Hayes Valley is like a petri dish. As a neighborhood in the ever-shifting San Francisco landscape, it seems to have worn all the hats. Now notorious for the million dollar studio apartments and designer boutique retailers, Hayes Valley was the previous home of a freeway that was controversially built then eventually removed following the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Since that moment of rebuilding, the Hayes Valley residents have had the opportunity to stake their claim and rebuild in their ideal vision for the neighborhood and the results have been mixed.
A Neighborhood Divided
Though there is a high reduction in crime and newly minted and transplanted families flock to the parks and public art installations, a struggle to hold on to a sense of familiarity for long-term residents has resulted in a variety of initiatives. Specifically, there is a no chain stores focus on the retail licenses that are given to businesses in Hayes, and one new tenant is having headaches over it.
For A Place Where Everyone is in Yoga Pants, Where You Buy Them Sure is Contentious
Kit And Ace is the new brand from the influential designers behind the lululemon powerhouse and they’ve targeted in on a new subset of their market, a hip, wealthy, active sort exactly like the folks laughing and lounging over lattes in Hayes Valley. Without going into the multiple facets of the chain store regulations, number of locations permitted, pros and cons of the retailer arriving in the city, or the fact that “technical cashmere” is now actually a thing, the real point of contention here is universal. Ingroup/Outgroup dynamic is something we’ve been affected by since pre-civilized times and many ways is what is driving the current conflict between Hayes Valley purists and newcomers. Of course not all situations of this ilk have to be about protecting your tribe from attacks by rival factions, I mean we’re talking about slacks here, right? The reality is, though, that until a company can show they’re more than just another chain store and actually want to become a contributing member of a community, there is going to be an understandable amount of apprehension. Fortunately for your next expansion location, you have access to a few tools that can lend themselves to engendering local credibility and trust, and you can do an awful lot with that as a new neighbor.
Don’t Hassle Me, I’m (a) Local (Franchise)
Franchising is a great way for many business owners to expand into new markets, especially when the brand already has a strong following in its industry, like Subway. Franchising works for more surgical approaches as well, but like in the Kit And Ace example, sometimes you need a little help in shedding the outsider image. That’s when a business’ approachability is going to be scrutinized and that’s exactly when local phone numbers will be more important than ever.
Everyone is New Once
By giving your franchisees access to local phone numbers through a complete franchise phone system from VirtualPBX, you’re empowering them to immediately have the credibility that you need to succeed. From the community’s perspective, you assert your commitment to the area by learning to speak the local language. Of course, just 10 digits alone won’t do the trick, but your ability to leverage them, plus fueled by strong branding enforcement from your phone system, your team on the ground will be able to integrate into their new community seamlessly. Before anyone even realizes it, your new kid on the block storefront will have become a neighborhood staple.
Getting started with integrating local phone numbers into your franchise network is easy, and we have our own network of franchise system experts who are standing by to walk you through where to begin. In the meanwhile, remember to be nice to the new kid, you never know when it’s going to be your business’ turn to move into a new neighborhood, too.