The internet has flattened many hierarchical structures.
Universities, book & music publishers, newspapers,…
Literally hundreds of traditional “span of control“, top-down, military-style organizations are being changed forever or wiped out.
- Every information-based industry must either adapt or risk becoming extinct.
Franchising is not immune to these forces.
I would argue that franchising is undergoing a huge power re-polarization: the electrical circuitry that had controlled systems is laid bare and very vulnerable. The franchise bar’s monopoly on gatekeeping is open for questioning as franchisees refuse to define every business glitch as a “legal” problem that needs a “legal” solution.
The old “do this or else” commands simply don’t work anymore.
One of the main reasons is that individual franchisees can overcome their initial feelings of “I’m to blame” much quicker by searching for information on the internet. There are hundreds of brutal franchising stories on sites such as Blue MauMau and especially WikiFranchise.org.
- is a very powerful tool with a relentless “memory”,
- explodes some very dangerous industry myth,
- persuades by not trying to,
- supports more and more insightful journalism,
- links executives’ actions with their names (reputation registry), and
- indexes already published articles in a 24/7, fully-downloadable and -transparent, collaborative (multiple-ways) and no cost way.
AIDA: Franchisees can more easily move through the “selling process” of banding together to help themselves. AIDA is a short form for for the marketing process of:
- decision and
Franchisees can become aware, interested and decide to reach out to their peers without risking any retaliation from their franchisor. Totally anonymous, private and free. Any time of the day or week; at a much earlier time than when the internet was not around.
- This is a revolutionary step and holds the promise of a more equitable franchise industry for those franchisees who dare to test this new model.
Slaves built the ancient pyramids. Franchising hasn’t had the pyramid inverted: the pyramid has been flattened.
Franchisors are not very vocal about these developments.