‘Entrepreneur’ Magazine Highlights Chem-Dry’s Brand Longevity
“Built to last” profile showcases how the brand started strong, kept its unique feel and innovated over time to grow market share
Entrepreneur magazine is known for its forward-looking coverage of business trends, insights and companies to watch. At the same time, it also likes to look back when talking about longtime brands such as Chem-Dry and why it has excelled for decades as an international carpet cleaning franchise.
In its recent Franchise 500 coverage, Entrepreneur also had an article highlighting six companies that are “built to last,” ones that have been on the Franchise 500 list for at least 38 of the 40 years that ranking has been compiled. Among them was Chem-Dry, and here’s what Entrepreneur had to say:
Capturing and expanding market potential
“Since the Franchise 500 was created in 1980, entire industries have bloomed and then busted (like video stores, which we touted back then as having ‘incredible potential’), and new ones have emerged that no one saw coming (poke bowls!). But while you can learn a lot by watching what fails, you can learn even more by looking at the brands that have thrived for the past four decades,” the magazine says.
The piece went on to say that only five brands have made the list all 40 years, and that another 12 — including Chem-Dry — have appeared at least 38 times. They then posed the question: What are these brands doing right?
Open lines of communication critical to success
“When Chem-Dry founder Robert Harris started his in-home carpet- and upholstery- cleaning service, he tried to be everything to everyone. Harris had created a carbonated cleaning fluid and marketed it as the solution to every carpet problem — which worked well enough during the 1980s, when brands marketed themselves broadly. But it wouldn’t be enough to sustain a company for decades. Around 1990, his franchisees proposed an idea that would revolutionize the business. They said customers called them frequently to clean up pesky pet odors and suggested that the company market its service specifically to that audience.
“Who is the closest to your carpeting? It’s your children and your pets,” said Dan Tarantin, President and CEO, in the article. Chem-Dry then spent about two years testing and developing formulas specifically for pet owners and launched them in 1992, then followed that up with more specific, nontoxic and environmentally friendly products, which now number 50.
“It’s hard to be everything to everybody,” Tarantin said, to which Entrepreneur added, “But a franchise can be many somethings for many somebodies.”
Chem-Dry is the world’s largest carpet and upholstery cleaning franchise with nearly 3,500 franchises in 55 countries, serving 11,000 homes and businesses a day. Chem-Dry has been Entrepreneur magazine’s top-rated carpet cleaning franchise for 31 straight years. The Chem-Dry Hot Carbonating Extraction process delivers a faster-drying, deeper and more environmentally friendly clean that appeals to home and business owners. In addition to carpet and area rugs, Chem-Dry provides cleaning and renewal services for tile and stone, granite countertops, leather and upholstery, air ducts, dryer vents and new for 2019, WOOD FLOORS!