Franchise Update Media Reveals Franchise Innovation Award Winners
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Franchise Update Media Reveals Franchise Innovation Award Winners

3rd annual contest honors the best innovators in 22 categories

June 25, 2021 // // SAN JOSE, CA - Franchise Update Media has announced the winners of the 3rd annual Franchise Innovation Awards, which recognize the most outstanding innovations in franchising in the past year.

The goal of these annual awards is to identify and recognize the franchise brands creating and implementing the most original and successful innovation strategies and tactics. Winners were chosen by a panel of 7 judges, who evaluated the objectives and results of more than 100 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

  • Golden Chick - Best Limited Budget Campaign (Under $1 Million)
  • Miracle-Ear - Cause Marketing Champion
  • Coldwell Banker - Local Marketing Leadership
  • Camp Bow Wow - Best Social Media Campaign
  • Sola Salon Studios - Best Digital Campaign
  • Planet Fitness - Best PR Campaign

Products & Services

  • Lift Brands - Most Innovative Use of Technology: Services
  • RE/MAX - Most Innovative Use of Data
  • School of Rock - Most Innovative Use of Customer-Facing Digital Tools
  • Chicken Salad Chick - Most Innovative Service Introduction
  • Blaze Pizza - Most Innovative Product Introduction


  • The UPS Store - Most Innovative Building Design, Remodel, or Prototype
  • Camp Bow Wow - Most Innovative Franchisee Support
  • Junk King - Most Innovative Consumer Self-Service Tools
  • Capriotti's Sandwich Shop - Most Innovative Operations Team
  • Floor Coverings International - Most Innovative Use of Technology
  • Checkers & Rally's - Most Innovative Use of Data
  • Wild Birds Unlimited - Most Innovative Supply Chain Improvements

Human Resources

  • Express Employment Professionals - Most Innovative Employee Hiring
  • Meritage Hospitality Group (Wendy's) - Most Innovative Employee Recruiting
  • Penn Station East Coast Subs - Most Innovative Employee Retention
  • Authority Brands - Most Innovative Employee Training

The winners will be celebrated in Franchise Update Magazine, available later this year at

The annual competition also celebrates a "best of the best" overall winner in marketing with the Franchise Marketing Leadership Award. This award is given to the brand that created the most innovative - and successful - marketing campaign. This year's winner, Planet Fitness, created an innovative and timely program (United We Move: Working "In" with Planet Fitness), which rose to the top of the many excellent marketing submissions.

The judges for this year's awards were Michelle Rowan, President & COO, Franchise Business Review; Theresa Huszka, Senior Consultant, MSA Worldwide; Scott Lehr, Managing Partner & CEO, GT&S Franchise Executive Search; Jayson Pearl, President, ServiceScore; and from Franchise Update Media, EVP & Chief Content Officer Diane Phibbs, Executive Editor Kerry Pipes, and Managing Editor Eddy Goldberg.

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, six newsletters, four annual 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

SOURCE Franchise Update Media



Diane Phibbs
EVP & Chief Content Officer
Franchise Update Media


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