Excellence that can't be taught

The Franchise Magazine talks to Seán McKeon, Kumon Educational’s Franchise Development Manager about the brands success at this year’s bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards.

Congratulations on being named ‘Brand of the Year’ at the 2014 bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards. How did it feel to be presented with this award?

Thank you very much for your congratulations. We are absolutely thrilled to have been named Brand of the Year at the Franchisor of the Year Awards. Such a prestigious award is something that we at Kumon, including every student, parent, Instructor and Associate, can be proud of, as it is our network of passionate individuals who make the brand.

How important is such recognition to Kumon and what do you put this success down to? Such recognition helps to reinforce that our approach to branding and communications is serving us well in finding new ways to connect with our market. Our award entry outlined our online rebranding and how our content-driven digital strategy helps us to build relationships with potential Kumon families and franchise owners. We are very proud of our heritage, our unique method of learning and our franchise opportunity, and our content marketing is a powerful way to share the true values of our brand. By expressing our values through dynamic content, we can connect with people in a way that simply isn’t possible with static content and it is through such relationship building, both on and offline, that we continue to grow.

Why do you believe that Kumon was named Brand of the Year ahead of the other nominees? It is, of course, a great honour to receive this award, particularly in a category with such strong competition! The judges told us they were impressed to learn how our digital strategy was really impacting Instructors (our franchise owners) on the ground; helping them to connect with their community in more powerful and efficient ways and equipping them with the tools they need to attract and inform customers, right from their initial touch point with the brand.

Every individual involved in the development of our digital strategy, from our Digital Acquisition Manager, who passionately builds and runs our web presence, to the Communications teams, who believe in every word they write, to our Franchise Recruitment team, who know what processes are required to make it as simple as possible for a potential franchise owner to consider our opportunity, and everyone who develops and instructs the Kumon Method, we all share a passion for educating and developing future generations and I think that is what makes us unique.

How do you now intend to build upon this success in the coming months? We certainly aim to build on the momentum generated from this award win, by continuing to share real success stories on dynamic platforms that make our brand exciting to engage with.We are delighted at the response we have had from receiving the bfa award, a body that is clearly very influential in the world of franchising, and it is a great measure of how we are doing as a franchisor. Certainly, the future at Kumon is very exciting and we look forward to welcoming many new franchise owners into our network in the months and years to come.