Do you remember walking into a Cupcake boutique for your first time? At first, it seemed like love at first sight: Those cupcakes – beautiful, creative, perfect, and so delicious! (A bit like your last crush, right?)   But the cupcake franchise fell just as quickly as it rose, and before we knew it, most stores had close their doors as quickly as they opened. So why the drastic and immediate fall of a product that was so lovable?

For sustainability, the real determiner of success is a continued love connection .. and to have a continued connection, you MUST innovate. Love connections happen, but then they dwindle ... keeping the spark alive takes effort and creativity. A survey conducted by PwC in 2011 found that 80 percent of CEOs believed innovation drives efficiencies and leads to competitive advantage.(1) Innovation can occur in a number of ways:

Incremental

Small changes "on the fly" resulting in small long-term growth.

Breakthrough

Significant changes, resulting in significant growth.

Radical

Major changes with (expected) exponential grown.

 

Break-through innovation doesn't happen overnight. This typically happens by starting with incremental change.. which leads to breakthrough change; and the same is true for radical change and innovation. 

To retain customers, knowing what is current, relevant and up-and-coming is crucial. I have frequented cupcake shops in various cities and each left me a little wanting. I was lured by the colors and design but often walked out desiring more substance for my $12 treat.  Last night I visited my favorite (and very successful) froyo franchise and noticed their new toppings included whipped topping dispensed in a modern, inviting dispenser -- I'm not a fan of whipped topping, but the gadget was irresistible. They also stay current with their toppings such as, during Superbowl, offering bright team-inspired colored sprinkles. Additionally, they offer a hefty discount for donning "jammies" on Wednesdays, or for riding your bike on Mondays. 

Continually looking for current and new ideas, especially in the very lucrative, yet very competitive food industry is crucial for longevity. Finding that love connection with your customer is a constant battle.  

Collecting key performance indicators and marketing data is crucial for knowing where and when to turn a corner and innovate. Much can be learned from your franchise data system. By analyzing data gathered in a timely manner, you can make simple, yet smart business adjustments to innovate, resulting in increased profits. Continually analyzing data from your top performing franchises, then making adjustments to average or under-performing franchises could result in sustainable and compounding growth.

However, many franchisors or franchisees don't have the technical savvy or time to utilize data the way it's meant to be analyzed. And, that's ok because consumers would rather have business owners focus on their core competencies: creating delicious food, performing well-needed services, educating our children, caring for our pets, etc.

Franchise data solutions, such as ProfitKeeper provide data collection services so that franchisors and franchisees can focus on building their business and innovating in their respective industries.