Franchise Brand Integrity: It’s An Intangible Asset!

Michael D. Moberly   October 21, 2009

A franchise’s brand is everything, but also, it can be an extraordinarily valuable intangible asset!

Once a franchise has been established, there are two key brand (franchise) integrity management issues that each franchisor-franchisee should consider, i.e.,

1. The first is obvious, i.e., how to maximize profitability of the brand throughout its respective life-value-functional cycle.

2. The second is perhaps less obvious, i.e., avoid characterizing the franchisor’s (so-called) ‘trade secrets’, i.e., its secret recipes, sauces, processes, etc. solely in conventional intellectual property terms, rather frame those assets as valuable and proprietary competitive advantages (intangible assets) that require consistent management, stewardship, and oversight to (a.) monitor changes in the assets’ materiality and/or value, and (b.) indeterminately sustain control, use, and ownership over those assets.

Brand is the essence of a franchise!  It’s a culmination of the key products’ name and the franchises’ overall reputation that’s recognized in the marketplace which is of significant value to not only the franchisor, but to its shareholders as well. 

Franchise brand integrity (management) on the other hand, are those strategies, processes, features, designs, and business practices, etc., that collectively ensure the integrity of the (1.) products, (2.) intellectual property, (3.) image, (4.) reputation, and (5.) shareholder value.

The primary objectives of a franchise brand integrity (management) program are (1.) sustain and/or improve margins, (2.) sustain consumer – shareholder confidence in products and services, (3.) sustain (ensure) authenticity of the franchises’ products and services, and (4.) ‘keep the brand alive’ in the marketplace!  But remember, effectively safeguarding each of the franchisors’ products is equal in importance to the promotions used to market that product.

(Adapted by Michael D. Moberly from the work of Richard and Penelope Post and their book ‘Global Brand Integrity Management’)


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