Retaining and Improving Brand Equity by Enforcing System Standards
Brand development is the process of creating in consumers' minds an image, an awareness, and a preference for a product or service. A franchisor typically invests enormous sums in its trademark or service mark and accompanying system, which guide the public to a particular product and service experience and assist franchisees with delivering that experience. Brand development will not be successful, however, until a franchisor ensures consistency across its system. As Barry S. Sternlicht, former Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., has said, "[a] brand is nothing if it is not consistent in its product and service." For every franchise system, "[c]onsistency is [the] challenge. Providing a great guest experience day after day is [the] solution. Consistency is the only way to keep the consumer's trust, and the key to trust is consistency."