Planet Smoothie Franchise Utilizes Advisory Board for Creation of New Blends
Owners group will offer input on test recipes and marketing, bringing field experience and advice to recipe testers to create a seamless rollout of new products
Planet Smoothie franchise owners get unsolicited, but very welcome, advice every day. “You should make a smoothie with …” is how most of those conversations begin. Some ideas may be a little too eccentric, but many are pretty good, and so they get passed up the chain to Kahala Brands test kitchen.
Planet Smoothie franchise owners get in on the act as well, thanks to a Franchise Advisory Board that will meet at least once a year to sample potential new offerings, as well as look at marketing and branding ideas behind them.
“We will take several ideas we like that have been submitted by customers through our website, or by franchise owners themselves. We will create those and then work with the marketing team on what a promotion would look like,” says Morgan Osborne, Research and Development Manager. “And then we’re going to bring in the board so they can see, and taste, all that and offer input.”
Narrowing focus leads to better concepts
“If we are constantly throwing out new products, they will get lost,” Morgan explains. “What the advisory board process does is make sure that what we’ve created from the input we received is approved by franchise owners themselves. Their buy-in is key. And then we make sure that when we bring something new to the market, it’s not coming in on top of something similar that’s currently being promoted.”
The process will allow for a steady stream of new ingredients and flavor combinations over the year, which will bring in new, curious customers as well as give loyal visitors something new to try.
Board lets owners keep focus on stores
“We love hearing from Planet Smoothie franchise owners, and we wanted to create a process that captured all that input, but didn’t require all of them to constantly be involved on the ideation and creation side,” Morgan says. “They tell us what they want to see and what they want us to do. And then, we make that happen and take it to the advisory board.”
This way, every Planet Smoothie franchise owner is involved in R&D, but only at the level and degree that he or she desires.
“We have some owners who have a ton of ideas, but they don’t want to travel and be on the board, whereas others are very excited about that,” Morgan says. “Our main goal is to have a process in place that ensures a robust pipeline of new offerings and allows the franchise owners to concentrate on running their business. We want to give them products they love and that their customers love. For that we need their input, and with the advisory board we have that, as well as their thoughts on how and when to move forward with these new creations.”