Succeeding in a franchise opportunity requires savvy business knowledge, dedication to a product and consumer knowledge - all of which are also central to a good marketing strategy. Especially in today's economic climate, driving customer demand for a brand, product or service will be crucial to high revenues and, ultimately, success.

"Your best bet is to focus on using time-proven methods to grow a 'demand for ownership' of your 'shiny object' among customers and prospects," David LaBonte writes for Franchising.com.

In his article, LaBonte offers current and prospective franchisees several suggestions for making a unit thrive no matter the economic conditions. These tips include consistently meeting or exceeding a brand, product or service's promise; creating a sense of immediacy and instilling familiarity.

First, if franchisees make a promise to their customers, they need to be able to follow through on it. Outlandish promises that never come true will never create fans, explains LaBonte. If a franchisee sells an affordable, yet not exceptionally durable product, they should be honest and upfront about it. Conversely, if a product is more expensive and elite in its field, franchisees should make sure to build their consumer base around that.

"Make your promise, then stand behind it. It's the best way to grow appreciation for your 'shiny object,' and keep your customers coming back," he writes.

However, to attract customers in the first place, franchisees must cultivate a sense of immediacy. Consumers should feel as if they have to get a product now, or they will miss out. This desire to acquire a product, though, must be followed by a passion to not let go. Immediacy should build loyalty, rather than exist as a temporary fad.

"Comfortable familiarity," as LaBonte calls brand inertia, is one of the best ways to ensure customers stay loyal. Consumers should feel that the energy or risk involved in switching brands is just not worth it. Take luxury car dealers for example. After a customer purchases a car, a dealer will follow up two days, one week and even a few weeks later. They will send their buyers special magazines and offer free oil changes and car washes.

"This attention makes it very difficult to buy elsewhere, because customers are so comfortable, so familiar, that they not only don't want to try another option, but are thrilled to recommend you to family and friends," explains LaBonte.

In the end, the best marketing plan is often the simplest: quality customer service. By keeping customers happy, franchisees can ensure they have a loyal base of fans to build upon. 

The Liberty Tax Service franchise opportunity is #7 on the fastest growing franchises list of the 2011 Entrepreneur “Franchise 500.” Our tax franchise is an affordable and viable business choice. Each office provides thorough, computerized tax preparation coupled with superior customer service. For the best small business opportunity in the income tax franchise industry, choose Liberty!