Franchise Update Media Reveals 1st Franchise Innovation Awards Winners
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Franchise Update Media Reveals 1st Franchise Innovation Awards Winners

Franchise Update Media Reveals 1st Franchise Innovation Awards Winners

Franchise Update Media has announced the winners of the inaugural Franchise Innovation Awards, recognizing the best innovations in franchising in 2018.

The goal of these annual awards is to identify and recognize the franchise brands that are creating and implementing the most original and successful innovation strategies and tactics. Winners were chosen by a panel of 10 judges who evaluated the objectives and results of more than 90 entrants.

Franchise innovators, game-changers, and disruptors competed in four categories: Marketing & Branding, Products & Services, Operations, and Human Resources. This year's winners are:

Marketing & Branding

  • IHOP -- Best Big Budget Campaign
  • Edible Arrangements -- Best Limited Budget Campaign (Under $1 Million)
  • European Wax Center -- Cause Marketing Champion
  • Handyman Connection -- Local Marketing Leadership
  • Camp Bow Wow -- Best Social Media Campaign
  • Goldfish Swim School -- Best Digital Campaign
  • Labor Finders -- Best PR Campaign

Products & Services

  • Two Maids & A Mop -- Most Innovative Use of Technology: Services
  • Little Caesars Pizza -- Most Innovative Use of Technology: Products
  • Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa -- Most Innovative Use of Customer-Facing Digital Tools
  • Conserva Irrigation -- Most Innovative Service Introduction
  • Topper's Craft Creamery -- Most Innovative Product Introduction


  • (Tie) Dunkin' Brands, Schlotzsky's Austin Eatery -- Most Innovative Building Design, Remodel, or Prototype
  • College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving -- Most Innovative Franchisee Support
  • (Tie) Checkers & Rally's, Dream Vacations -- Most Innovative Use of Technology

Human Resources

  • College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving -- Most Innovative Employee Retention
  • Dog Haus -- Most Innovative Employee Training

The judges for this year's awards were Darrell Johnson, CEO of FRANdata; Jon Chang, IBM Watson Global Product Marketer & NYU Adjunct Faculty of Social Media and Web Analytics; J.B. Bernstein, CEO of AviSight; Michelle Rowan, President of Franchise Business Review; Theresa Huszka, Senior Consultant at MSA Worldwide; and from Franchise Update Media, CEO and Co-Founder Therese Thilgen, Chief Content Officer Diane Phibbs, Managing Editor Eddy Goldberg, and Executive Editor Kerry Pipes.

Winners in the Marketing & Branding category will be celebrated at Franchise Update Media’s annual Franchise Marketing Leadership Conference in Atlanta, June 18–20, 2019 (

An overall winner in this category will be revealed during a special awards dinner on June 19. The four finalists for this Franchise Marketing Leadership Award are: Camp Bow Wow, Edible Arrangements, European Wax Center, and IHOP. Each finalist will be invited to share their innovation success stories at the conference.

About Franchise Update Media

Franchise Update Media has been a leader in the franchising space for more than 30 years. Founded in 1988, the company produces online franchise opportunity and educational websites, two print magazines, four e-newsletters, four conferences, independent research, and books, all focused on franchising. Targeting franchise audiences online, in print, and in person, Franchise Update Media delivers a unique combination of educational and lead generation sources to help franchisors, multi-unit franchisees, opportunity seekers, and suppliers achieve their growth objectives. For more information, visit

Published: May 28th, 2019

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