Top 10 American Franchises

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TRUSTED GLOBALLY FOR OVER 30 YEARS IN FRANCHISING

The Importance Building a Bilingual, Multicultural Franchise Brand

 

Did you know there are more Spanish speakers in the United States than there are in Spain? In fact, about 43 million people, or 13% of the U.S. population, speaks Spanish as a first language. What’s more, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2060, the Hispanic population will more than double to nearly 30% of the nation’s population. The Spanish speaking population is, therefore, a hugely important economic group controlling nearly $2 trillion in buying power in 2020, an increase of 87% from 2010 according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth.

 

 

The purchasing power of Hispanics in the U.S. could increase to $2.6 trillion over the next three years, which means the facts are clear: Latinos are making America more entrepreneurial, more likely to be employed, younger, and increasingly affluent. They are contributing disproportionately to America’s productivity and economic growth and becoming a critical driver of the country’s new mainstream economy.

 

The concept of diversity can seem somewhat broad and esoteric when it comes to creating and implementing these types of initiatives in a company or brand. Despite the franchise industry promoting efforts for diversity and inclusion, and leaders in organizations saying they’re serious about spearheading efforts for diverse franchisee networks and teams, progress continues to be slow on many fronts. 

 

So, how to move things along? 

 

At Estrella Insurance, we made the decision decades ago that to properly scale our franchised insurance business, being bilingual would be the key component to allow us to expand into growing markets and tap into a domestic customer base that was often neglected. Estrella’s investment in bilingual development allowed the brand to cross the $500 million mark in system-wide premiums for the first time in the company’s nearly 40-year history in 2021. That’s in part because insurance coverage is a non-negotiable commodity, something that has allowed Estrella to remain a pandemic-resistant, and even a recession-resistant, business opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.

 

We soon found that new customers were only one benefit of having a multilingual approach.


Bilingual teams not only opened new consumer revenue streams at the unit level, but greatly enhanced our ability to interact with a larger and more diverse prospective franchisee pool – something that has helped to boost long-term retention and satisfaction among our network. Simply put, bilingual franchisees, office personnel, marketing materials, websites, mobile apps, and more have fostered a more innovative and diverse business that has provided countless intangible benefits. As more companies and franchised brands realize these benefits, the competition to find and hire a multicultural and bilingual system will only heat up, especially as the world continues to become increasingly interconnected.

 

As a Miami-based, Cuban American franchisor, navigating multiple languages has always been one of our greatest strengths for creating and fostering a multicultural business. For franchisors looking to create a similarly effective bilingual culture we offer these tips for success.    

Provide In-Language Training

In addition to rewarding those that are already bilingual, provide opportunities for franchisees and their teams to get language training support. Language learning in the digital age is not a high-cost endeavor and it demonstrates a willingness to invest in your franchisee’s development.

 

Go Beyond Literal Translations

Where you come from and the industry in which you operate plays a large role in the way you communicate currently in English. The same rings true for Spanish – or any other language. What this means is that merely offering a word-for-word translation of your content through some third-party app will often fail to speak to recipients the same way and may have unintended consequences. 

This is where transcreation comes into play – the idea of blending the words translation and creation into a new word. In a nutshell, transcreation takes a concept in one language and completely recreates it in another language to communicate more naturally.

It’s good practice to have all official documents reviewed by a linguist or translator while also enlisting a deep roster of native speakers on staff to help your brand speak naturally in that tongue. 

 

It’s About Understanding, Not Tokenism 

An essential aspect of creating a bilingual brand culture is fostering a multicultural workspace. Being a Cuban American born brand does not mean that we inherently understand the entire Hispanic experience in America. One culture does not encompass all Latinos and that kind of assumption can often drive away prospective franchisees, employees, and customers through accidental displays of ignorance. 

 

So how do you pull off that kind of authenticity? First, make sure changes within your organization are real and tangible and not just marketing slogans or press release copy. And second, take the time to get to know – and address – your target demographics’ real cares and concerns. A little bit of empathy and even a small dose of humor, goes a long way. 

 

Retention Requires Effort

Developing and retaining a multicultural franchise system takes hard work and effort. Look for team members who are already fluent in another language to help build your base, but don’t rule out seeking those willing to learn. While it’s important to have native speakers to avoid mistakes and understand target audiences more completely, simply having a competent multilingual workforce will enhance your capabilities greatly. 

 

Gender, cultural, ethnic, racial, and other types of identities shape how people experience, see, and digest the world. People from diverse backgrounds think, learn, and react differently. They often possess different sets of skills and traditional knowledge, acquired and perfected over time in different communities. Hence, diversity is a big source of insight, talent, and skill. If harnessed properly, diversity can bring a multi-dimensional, holistic perspective to your franchise organization’s overall wisdom and acumen.

 

The purchasing power of Hispanics in the U.S. could increase to $2.6 trillion over the next three years, which means the facts are clear: Latinos are making America more entrepreneurial, more likely to be employed, younger, and increasingly affluent. They are contributing disproportionately to America’s productivity and economic growth and becoming a critical driver of the country’s new mainstream economy.

 

The concept of diversity can seem somewhat broad and esoteric when it comes to creating and implementing these types of initiatives in a company or brand. Despite the franchise industry promoting efforts for diversity and inclusion, and leaders in organizations saying they’re serious about spearheading efforts for diverse franchisee networks and teams, progress continues to be slow on many fronts. 

 

So, how to move things along? 

 

At Estrella Insurance, we made the decision decades ago that to properly scale our franchised insurance business, being bilingual would be the key component to allow us to expand into growing markets and tap into a domestic customer base that was often neglected. Estrella’s investment in bilingual development allowed the brand to cross the $500 million mark in system-wide premiums for the first time in the company’s nearly 40-year history in 2021. That’s in part because insurance coverage is a non-negotiable commodity, something that has allowed Estrella to remain a pandemic-resistant, and even a recession-resistant, business opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.

 

We soon found that new customers were only one benefit of having a multilingual approach.


Bilingual teams not only opened new consumer revenue streams at the unit level, but greatly enhanced our ability to interact with a larger and more diverse prospective franchisee pool – something that has helped to boost long-term retention and satisfaction among our network. Simply put, bilingual franchisees, office personnel, marketing materials, websites, mobile apps, and more have fostered a more innovative and diverse business that has provided countless intangible benefits. As more companies and franchised brands realize these benefits, the competition to find and hire a multicultural and bilingual system will only heat up, especially as the world continues to become increasingly interconnected.

 

For franchisors looking to create a similarly effective bilingual culture we offer these tips for success.    

 

Provide In-Language Training

In addition to rewarding those that are already bilingual, provide opportunities for franchisees and their teams to get language training support. Language learning in the digital age is not a high-cost endeavor and it demonstrates a willingness to invest in your franchisee’s development.

 

Go Beyond Literal Translations

Where you come from and the industry in which you operate plays a large role in the way you communicate currently in English. The same rings true for Spanish – or any other language. What this means is that merely offering a word-for-word translation of your content through some third-party app will often fail to speak to recipients the same way and may have unintended consequences. 

This is where transcreation comes into play – the idea of blending the words translation and creation into a new word. In a nutshell, transcreation takes a concept in one language and completely recreates it in another language to communicate more naturally.

It’s good practice to have all official documents reviewed by a linguist or translator while also enlisting a deep roster of native speakers on staff to help your brand speak naturally in that tongue. 

 

It’s About Understanding, Not Tokenism 

An essential aspect of creating a bilingual brand culture is fostering a multicultural workspace. Being a Cuban American born brand does not mean that we inherently understand the entire Hispanic experience in America. One culture does not encompass all Latinos and that kind of assumption can often drive away prospective franchisees, employees, and customers through accidental displays of ignorance. 

 

So how do you pull off that kind of authenticity? First, make sure changes within your organization are real and tangible and not just marketing slogans or press release copy. And second, take the time to get to know – and address – your target demographics’ real cares and concerns. A little bit of empathy and even a small dose of humor, goes a long way. 

 

Retention Requires Effort

Developing and retaining a multicultural franchise system takes hard work and effort. Look for team members who are already fluent in another language to help build your base, but don’t rule out seeking those willing to learn. While it’s important to have native speakers to avoid mistakes and understand target audiences more completely, simply having a competent multilingual workforce will enhance your capabilities greatly. 

 

Gender, cultural, ethnic, racial, and other types of identities shape how people experience, see, and digest the world. People from diverse backgrounds think, learn, and react differently. They often possess different sets of skills and traditional knowledge, acquired and perfected over time in different communities. Hence, diversity is a big source of insight, talent, and skill. If harnessed properly, diversity can bring a multi-dimensional, holistic perspective to your franchise organization’s overall wisdom and acumen.

 

 

 

 

At Estrella Insurance, diversity has facilitated our growth and prosperity as a franchisor and  created new pathways to ownership. Franchising is a great way to get into business and possibly the most successful format for business development. No sector has made more minority millionaires than franchising. It’s our responsibility to help tell that story.