FROM THE BLOG  |  September 4, 2020

Creating an Impactful Grand Opening Plan During COVID-19

It is truly encouraging and speaks directly to the dedication of each brand and its franchisees that despite the current climate, many are still opening new locations!  The traditional means of a grand opening plan are not currently an option during COVID-19 with large gatherings being prohibited. However, this has spurred on a new level of creative thinking.

As we work to support brands’ ongoing growth during the pandemic, a variety of learnings have continued to rise to the top! Keep reading to learn about tips to make a successful a grand opening plan!

Primary Goals Remain the Same

Even if the parameters of a grand opening plan have changed, the primary goals remain the same – establishing awareness and driving transactions and sales are paramount.  However you decide to spread the word, start talking about your new location TODAY – do not wait! You can still create anticipation and a build-up of excitement without a big event.

In addition, a proven phased approach to a grand opening still rings true.  Establish a plan that addresses pre-opening, grand opening, and post opening. Each of these phases will have a specific strategy and goal within a set period. This phased approach will ensure that you are maximizing objectives, creating a path to success, and sustaining sales long term.

Get Those Creativity Juices Flowing

Throw the old notion and components of a grand opening plan out the window, it is time to think outside the box and come up with new ideas to create buzz. Virtual events, giveaways and creative touchpoints are some of the more popular alternatives, so start with these foundations and get the ideas flowing. Think of engaging ways to not only create excitement about the new location, but also about the brand itself especially if you are in an emerging/new market!

Mind Your Messaging

Even if the vehicles and ways that we communicate are changing, your messaging still needs to resonate. In order to have a real impact on your target audience, here are some things you should ask yourself when developing your messaging for your grand opening plan:

  1. Am I providing a reason or an incentive for my audience to visit and/or purchase?
  2. How am I filling a gap or a need and providing a positive experience?
  3. What measures are we taking to keep consumers safe during the pandemic?
  4. Am I differentiating myself from local competitors?

If your messaging fails to answer these questions, then your efforts are more likely to fall through the cracks.

Mix Your Media

The media you are utilizing are imperative to ensuring your grand opening plan is executed well. You need to mix your media to be seen and heard in the most effective way!

  • Signage – lean into outdoor signage and OOH options that are community-oriented and impactful.
  • Direct mail – reach local consumers via one-on-one or shared mail vehicles during a time when they are more attentive to their mailbox while working from home.
  • Social media
  • Streaming audio
  • Geo-Targeted Mobile ads
  • Digital channels – use websites, search engines, local listings, and third-party review sites (ex: Yelp)

Whatever you decide to do, make sure that it leaves a lasting impression! If you’re worried that your grand opening plan won’t create the buzz you need or don’t know where to start or don’t have time to focus on making it a success, then contact us today. The team at UMI will help you build the right plan and make it super simple with our turnkey solutions!