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Trust: Don’t ruin it for everyone else.

I just paid $7.50 for a well-advertised $5 sandwich.

It was at an airport franchise of a national brand.

Yes, the local franchisee may have the right to charge more at this location. And yes, they can make a ton of cash taking advantage of travelers with fewer choices.

But the entire national brand suffers a fundamental loss of trust. So do all the non-gouging franchisees.

No one says, “Store #5642 screwed me.” We say, “National Brand screwed me.”

Lesson: A brand is a container for trust. Don’t let a small part of your organization mess it up for everyone.

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  1. Andrew May 8, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Great point. I’m sure you’ve been thru Midway many times and I’m always amazed that Potbelly doesn’t gouge customers with higher than normal prices. It’s definitely made me feel more positive about their brand.

    I also often end up buying McDonald’s in airports (which I don’t like to do), because they don’t hike their prices up too much either.

  2. Penina May 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    “A brand is a container for trust.”
    Is this the first time you’ve said that (or anyone has), Andy? The whole post is awesome, but that one phrase is just genius.

  3. Sandy Gerber May 24, 2013 at 12:34 am #

    I think everyone can identify with this post. Who hasn’t experienced anger at a certain brand because of one employee or one franchisee that did not offer you what you expect of that brand (professional courtesty and kindness being foremost)? While I totally agree the sandwhich should have been $5, I think this situation doesn’t only apply to large scale businesses with franchisees, but to all small businesses that want to grow. To avoid loss of trust and maybe even a loss of customers, growing (and franchising) companies need to ensure that all partners, employees and personel have the same vision, the same direction and the same goal. Consistency in a business will create solidarity and trust with both your employees and your customers.

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