Live To Tell | March 1, 2019

The underground story of business, entrepreneurs and influencers.

Watch the latest episode syndicated on 1851 Franchise here.

Talk About It
Fantastic: It’s been a long time coming: Facebook is launching a tool that will let users clear their history on the platform! As the company plagued by longstanding privacy and security issues attempts to right the ship and regain the trust of its users, ad targeting is poised to change for businesses when the tool is launched later this year. While disgruntled users surely view this news as fantastic, brands need not worry because according to Facebook CFO David Wehner, the feature will "give us some headwinds in terms of being able to target as effectively as before."

Celebrity: This week, the brand formerly known as Weight Watchers announced it is forecasting a 10 percent drop in membership in Q1. The hastily-enacted rebrand to the name “WW,” intended to promote wellness over dieting, clearly crushed the brand in the crucial diet season after the holidays, as news of the membership decline sent shares plummeting roughly 35 percent Wednesday. This was particularly bad news for WW’s most recognizable investor and board member: one Ms. Oprah Winfrey suffered a loss to the tune of $48 million.

Cash Money: In a move designed to generate more profits, Target has begun inviting select brands to sell directly to consumers via its website. By opening its website up to third-party sellers of its choosing (unlike the request-and-approve model Amazon and Walmart use), Target hopes to combat the substantial shipping and return fees that businesses based heavily in brick-and-mortar face when adding customers on the internet.

Forward Thinking: If you see what resembles a cooler on wheels autonomously navigating a crosswalk this summer, don’t be alarmed, it’s just one of FedEx’s new robots. The shipping giant has entered into a partnership with DEKA Development & Research to create and test a robot designed to handle costly “last mile” deliveries to customers’ doorsteps for brand partners like Pizza Hut and Walmart. FedEx’s experiment is the latest in a series of projects aimed at making delivery faster and cheaper.

Friend or Foe: In order to combat the likes of Amazon (an increasingly prevalent theme in the business landscape), brick-and-mortar retailers are watching you closer than you think. Brands including Walgreens, Kroger, Guess and Ralph Lauren have recently begun implementing facial recognition technology to better understand consumer behavior. The software can detect age, gender and even mood, and aims to uncover patterns to predict how a customer may behave and ultimately keep them shopping longer.

Quote: “Listen to your franchisees. Understand their needs and wants to grow and perform at a high level. They are the individuals who are out on the front lines working with consumers day in and day out, and they very well may have the exact idea that takes your brand to the next level.” — Wireless Zone Executive Director of Development Keith Dziki on his advice for brands looking to reach legacy status.

Heating Up
Should brands fight to grow their franchise businesses to $1 million average unit volumes? In his latest column, 1851 Franchise publisher and No Limit Agency CEO Nick Powills not only asks this question, but fights through a counterpoint that there is as much value in being a franchise with an $800,000 AUV as there is in being at that $1 million threshold. Powills makes his case by mapping out each scenario and its potential outcomes, prompting brands to consider whether it's more valuable to exceed or fall short of the long-term expectations of their franchisees.

Life Drives Success
On this week’s podcast, Nick interviews Josh York, founder and CEO of home-based personal training concept GYMGUYZ. York started his business in 2008 with a vision of bringing creative, customized fitness solutions to time-strapped clients in the comfort of their own homes. In the decade since, GYMGUYZ has grown to more than 100 domestic and international locations and was named one of Inc. 500’s fastest-growing private companies in 2018.