This post is the second of two parts. To read Part 1, please click here.
Marketing at the Local Level
When she opened her store in 2008, Robeks was still building brand awareness. Every quarter, Soyka would receive from the corporate office posters, brochures, and other marketing materials necessary to promote limited time offerings and special menu items; but she initiated her own marketing plan locally.
With a spring training center for the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds near her store, she started advertising her business on the backs of tickets for baseball games. In subsequent years, now that her business has gained a following, she has chosen four of the best-attended games of the spring training season to offer ticket holders a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for her store.
She also had successful results gaining customers by visiting other businesses located near her store, introducing herself, and presenting them with fliers about her venture as a way of getting employees to visit her store on their lunch breaks and other times of the day.
And when the local community college near her store holds a day-long event to introduce students to the various clubs and activities on campus, Soyka is there handing out samples to the students in hopes of winning them over as customers.
Soyka said knowing your market and community is crucial to being a successful franchisee. For example, by living in the community where her store is located, she knew that every house received a small, free newspaper that is widely read. When she opened her store, she placed an 8×10 insert in the paper to advertise her store.
Knowing about the local paper that helped build her business is one of the reasons that location was important to her in the beginning and why she was insistent on opening her store in an area that was surrounded mostly by farmland at the time.
“It was important to me to be in my own neighborhood,” she said. “When customers come in, I have something to talk to them about. I didn’t want to travel. That was my No. 1 thing.”
And because the Robeks products tout certain health benefits, she also draws patients and employees from a Cancer Treatment Centers of America that is in close proximity to her store.
“We get a lot more people who are a lot more geared to better health,” she said.