Welcome to Entrepreneur’s second annual ranking of the top franchise brands. While our signature ranking, the Franchise 500®, takes a holistic view of the elements that might make a company attractive to prospective franchisees — growth, costs, support and financial stability — with this list, we want to zero in on one area: brand strength. We do that by analyzing factors such as social media followers, system size, the number of years in business and the number of years franchising.
Those last two are particularly telling. New franchises come and go every year. Some build up hundreds and even thousands of units before disappearing from the scene, lucky if they’re remembered as a footnote in franchise history. The best brands are those that have proven they can stand the test of time. You will find a few relative newcomers here, but the average age of the companies on this list is 47 years.
That said, don’t expect any of them to look the same as they did 47 years ago. The key to their longevity lies in their ability to strike a balance between staying true to the roots that gained them fans in the first place and constantly evolving and reinventing themselves to stay relevant in the present day. From a fancy new headquarters to fun on social media to entirely new products and services, we’ve highlighted just a few of the ways some of these companies are keeping their brands on top.
Related: The 8 Laws of Branding
Remember as you read that this ranking is not intended as a recommendation of any particular company. Always do your research into every aspect of an opportunity before investing. Read their legal documents, consult with an attorney and an accountant and talk to existing and former franchisees to find what’s right for you.
Click here for the top 200 franchise brands people love.