birth of a brand

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mbos client interview: on buying & saving a dying franchise brand during the GFC, and creating the hottest new brand of 2012

Disclosure: to assist with Wasabi Warrior’s brand development, Nicola Mills formed an Advisory Board of Brad March of Marchmedia and Scott Muller of mbos consulting group.

From The Wireless to wasabi…

Nicola Mills, MBA, started her career as Promotions Assistant at FM104.7 in Canberra. She is now the founder and Group Managing Director of PRM (Pacific Retail Management) – and in 2010 and 2011 she was ranked #26 on Smart Company’s list of Australia’s leading female entrepreneurs.

Pacific Retail Management is one of Australia’s fastest growing franchise companies – with 30 stores around Australia across 3 brands, and annual group revenues of $10 million.

The phenomenal growth of PRM’s brands is built on the skills and experience Nicola gained from working in radio – at Melbourne’s Fox FM, Adelaide’s SAFM, and later at Sydney’s 2Day FM as Assistant General Manager & Marketing Director, where her work was recognized with numerous awards.

“Yes, that background in the trenches of commercial radio has been a key pillar of PRM’s success. In those tight ratings battles you get to understand brand strategy, strategic positioning, marketing with flare, leadership, organisational and human behavior. All those experiences in competitive radio proved invaluable later on.”

Queues from Day One:
Wasabi Warriors Brisbane CBD launch

Nicola Mills Group Elite Talent Mbos Consulting Group

Awards & accolades

Her history of winning awards and accolades in radio has continued in business. Since launching PRM in 2007, Nicola has led its brands to frequent appearances in BRW, Smart Company, Fast Franchise Magazine, and to international recognition – winning two prestigious franchising awards. And this phenomenal business growth is just beginning – she predicts 200+ stores by 2016.

“We have an excellent expansion plan in place – and a lot of interest from investors and potential franchisees.”

“Our first great success was turning around the Go Sushi brand – it was about to go under when we bought it out in 2008. We fixed it up and it’s now booming – Go Sushi made BRW’s Fast Franchises list of Top 50 Growth by Revenue. It gave us big runs on the board. We clearly know what we’re doing, and how to turnaround a dying brand into a winner – and during the worst of the Global Financial Crisis! That achievement carries a lot of weight in the business world”.

“Go Sushi on it’s own is a strong brand, and makes good money for the franchisees, but I also wanted a ‘brand with a heart beat’ – one that would be profitable, yet make a difference in the world. Enter Wasabi Warriors, which has a mission – to help people ‘eat good, do good, feel good’ about their choices. Wasabi Warriors has a bushido – a code we live by, and the franchisees live by, and it’s an exciting brand. Wasabi Warriors is the franchise brand to watch in Australia.”

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