How much do you trust franchises? According to our franchise survey, it depends on your age. Between 4th-5th June 2019, What Franchise and market research company YouGov conducted a survey of 2,000 people about their understanding of the difference in the consistency of products and services offered by franchises and standalone businesses.
It’s quite surprising that even though the prevalence of franchises has increased over the past few years — by 10 per cent between 2015 and 2018 — the percentage of people who find them more reliable than standalone business does not seem to have followed suit. Many of those surveyed were unsure of the differences between franchises and standalones. However, the survey did show that younger people are much more trusting of franchises than their older counterparts — by a significant margin.
When we excluded those who answered “don’t know”, only 41% of 18-24-year-olds and 14% of those aged 55+ believe that franchises are more consistent than standalone businesses. However, 31 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 years old — about a third of those surveyed — believe that franchises offer more consistency than standalone businesses in terms of the products and services they provide — compared to just 14% of those aged 55+.
What follows is a complete breakdown of our survey results — and some potential explanations of people’s opinions.
The younger you are, the more trusting you are of franchises
The biggest predictor of your opinion on franchises is age — which our survey illustrates well. People aged 18-24 are almost three times more likely than those aged 55+ to believe that franchises offer higher consistency in their products and services than standalone businesses.
What could be the reason this? Perhaps the fact that younger people have grown up surrounded by familiar and trusted chains of brands which are part franchise networks? At present, British high streets are teeming with franchises, with multi-unit franchising increasing by 7 per cent since 2015. It could be that familiarity has grown trust among millennials.
Your employment status affects your view of franchises
Another strong indicator of your views on franchises is your employment status. Full-time students are the group with the most positive view of franchises, with our survey highlighting that 27 per cent of full-time students — 40 per cent when “don’t know” is excluded — believe that franchises offer more consistency in the products and services they offer when compared to independent businesses.
The unemployed are the least likely to agree with this statement, with just 10 per cent viewing franchises favourably compared to standalone businesses.
Social media use and view of franchises
Perhaps surprisingly, the social media site you use can be an indicator of your view of franchises. LinkedIn users are the most positive when it comes to franchises. The survey finds that 31 per cent of respondents who have used LinkedIn the past month believe that franchises offer more consistency than standalone businesses. When we exclude those who answered “don’t know”, 36 per cent of LinkedIn users hold this view.
As a hub for professionals and entrepreneurs with more than half a billion users, LinkedIn seems like the place most likely to have the most positive view of franchises.
What can we read into these results?
These results of our franchise survey have given us much to think about. We need to consider why so many people answered “don’t know” or “it makes no difference” when presented with the question about franchises. It’s important that we find out why the public doesn’t seem to see the value of franchises in the same way that many franchise owners do.
Do you want to learn more about franchises? Discover more with What Franchise and find out everything you need to know about this business model.