🍟 8/22/2022 – Don’t Do What Starbucks Did In Australia


I recently wrote about how celebrities are using their personal brands to launch businesses.

Mayweather Boxing + Fitness is the perfect example of this, as Floyd Mayweather – arguably the greatest boxer EVER – is lending his unique workouts, as well as his marketing and promotional acumen, to be the core of a new fitness franchise.

Unsurprisingly, between the uniqueness of the concept and the brand power that Floyd Mayweather brings – this franchise has taken off, with over 50 new franchise locations opened since 2019!

Find out why savvy business owners who love fitness and are looking for an additional revenue stream are flocking to this brand. Schedule a call to talk with Mayweather Boxing to learn more about this franchise opportunity that you won’t want to miss.

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Learning From The Big Brands

There’s a lot that’s said about whether or not you should be worried about competition.

Jeff Bezos is famous for saying that Amazon never thinks about competition, but instead just focuses on the customers. 🚨 CLICHE ALERT 🚨. 

Then there’s others who at the first sign of competition will pivot to a new strategy, or pick a different business altogether. 

While I’m certainly in no place to say that Amazon’s strategy has been wrong, I’d still argue both of these mentalties are typically on the extreme ends of the spectrum.

Whether you already own a franchise, or are evaluating franchise opportunities, you should absolutely be aware of your competition as part of a greater understanding of your local market.

From a macro perspective, there’s countless examples of brands that have thrived (or barely survived) due to the level of understanding they had of a market:

Starbucks in Australia

With 34,000 locations in 80 countries, Starbucks is the largest coffee company in the world. 

But since entering Australia in 2000, they’ve lost HUNDREDS of millions of dollars and struggled to expand.

After expanding to 87 stores in the Down Under by 2008, they had accumulated $105M in losses, as well as $54M in loans from US Starbucks. Why?

They completely ignored what Australians value as coffee consumers:

  • Specialty espresso drinks
  • Knowing your local barista
  • Conversing with friends over espresso 

Instead, they just offered the standard quick-service coffee style meant primarily for corporate workers who are in a rush to get to work (hey, it worked in America didn’t it?)

While they still have a presence in the country, they’ve largely been beaten out by local competition who cater to what Australians want.

KFC In China

KFC in China is an example of what happens when you do understand your market.

Instead of rolling out the playbook that worked in America, when KFC entered China in 1987, they hired executives with vast fast-food experience in Asia and an understanding of Chinese culture. 

In addition to American classics like the standard bucket of fried chicken, KFC China has a localized menu that includes dishes like egg tarts, soy milk drinks, fish & shrimp burgers, and more.

Of course a lot more than tweaking a menu goes into building a brand in a new market, but KFC is far and away the fast-food leader in China thanks in part to their understanding of Chinese consumer tastes.

McDonald’s In The Phillipines

This is effectively the reverse of what KFC did in China. 

McDonald’s waltzed into the Phillipines in the early 1980’s thinking they would become king of the fast-food market like they were in most countries.

But a local franchise called Jollibee that opened up a few years earlier was already winning the hearts of Filipino consumers.

Jollibee was (and still is) pasionate about making sure it’s menu and brand fit the Filipino palate and culture. It’s why you can get menu items like the sweet spaghetti, and why their mascot is a bumble bee in a blazer – it symbolzies the Filipino spirit of an always busy but cheerful people.

McDonald’s didn’t cater their menu or messaging to inspire any brand loyalty in the Philippines, and they also didn’t realize what Jollibee was doing until it was too late.

It’s clear today who is leading the Filipino market:

  • Jollibee: 1,150 locations & $1.6B in revenue
  • McDonald’s: 650 locations &  $845M in revenue

Localizing The Lesssons

Going back to what I said earlier, most commentary paints a picture of binary outcomes – it’s either “don’t focus on your competition”, or “if there’s already someone doing it, I’ll find something else”. 

The reality is that understanding your market is far more nuanced, and requires an objective evaluation of existing competition and consumer demand + tastes.

Not paying any attention to what’s in your market would be a big mistake from a due diligence perspective. In a past life, I worked in the HVAC industry, and there was a massive company in its 3rd generation of ownership that did $80M in annual revenue. They absolutely dominated the market. 

Imagine buying an HVAC franchise in their backyard and only then realizing who they are? Discovering such a big competitor doesn’t necessarily mean success is impossible, but it sure as hell would be something you’d want to know about before you buy a franchise!

Competition → Opportunity

On the flip side, oftentimes competition can signal opportunity. Some of the most common pushback I received in my franchise development days was that “there’s already someone doing this, I’ll look at other businesses”.

Guess what? Most markets aren’t winner take all!

Think about how many aspiring franchise owners over the years have passed up on incredible opportunities with Burger King, Wendy’s, Five Guys, etc. simply because “McDonald’s is already there”.

This happens all the time in other industries.

Should you be aware of a competitors existence? Yes! After all, you don’t want to be Starbucks in Australia, or McDoanld’s in the Phillipines (AKA oblivious to what the local competition is doing to succeed).

But if that competing franchise is on the other side of town, and there’s no competitor in your neighboorhood, that’s an opportunity.

This is the difference between stifling competition that can threaten a business venture, versus businesses that are providing validation of demand for a product/service in your market!


Easyvet Raises Series A

Easyvet, a walk-in veterinary clinic franchise, recently closed a ~$5 million Series A funding. The franchise primarily offers wellness exams for dogs and cats, vaccinations, and parasite screening. They have 19 locations open and plan to double in size in 2022. 

The pet industry is expected to continue to boom, and EasyVet is clearly betting on that. They also have competition via PetWellClinic, a similar concept with over 100 units in development!

Waffle House & The Waffle Index

Waffle House is the most interesting waffle business on the planet. They do over $1 billion in annual revenue, sell enough bacon to wrap around the world, and…they’re used by FEMA to gauge the severity of a natural disaster. If a Waffle House is closed (RARELY happens), then you know a hurricane really did some damage.

Though it’s near impossible to become a franchise owner without working at the location, there’s still a lot to learn about this brand!

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