Franchise Development: Navigating Disruptors

The concept of disruption was introduced in 1995 in an article for the Harvard Business Review by Joseph L. Bower and Clayton M. Christensen. The issue was re-addressed by Christensen a decade later in “What is Disruptive Innovation?” in the same publication. The idea can be applied to your brand concept or to the technology tools that you use to support your business.


As the rate at which we develop new technology continues to increase, change, and improve, the franchise marketplace is being introduced more regularly to new innovative concepts that leave entire established industries to either quickly adapt or be left behind. These innovators are often referred to as disruptors.

While some brands who have been disrupted may not like to admit it, these new advancements are good for the market and consumers. A disruptor will inherently come with an improvement over an existing product, and the risk of disruption should lead to increased efforts by a brand to maintain customer relationships.


Achieving “disruptor roof” status can be nearly impossible for most business models, especially those built around specific technology. The best strategy for a brand is usually to try to identify a disruptive threat as early as possible and adapt quickly. Blockbuster and Kodak are famously brands who had plenty of time to recognize that change was necessary, yet failed to do so. A major advantage is to have a customer base who is bonded strongly enough to your brand to give as much time as possible to implement changes.

A franchise brand should have trust in the people and processes in place to be able to function with consistency, despite what is happening throughout the industry. Alternatively, a recruiting department should be able to trust in the franchisor to continue to provide a franchise model with value.


When it comes to recruiting, CGI Franchise has built a system that is truly disruptor proof. The ROS (Recruitment Operating System® )  isn’t dependent on a specific CRM or lead generation software. New marketing channels or programs don’t replace the ROS; they allow the system to work even better. The more quality data and leads you have to work with, the more accurate and consistent results you can get out of it.

A franchise brand’s recruiting department should be treated as a business within the business . Securing that component to be safe from disruption is one less distraction from improving the core business model.