I’d like to introduce the concept of Evergreen: defined as something that automatically renews itself or otherwise remains steady and constant without sudden halt or die off.
Evergreen has been a marketing and web development buzzword for at least a decade. Currently, it’s most commonly used to describe content leveraged for marketing that will remain fresh and relevant over time. There are tons of good articles talking about evergreen content, so we won’t repeat what’s already out there. A few good sources are this article about evergreen content types, and this definition with some great graphics about web traffic. There’s even an organization, The Tugboat Institute, that certifies companies operating under specific Evergreen principles of business management.
But we’re going to talk about something a bit different and that’s Evergreen Fundamentals. It’s more than just the words you use and the terms you put down on paper and the content you put out on your website and marketing materials. Evergreen is giving your concept the best chance of long-term success with business domains, operational systems, and programs purposefully designed to function long term. This is especially true for franchise concepts where there’s a specific energy around brand identity, growth, and innovation.
If you want some real life example of an Evergreen Approach look no further than luxury brands like Hermes and Chanel, and sporting brands like the NFL and MLB. These brands have managed to build classic and sustainable businesses without sacrificing innovation. Hermes has the iconic Birkin bag, which has not substantially changed since 1984; Chanel has been selling #5 since 1921; the NFL has had the same mission since 1920; and Major League Baseball has been around since 1869. Yet, each of these brands (and their most iconic offerings) has gone through innovation, iteration, and change. The key to timelessness is to master the fundamentals.
Even if you’re in the emerging stage of building your concept and you only have a handful of franchisees (or you’re hoping for your first), you can start strong by understanding Evergreen Fundamentals. Consider the benefits:
- Future-proof your concept. By sticking to well-understood and broadly appealing systems you’ll have greater longevity.
- Save development costs. Replacing materials with the latest terminology can add unnecessary costs for you and for your franchisees.
- Plan for international growth. You’ll need to translate materials and systems. Keeping your systems Evergreen ensures you’ll be able to translate concepts to audiences who may not be as familiar with uncommon terms and ideas.
- Create something timeless. People respond well to things that either are tried and true, or remind them of something that they already know works.
The Five Evergreen Fundamentals
Master these and you’ll set yourself up as a classic.
- Create an Evergreen framework for your systems and operations
- Keep your content evergreen
- Avoid acronym creep
- Make your key business problem/solution evergreen
- Train evergreen
- Deploy evergreen Innovation
And if you need help assessing your systems and applying the fundamentals, we’re happy to help your brand become timeless.