Even superheroes can be seen involved with franchising. Batman has an entire family of heroes associated with him (Batgirl, Batwoman, Nightwing, Robin, Huntress, the International Club of Heroes, Spoiler, Red Robin, Ace the Bat-Hound, etc.). The same is true for Captain America (U.S. Agent, Bucky, Nomad, Super Patriot, The Spirit of '76), Spider-Man (Spider-Woman, the Steel Spider, The Scarlet Spider), Iron Man (War Machine, Rescue) and Superman (Supergirl, Superboy, Steel, and Krypto the Superdog).
But the difference is that instead of providing tasty burgers as a franchise service (ala Red Robin or Five Guys and to a lesser extent Burger King), hero franchises provide justice and evil thwarting. But the security provided by brand recognition still exists. If you needed to choose a hero for a good thwart, wouldn't you choose Batwoman over The Question if you had no other information besides their names? The boost Batwoman receives through her nominal association with Batman makes her seem like a better choice. And though heroes like Nightwing and Robin don't have the name recognition aspect of superhero franchising, their established connection with an effective and prominent hero makes them more desirable thwarters as well.
For a burgeoning superhero, it seems that aligning yourself with a currently existing hero can only help to build your recognition and your acclaim. But what incentive does the hero whose name is being lent out have? Does Batman gain anything from lending parts of his persona to Batgirl? Does Iron Man benefit by his association with War Machine? In many cases (namely with War Machine) the hero's image can be tarnished by the individuals in his/her franchise. If a violent pretender tries to usurp your role (like the 3 evil Batmen from Grant Morrison's Batman run & Nite-Wing messing with Nightwing), doesn't that damage a hero's perception with the public?
Perhaps that's why superheroes should turn unofficial heroic franchises into official ones. The current system allows pretenders to tack "Bat" or "Spider" onto their names without any official approval from the initial steadfast and popular hero. But if the most popular heroes organize themselves and only allow heroes they approve to use their names, the system could be streamlined and monitored. This means that a young hero seeking to use the name of, oh I don't know, Most Excellent Superbat would need to contact the hero he was franchising the name from and seek approval. Then pending approval, the new crimefighter could buy all his equipment and receive training from the originator of the title. This would ensure a baseline level of quality and uniformity for the new hero's heroic activities.
It just makes good sense.
In some cases...