Coconut planting trees for Christmas… and beyond

At Coconut, we’ve been thinking differently this year. As well as focusing on the wellbeing of our team, we’re focused on the wellbeing of the Planet!

They’re a conscientious bunch, over at Coconut! Which is why, rather than contributing to the world’s emissions, they’re doing what they can to offset the carbon footprint of the team – and of their clients!

Every year, thousands of cards with pretty sparkles and cutesy designs, are sent across the UK. However, the University of Exeter discovered, in 2021, how sending just one card, produces about 140 grams of carbon dioxide. This is addition to those designs which are not combustible, or can’t be recycled. And these are just the cards. Add to this the impact of sending gifts, too!

So, in a bid to be different, and positively impact the world, Coconut Marketing have planted 2,000 trees on behalf of their clients for Christmas, at projects in Kenya and Mozambique, through Ecologi. Although neither country need Coconut trees, by helping with the reforestation programme of Eden Reforestation Projects, they’re making a difference on your behalf.

This is in addition to the individual tree planting activities some of the Coconut team have supported this year, through TreeApp. Planting, another 250 trees around the world.

The impact of this mindful gift means the Coconuts have saved 2.63 tonnes of CO2e or 8m2 of sea ice. The equivalent of two long haul flights, or 6,525 miles in the car! Happy Christmas!

Coconut has also supported two ecosystem projects on behalf of staff, something the whole team is supportive of:

  • Peatland restoration and conservation in Indonesia
  • This will help to protect habitat thought to be home to up to 10% of the world’s remaining Bornean orangutan population, so future generations can enjoy their antics.
  • Generating electricity from landfill gas in Brazil

The objective of this project is to collect the landfill gas produced in the Uberlândia landfills and use it to generate electricity, preventing environmentally damaging methane from being released into the atmosphere. The project expects to produce 354,968 MWh of energy during its lifetime.

Adam Lovelock, one of Coconut’s Directors says, “At Coconut Marketing, we’re committed to being environmentally responsible and supporting sustainable practices. Which is why we decided to donate to Ecologi, and support regeneration projects around the world, rather than sending traditional Christmas presents to our clients. We hope our contribution will have a positive impact on combating climate change, and encourage others to join us in supporting this important cause.”

What a lovely bunch, the Coconuts are!

To see and/or track any of the projects Coconut are supporting, visit:
Or, to start your own low carbon business forest, visit:

FranTech designed with franchising in mind

When it comes to franchise technology, very few systems are geared for our industry, or the unique franchisor/franchisee relationship. Adam Knight thinks franchisors – you – deserve better 

During our many (many) years of working with franchisors from every possible industry, the team here at Coconut has gained quite a unique viewpoint. Based on our knowledge, areas of expertise and useful insight, we’ve become a port of call for Franchisors, with all manner of technology issues, as well as being trusted partners for marketing.

Although our primary focus has always been marketing related, particularly with our Franchise Recruitment work and, in recent years, Digital Advertising on behalf of whole networks, we’ve developed a deep understanding of how the entire franchise network operates. Obviously the mechanics of marketing have become more technical over time, and strategies have come to rely on a considerable amount of technology, in recent years.

Almost every time we’d worked with someone on these types of projects, the solution seemed to feel as though we were just trying to find an answer with the smallest amount of compromises. Other times, we would have to rig multiple different systems together. Although this solved the problem, it required a substantial amount of maintenance and management, to keep everything running smoothly. Quite time consuming, and frustrating at times for our clients.

What is FranTech?

An excellent question! Since we started helping franchisors, we’ve seen every piece of technology innovated and implemented across a number of functionality-use cases, from CRM, class bookings, secure messaging, and social media management. All provide good solutions for business, but as soon as you add in the franchisor/franchisee relationship to the mix, they start to fall apart or require considerable of customisation. This invariably can end up being extremely costly. Sometimes this is in the literal cost, other times in the scope of what was actually required from the solution.

At one point, a franchisor told us they were so embarrassed by the franchise management solution they ‘d signed up to, and how it looked because they were asking me to design a user interface to sit over the top, and make it look and feel more professional.

So, from our point of view, FranTech is modern and flexible software built specifically with franchising in mind.

There are a number of tools being sold as ‘for franchising’. However, these are blatant repackaging of software made for other use cases, and shoe-horned into franchise networks with some inelegant and glaring issues. Big software companies don’t see franchising as worth the huge investment it would take to build modern and flexible solutions, because of its relative size compared to the global industry based markets. Despite the fact the UK franchise industry has a net worth of £17 billion!

So, franchisors are left with these poor (and often expensive) solutions, and put up with them, because there doesn’t seem to be an alternative.

We think Franchisors deserve better!

Which is why we redesigned the future

In 2018, Coconut began running Google Ads for a large network of franchisees. We’d been running ads for networks before, but not at this scale. We needed a system to administer this activity. Smoothly and easily. It would need to be able to take payments, provide invoices, deliver monthly updates, and report on the actual performance of the Google Ads activity. As you can imagine, doing this manually would have been a huge amount of work. So, we systemised, centralised and organised and as soon as we were done, it instantly became obvious we had the skeleton of a system which could solve a large amount of our clients’ problems.

We started talking to our clients, asking them what problems they had with running their networks, and made a list of everything we could solve through our system. Almost every issue our clients spoke to us about, revolved around administration, centralisation, access control, content management, knowledge management, and internal communication. This formed the basis of Franchise Cloud and our Franchise Relationship Management platform. So that is the history of how Coconut created Franchise Cloud. The thing we are really interested to talk about is the future.

Can Franchise Cloud really help?

The way we’ve approached this is quite unique. We have built solutions to all of the issues we have seen over the last 20 years in franchising. But, wherever a decision needed to be made about how a certain function would need to work for a particular customer, in their real world usage, rather than hard-coding our assumption of how we think it needs to work, we’ve left it open and customisable.

For example, three different franchise businesses working in children’s activities, share the same organisational structure but work in hugely different ways.

The way marketing is handled across different networks is also radically different. Where one may handle everything at HQ, another expects franchisees to handle their own marketing entirely. This is why we believe it’s important for your management software to not only understand these fundamental differences, but be able to handle them without skipping a beat.

Through Franchise Cloud, we believe we have achieved this. However, the only way for you to really know whether it can work for your brand and network, is to talk me through how you are currently working, and what you need/want. I can then demonstrate how Franchise Cloud can meet your requirements.

So, what exactly is Franchise Cloud?

If you could find one platform where you could organise and manage all your franchise resources, why wouldn’t you use it!

As your franchise brand grows, you may start to come across niggly little issues, which if not dealt with, can lead to bigger problems. Especially when it comes to centralising marketing for a growing network of franchisees or controlling the often numerous informational resources. Here at Coconut, we understand franchising, and we understand how to help you achieve your goals, whether this is for recruitment, marketing, or keeping your franchisees on track. Which is why we have people in the team who are now working at resolving your system problems… not quite around the clock, but definitely at times when the rest of us are asleep!

Have you met Adam Knight, AKA Big Ad? He is passionate about helping you resolve issues you’ve shared with us, some of which you may not yet be aware you have. “We’ve been working on Franchise Cloud for 18 months, it started as a system which would allow us to work with whole franchise networks, not just with a franchise’s Head Office, for things like digital marketing and reporting. When someone is running online advertising for hundreds of franchisees, for example, we’ve experienced how difficult it can be to easily administer payments, issue reporting and regular network wide updates instead of email/telephone calls for each separate franchisee.”

So frustrating!

If you’ve also encountered this type of issue with your network, you’ll know, first-hand, how frustrating it can become. Which is why Adam, and the team, set about finding a solution. “We’ve created a system which allows Head Office to easily manage all of the resources the whole network needs to be successful, but also empowers franchisees to login, communicate with HQ, access anything they need and see their personal reports. They can also direct questions to HQ or the Coconut team as a marketing partner if we’re working on their campaigns, to ask for changes, without Head Office having to act as a go-between. Franchisees can also manage their payments, and receive regular updates on how their campaigns are performing, comparing data from across the network.”

Wait, there’s more!

We quickly realised Franchise Cloud could offer clients even more! As a hub, you can upload your operations manual, marketing collateral and templates, manage your franchisees’ websites or even their email marketing campaigns. “This isn’t some off-the-shelf software,” Ads continues. “Because we understand franchising, we know how unique every brand is. So, we tailor your Franchise Cloud to your specific needs. We use a franchise-aware, user-permissions system, to drive what people in your franchise network need to see and do. This ranges from Head Office to franchisee staff, to your marketing partners. Every module within Franchise Cloud can understand the various roles and relationships which make-up your business.

Your problems, our solution

We love franchising, which probably sounds twee! But, it’s what inspires us to never just be a supplier to our clients. “We aim to become a trusted expert partner,” Ads continues. “So, we see and hear directly, the problems which come from running a successful franchise system. The key issues we kept hearing were around centralisation, organisation, and controlling access to confidential information. There were also issues around permissions and how to, for example, share training videos in such a way they can’t be saved or shared outside the network. By building additional functionality within our internal client management tool, we believe we’ve empowered franchisors to keep control over who in your network can access any single piece of content.”

But, we’re not quite done!

As you can imagine, software is always being developed and improved, as new technology is created. “We’re currently recording a host of tutorial videos which will show exactly how each part of the system works,” Ads explains. “These will also show you how you can easily manage your content within the system, and how to manage some of the administrative tasks involved with keeping a network organised and successful, from within Franchise Cloud. There’s so much scope with Franchise Cloud, to bring you an efficient system which enables you to operate your franchise the way you need to, without any compromises. This is our ultimate goal.”

To find out more about Franchise Cloud, take a look on our website, or give us a call to arrange an in-depth discussion around your needs.