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Interview: How Franchise Brands Can Benefit from Joining Clubhouse

Gabriella Ferrara's Headshot Gabriella Ferrara VP of Regional Sales

Have you been invited to join Clubhouse yet? Clubhouse is a great way to enable social interaction without the pressure and exhaustion of having your camera on, given it is an audio-only application. I had the pleasure of chatting with Heather McLeod, CMO at Authority Brands, about her thoughts on Clubhouse and potential use cases for the franchise industry. I am excited for what is to come and if you have not been invited to join Clubhouse yet, please reach out to me, Gabriella Ferrara, on LinkedIn!

What is Clubhouse?

Gabriella: Clubhouse is a social audio app for iOS (Apple) that allows users to host virtual rooms and join live conversations. Essentially, it’s a live podcast that can cover almost any topic, allows multiple speakers to share the stage, and provides a convenient platform for Q&A sessions.

Heather: I’ve been describing it as an audio-based version of Reddit. There are micro threads, small groups, large groups… there’s all kinds of great information on the app!

How do you plan on engaging with the franchise community on Clubhouse?

Gabriella: Heather has put together a “Franchise Marketing” club within Clubhouse that anyone in the industry is welcome to follow! We will be hosting “Franchise Fridays” at 12:00 PM ET to share knowledge and problem-solving tips with other franchise experts. Hope you can join us!

Heather: This is definitely a “building the plane in the air” thing for me. I love the casual nature of it. I just want to pick people’s brains! I love hearing what other brands are doing, and I think this is an interesting and innovative way to be able to do that.

What content do you think the franchise industry is most interested in hearing about on Clubhouse?

Heather: After missing IFA, I think most people just want to bring their ideas together. Despite my attempts to network throughout the COVID pandemic, I haven’t really gotten as much inspiration from outside my bubble as I normally would. I am missing those little sparks of ideas I would get from a conversation with someone else in the franchise industry. I also think the ability to listen in on a micro topic is interesting. Instead of having these huge conversations about a broad subject, Clubhouse gives you the opportunity to listen in on very specific and topical things that are happening in our world.

How have you been thinking of ways to leverage Clubhouse for Authority Brands both internally and externally?

Heather: We’ve talked about it a little more tangibly—the first thing on my mind is getting my team all in Clubhouse so they can start listening in to broader (non-home service related) marketing and PR topics that they may find interesting. There’s so much content being shared, it’s a little tough to figure out exactly how to leverage it to promote the use of our brands and our franchise offering. It seems like there are some fran dev opportunities, and that’s the space I am most excited to explore.

Gabriella: Beyond Authority Brands, there are endless ways franchise brands can take advantage of this application. Brands can use Clubhouse internally for town halls, Q&A, and informal updates or externally by sharing insights, best practices, and challenges within their industry. Franchises can leverage the app for ‘closed room’ discovery days allowing potential franchisee candidates to ask questions about the brands. This is only the beginning for Clubhouse and I am sure we will see the interaction and use cases evolve rapidly.

What do you think are the benefits of joining Clubhouse for a CMO vs. a franchisee?

Heather: Personally, I’m hoping there’s some ad hoc networking and problem solving. It can be tough to encourage collaboration between peers as the leader of an organization. Even within franchising, so much of that is dominated by suppliers, and it makes marketers on the franchisor side so less likely to openly share what’s happening in their world. I am hoping we can find a way to support brand marketers and create a community that facilitates collaboration and sharing.

Plenty of franchise experts are already sharing helpful information on Clubhouse. If you’d like to join the conversation, just reach out to Gabriella Ferrara on LinkedIn, and if you’re interested in more tips for helping your franchise brand find success, contact Scorpion here.

About the Author
Gabriella Ferrara's Headshot Gabriella Ferrara VP of Regional Sales

Gabriella is a VP of Regional Sales at Scorpion’s Franchise team. Scorpion is a full digital marketing agency servicing franchises, legal, healthcare, medical, and home services. She has been recognized as 100 Influential Women in Franchising and the Franchise Millennial Powerlist. Prior to joining Scorpion, Gabriella was the head of business development for PwC FranSuite, a digital platform that helps franchises operate, promote and grow their businesses with FranSuite for digital marketing and FranSuite for workforce orchestration. She focuses on building Go-To-Market strategies, generating leads and implementing sales processes for new technology solutions. Gabriella has a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance from Pace University’s Pforzheimer Honors College.

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