damage all of the equity built from dozens of positive experiences. Keep your brand at the heart of your implementation so it is reflected at all of your locations.

Deliver on your promises: Learn more about the role that interior branding plays for organizations.

We’re Your Partner for Successful Multisite Brand Implementation

Stratus supports some of the largest, most recognized brands in the world with their brand implementation programs. From refresh & remodel construction and large-scale renovations to nationwide signage programs and lighting upgrades, our team understands what it takes to not only manage your program from start to finish but also ensure it reflects your brand and all that it represents to your customers. It all begins with our program management team that uses its decades of multi-industry expertise to plan your implementation from top to bottom and manage it at every step along the way.

Using advanced technology solutions, in-house manufacturing capabilities, and a proven network of more than 2,300 field partners throughout the U.S. and Canada, everything we offer is designed to keep you informed, connected, and moving forward with confidence. You’ll have a dedicated point of contact at all times who will be able to provide you with the information you need at a moment’s notice. And to keep your brand assets protected, we offer end-to-end services that include warehousing, logistics, and final installation.

At Stratus, we find ideal solutions from infinite possibilities for every program. Connect with us today to learn how we’ll make your next multisite brand implementation program a success.