Posts tagged “franchise”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] A big admission ahead of bigger mission for Batman [AP] – [While the reporting here is primarily about Bruce Wayne revealing his secret identity as Batman, more interesting is the fictional franchising/crowdsourcing approach. The creators of the Batman product are talking about the brand within the story of Batman, but in fact by incorporating real-life businesses themes, they are refreshing the actual Batman brand within our world. Layered!] The part of a detailed effort that puts into motion a plan for Batman Incorporated, a global network of Batmen from China to Argentina to fight crime worldwide…In doing so, Wayne is free to take his crime fighting international by building what Morrison calls a "global, international army of Batmen. Batman in China, Batman in Japan, Batman in Russia. Expanding the Batman brand to areas where he really hasn't been before."

Dead Men Tell Tales

The New York Times looks at Ludlum and other dead authors who continue to (sorta) release books. This isn’t new; in recent years we’ve seen post-Frank Herbert Dune and other Asimov/Robots books. John Gardner and others have been writing James Bond books for a while now. But as media continues to talk about “brands” and (ugh) “franchises” then I guess this is what we’re in for. It’s easier to sell (and buy) something that is already known that break through with something new. Movies into games. Games into movies. Sequels. Prequels. Remakes. The book people may just be getting started.

Whether it is fair to readers to publish the Ludlum books posthumously – in the form of spruced-up old manuscripts or new novels written by others – is not a serious concern to the estate or to Grand Central Publishing, the former Warner Books, where the rights to all new novels moved from St. Martin’s Press.

“I don’t think anyone objects as long as you maintain the quality of the book,” Mr. Morrison said. “The Sherlock Holmes novels have been a business since ‘The Seven-Percent Solution,’ and some have been better than others. It’s the characters that interest people.”

Renovating Ronald

BusinessWeek writes about a just-launching redesign of McDonald’s stores, trying to bring them up to date. This is sure to be a big design story in the business press, with lots of oohing and aahing about the furniture and so on, but the article points to some serious business challenges that the company faces here (and presumably anytime they want to do some sort of reinvention).

In a recent letter to management at the company’s headquarters in Oak Brook, about 160 franchisees from North Carolina spelled out why they oppose the new plan. They say the roof change erases 40 years of brand building and that ‘there has been no business case presented which justifies the change.’ Says Frederick Huebner, who owns 11 McDonald’s in North Carolina: ‘We don’t want to lose the iconic look of what we’ve got.’ If franchisees balk, McDonald’s can refuse to renew their contract.

Check out the new designs, which seem to bring McDonald’s firmly into the 90s.

Franchise Zeitgeist

Entrepreneur magazine lists the top 101 fastest-growing franchises. In the top 20, there is fast food etc. (Subway, 7-Eleven, Quizno’s, Dunkin Donuts, Baskin-Robbins), Curves (the fitness place aimed at women), Jazzercise, three different commercial cleaning chains, two tax-prep brands, as well as one each in kids education, real estate, hotels, Internet services, business coaching, hair-cutting, local city guides, and the UPS store.


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