How Big Brands Harness ‘Second Mover’ Advantages With Polished Franchise Technology Systems

How Big Brands Harness ‘Second Mover’ Advantages With Polished Franchise Technology Systems

Sep 21,2020 By

FranchiseSoft wasn’t the first franchise technology system to market, but our team’s innovation, franchise experience, and metric-based approach allowed us to capitalize on second-mover advantages and quickly establish FranchiseSoft as an industry leader.

Today’s post explains how we leveraged our “second mover advantages” to create a polished franchise technology system with unparalleled franchise focus and functionality.

Building Better Franchise Technology Systems With Second-mover Advantages

What in the world are second-mover advantages, and why would anybody choose those over the first-mover variety? More importantly, what does this all have to do with franchise technology systems?!

In strategic management theory, first-mover advantage (sometimes called FMA) refers to the benefits gained by “moving first,” either with an innovative product or paradigm-shifting technology. When speaking of franchise technology systems, we use the term first-movers to refer to:

  1. The developers who first created general business software tools that franchise owners began to use (e.g. basic/standalone CRM software, payroll software, scheduling software, enterprise resource planning software, digital dashboards, business performance management software, document management software, procurement software, reporting software, and more)
  2. The developers who first created specialized franchise technology systems catered to the needs of international brands

These software pioneers deserve some recognition, and they rightly enjoy several “first mover advantages” (FMAs), including:

  • Dominating market share early on as sole providers of franchise technology systems
  • Easily establishing brand loyalty and recognition because no alternatives exist
  • Creating high barriers to entry for new franchise technology systems providers
  • Accumulating valuable knowledge related to customer needs, distribution channels, product technology, process technology, and so on

FranchiseSoft wasn’t the first franchise technology system on the market—we trademarked our franchise technology system in 2015—so we did not benefit from any FMAs. But at the same time, we avoided all the pitfalls of pioneering, then reinvested everything we saved into franchise-focused functionality!

For instance, whereas first-movers often overinvest in resources and capabilities that “are not characteristic of the mass market”  (Hill et al., 2014, p. 222). But as second-movers, we were able to develop our franchise technology systems based on the specific needs of franchise owners and operators, and address all of the major problems and limitations identified in the “first wave” of solutions. Since we have current and former franchise owners all over our company roster—some in key development roles, and some even at the helm—it was easy.

This is sometimes described as the “free-ride” effect, which allows second-movers to build off established best practices to save time and money on R&D, buyer education, and infrastructure development (Hill et al., 2014). It’s what Sir Isaac Newton might have called standing on the shoulders of giants to see a little further.

While we weren’t the first software system on the scene, our team’s innovation, franchise experience, and metric-based approach allowed us to capitalize on second-mover advantages and quickly establish FranchiseSoft as an industry leader. What follows is a closer look at how we leveraged second-mover advantages to provide big brand owners with superior franchise technology systems

How Second-mover Franchise Technology Systems Combine All The Best Features And Functionality?

In their work “First mover advantages,” Lieberman et al. (1988) noted one advantage for second-movers was that “new entrants exploit technology discontinuities to displace existing incumbents.” In other words, second-movers have the advantage of identifying problems and limitations with existing franchise technology systems, then developing software free of those issues.

In our case, this meant combining all the best of existing and franchise-relevant business software functionality into a single, all-in-one solution, then polishing up the user interface (UI) and optimizing everything for ease of use, maximal automation, and better reporting. The end result is FranchiseSoft, one of the world’s only true all-in-one franchise technology systems, which bundles together all of the following functionality:

As second-movers, we had plenty of time to research exactly what franchise users wanted from their software. By talking directly with franchise owners and developers, reading countless franchise software reviews, and mining our own intimate experience with franchise technology systems, we found all the best features, then combined them with our own innovations to create unparalleled franchise functionality.

Second-mover Franchise Technology Systems Facilitate Easy Onboarding

Another primary second-mover advantage is the reduced learning curve for customer education; first-movers take on all the costs of introducing their innovations to the general public, while second-movers build off established customer knowledge when explaining or marketing their offerings.

For example, the first developers to create cloud computing had their work cut out for them trying to explain the value of their new service and assuage any security doubts, whereas people nowadays mostly understand what it is and how/why it’s used. As you might imagine, it’s easier to get a workforce onboard using something they know about already, even if it’s a new and improved version.

For franchise owners trying to implement franchise technology systems efficiently, reduced learning curves for user education are highly valuable. Instead of trying to explain cloud computing, scheduling tools, payroll software, or digital dashboards as abstract ideas, we’ve got plenty of concrete examples to point at, which makes our job of onboarding much easier, so your brand can start benefiting from our system straight away.

Moreover, as second-movers, we identified historical issues some brands have with franchise technology system onboarding, so we developed dedicated support channels, FAQs, and troubleshooting, while also simplifying the client-side experience for ease of use.

Book A Free Virtual Franchise Technology System Demo With Franchisesoft

FranchiseSoft is a leading provider of franchise technology systems for small local businesses, global juggernauts, and everything in between!

Call 888-302-3676 or fill out the contact form on our website to request a virtual demonstration of our franchise technology software in action.


Hill, C. W., Jones, G. R., & Schilling, M. A. (2014). Strategic management: Theory & cases – an integrated approach. Cengage Learning.

Lieberman, M. B., & Montgomery, D. B. (1988). First‐mover advantages. Strategic Management Journal, 9(1), 41-58.