National marketing helps net business for Oakleaf franchise owners

Oakleaf's national marketing campaign has been helping generate new business for its regional franchise territories.

Although Oakleaf franchise owners are responsible for generating the majority of their enquiries by creating local awareness for the period mouldings brand, occasionally they also enjoy enquiries that fall within their territory that have been generated by the company's national campaign.

Jonathan Banister, Managing Director of Oakleaf, explains: "I believe marketing is the single greatest challenge faced by a business. This is no less the case for our franchise owners, whose success is derived mainly from the effort they put into promoting Oakleaf products within their territories."

However, Oakleaf's franchise owners have been receiving enquiries as a result of the brand's national marketing campaigns including those on website search engines such as Google, which Oakleaf sponsors. One such enquiry arrived recently in the inbox of Amanda Feather, who operates the company-owned territory.

"The original enquiry was looking for information on oak wall-panelling from a firm of contractors in the Manchester area," explains Amanda, who is usually escorted on her site visits by one of her fitters, who measures up and answers technical queries received on the visit.

"It was involved in the construction of a mansion for a well-known footballer, so we were very excited when setting off for the visit."

Armed with a selection of samples, including panelling in different finishes, carved trim and embellishment, Amanda made her presentation to the contractor, and the footballer's personal representative.

"Our samples were extremely well-received, and we were invited to quote for a number of different rooms, starting with a study in linenfold panelling, complete with secret door, followed by ornate door surrounds and beamed ceilings elsewhere in the house."

During installation, the contractor invited Amanda to return on numerous occasions to quote for other areas of the house, needing different treatment and products from the rest of the extensive Oakleaf range, such that beams, books, embellishments etc were also supplied, to what became a substantial total sale, spread over a period of months.

The story does not end there. An architect working with the contractor saw the beams and was impressed, seeing them as ideal for the atmosphere he was seeking to create in a Turkish restaurant in central Manchester. He swiftly confirmed a substantial order so the beams could be fitted in time for the restaurant's imminent opening.

Then, following the success of the effect created, the architect was delighted to be able to specify the beams again some months later, this time for a new restaurant in Harrogate, where they were needed to introduce some cosy rustic charm to the interior of a modern concrete building, and to conceal ugly steel beams.

"The importance of local marketing to franchise owners cannot be overstated," says Jonathan, "as potential customers who are unaware of the products and services on offer cannot become actual customers. These examples demonstrate how even low-cost investment in promotion can yield high-value sales, serving to reassure franchise owners that every effort is worth it."

Reported by Fraser McKay