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Your Business Has Two Options: Adapt or Die Sometimes, even the most trusted brands may find themselves in need of an extreme makeover.

By Jason Daley

This story appears in the June 2015 issue of Start Up.

Ray McCrea Jones
Quick-change artist: Mike Rotondo is mixing things up at Tropical Smoothie Café.

In business, you change with the times or flame out.

Case in point: More than a century ago, CCM was a Canadian bicycle and automotive manufacturer until it started making hockey skates with leftover steel. The brand has been synonymous with hockey ever since. IBM once made typewriters and PCs. As competitors came up with less expensive personal-computing technologies, the company had to transition or die, first to servers and IT services, and again to software and cloud services. The same rule of survival applies in franchising. Sometimes even the most trusted brands may find themselves in need of an extreme makeover to keep up with the demands of the marketplace. It's not easy, but change offers the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs who are willing to jump in and help a franchise redefine itself.

Five years ago the bestselling flavor at Tropical Smoothie Café was strawberry banana. Today? It's Island Green, which includes kale, spinach, mango, pineapple and banana—a combo that would have been unthinkable when the franchise concept launched in 1997. In fact, a lot has changed at Tropical Smoothie Café in recent years.

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