Operations & Training

By Brian Garrison, Buzz Franchise Brands


For entrepreneurs, aligning with an emerging brand offers a unique blend of opportunity and challenge that can be incredibly enticing. Some may argue that with a new concept the risks are higher; however, business owners have the chance to shape the brand’s trajectory, influence its growth strategies, and even adapt its offerings based on real-time feedback and market shifts. This agility can be a significant advantage in today’s rapidly changing business landscape. For entrepreneurs with a pioneering spirit — and those who adopt the right approach to minimizing the risk — emerging brands offer an exciting canvas to innovate, experiment and lead market evolution.

…emerging brands offer an exciting canvas to innovate, experiment and lead market evolution.

 Building Emerging Brands

Buzz Franchise Brands has built our portfolio on developing emerging franchise brands, beginning with outdoor pest control company Mosquito Joe back in 2013 and most recently entering the premium outdoor lighting industry with the latest franchise offering, Wonderly Lights.

To grow a successful franchise, you’ve got to find a unique offering in the market and take advantage of the trends. For example, with our latest endeavor, people want to celebrate the holidays big and decorate their homes and businesses, but they don’t have the time or skills to do it.

That’s where Wonderly Lights steps in. This formula is the same for businesses across the franchising landscape.

Venturing into the world of emerging franchise brands requires a thorough blend of research and intuition. The following are recommended traits to consider when evaluating the potential of a budding brand.

7 Characteristics to Look for in an Emerging Brand

1. Leadership with Proven Expertise

At the heart of any successful franchise lies a competent and experienced leadership team. Before diving into any franchise opportunity, assess the leadership. Their past successes, failures and overall track record often serve as a barometer, indicating the brand’s potential trajectory. A leadership team with a history of successful ventures, adaptability in the face of challenges, and a clear vision can significantly increase the chances of the franchise’s success. 

“Having been with Buzz Franchise Brands for several years, I know them and trust them,” said Jeff Deiters, owner of Wonderly Lights of Northeast Virginia. “I really wanted to do holiday lights to round out my current seasonal business. When I found out they were starting this new brand and that I could have a turn-key business with leadership I trusted, I was all in.”

2. Robust Financial Foundation

Financial stability is a cornerstone for any budding franchise. A well-capitalized brand not only demonstrates its ability to weather initial challenges but also indicates its commitment to sustained growth. Such a foundation ensures that the brand can support its franchisees comprehensively, from initial setup costs to ongoing operational expenses, ensuring a smoother journey for entrepreneurs.

3. Genuine Market Demand

Understanding market dynamics is crucial. Entrepreneurs should evaluate whether there’s a genuine demand for the franchise’s offerings. The most promising brands either address a gap in the market or introduce a fresh, innovative perspective to an existing segment, ensuring their relevance and appeal to the target audience. With Wonderly Lights, for example, market trends showed the resurgence of holiday spirit boosted the Christmas lights and decorations market size. This $7.20 billion industry is anticipated to reach $10.73 billion by 2030.

At the heart of any successful franchise lies a competent and experienced leadership team.

4. Distinct Brand Differentiators

In today’s competitive landscape, standing out is non-negotiable. A franchise must offer clear differentiators, be it a unique product, unparalleled service quality, or an innovative business approach. These differentiators not only attract customers but also position the brand favorably against competitors, ensuring long-term viability.

5. Alignment of Values and Culture

Franchising is more than a mere business transaction; it’s a partnership built over time. It’s not just about profits, but also aligning with a brand that resonates with your core values. Stephanie and Brad Simon are husband-wife owners of Wonderly Lights of Little Rock. For them, Wonderly Lights represented a golden opportunity to join a brand that’s deeply fulfilling. “When your bottom line is about being a part of people’s holiday happiness, there is an overwhelming sense of purpose,” said Stephanie. “I think we get as much joy out of this as our customers do. We recognize that it’s not just about lights, it’s about the emotions those lights evoke, and that’s what makes this more than just a business for us.”

6. Comprehensive Support Mechanisms

A robust support system is indispensable for franchisees. From in-depth training programs to marketing strategies and operational guidelines, the franchisor should offer comprehensive support. This ensures that franchisees, especially those new to the industry, are well-equipped to manage their operations efficiently, right from the outset.

7. Clear Vision for Future Growth

A franchise’s vision and growth strategy are indicative of its long-term aspirations. Brands with a clear, actionable roadmap demonstrate their commitment to long-term success, ensuring that franchisees have a stable platform upon which to build their businesses, reaping potential profitability.

Navigating Emerging Brands

The world of emerging franchise brands is both exciting and challenging. The allure of growth, innovation and the chance to be part of something new is undeniably enticing. However, potential franchisees must tread with caution, ensuring they make informed decisions. By prioritizing factors such as leadership expertise, financial stability, genuine market demand, and cultural fit, entrepreneurs can navigate this landscape with confidence, setting themselves up for a fulfilling and rewarding franchising journey.


Brian Garrison is the president and COO of Buzz Franchise Brands, a multi-brand franchising company home to Pool Scouts, Home Clean Heroes, British Swim School and Wonderly Lights.