To establish brands that translate a consistent experience from booth set-up to the real world—this is what our founder, Cherry Kho discussed during her talk for the Philippine Franchise Association’s Franchise Asia Expo Briefing session; Held Thursday, January 23, 2020 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

The talk centered on finding a brand’s uniqueness, enabling it to stand out against a sea of other brands, and being able to communicate themselves well beyond a trade show booth—into actuality, to attract the right people in terms of franchisees, staff, and customers.

“We (our booth) may be taking up space at Franchise Asia, but does our brand own a space in people’s minds?” Cherry emphasized the importance of maximizing the space at the expo by properly representing your intended message, as much as it is memorable and worth telling other people about.

She continues to say: “What people remember about you during the expo adds to the reputation of your brand… Although these strategies may grab attention, it’s really your brand that can leave a long-lasting impression… Your brand is what makes you unique. So what is it that makes you different? Who does it matter to?”

In the case of TKL Steel and Quicklean whose consistency in terms of brand experience from booth to the real world and vice versa, garnered them not only foot traffic, but also leads, and income—a result of the brand’s clarity that starts from the top.

TKL Steel has been around for 30 years when they approached Bluethumb in 2013. After many years of staying behind the scenes with no differentiation from other steel providers, they wanted to prove themselves as credible & trustworthy to their target customers.

Through the rebrand, they managed to align various parts of the business—from signages, trucks, to their staff uniforms, the store experience, down to employee training that embodied their tagline: Trust You Can Build On.

After all the preparation, the brand was launched to the public in 2017 at Worldbex, a premier construction expo. To communicate their strength and integrity as a brand, their own steel materials were used to build a 2-storey booth that highlighted their years of service and experience.

According to TKL Steel, on the day of the exhibit, a new client was comfortable and confident enough to give them a check worth PHP 1M. That year, their sales increased by 30%, simply by making the right impression with their brand, they attracted plenty of big accounts. 

This is a testament to Cherry’s statement that “When you invest in the right things—products, services, people, together with a strong brand and design—customers are more likely to put their trust in you.”

Another success story shared during the talk was that of Quicklean, the pioneer of DIY coin laundry businesses in the country. Bluethumb was challenged to turn the common notion of doing the laundry as a chore into a fun and easy task.

The intention of the brand was not to be seen as just another laundromat chain. So instead of going with the cliches, Quicklean owned up to the colors of bright purple and orange, allowing it to stand out in busy urban areas.

The booth that Bluethumb created at the Franchise Asia Expo was designed to simulate the experience of an actual Quicklean store. Fun infographics and illustrations, bold furniture, textures and lights, all contributed to making laundry appear less tedious or intimidating. Even their bubble giveaways communicated fun. 

With this, they managed to get 300 quality leads and 4 franchisees upfront—closing 20 new franchise deals that year. In 5 years, as of today, they have a total of 140 stores nationwide. Since then, DIY laundry has become a way of life. 

This only goes to show that having the courage to pursue the unexpected route allows change in people’s perception.

The two examples above filled in a need with something that has never been done, all applied to their brand, resonating in the organization’s design, then leading to making a good memorable impression. If you know what makes your brand unique, you can attract the right people and own a space in their minds.

The Franchise Asia Philippines Expo will be happening from March 27-29, 2020.

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