The recent announcement that Ben Affleck would replace Christian Bale in the upcoming “Batman vs. Superman” movie was met with a collective “What?!?” and a lot of head scratching by everyone from fan boys to regular Janes (including yours truly, who enjoyed the Dark Knight series).

Not to say that Affleck isn’t a skilled enough actor to capture the depth Bale brought to the role, but at the end of the day one will never be the other. Could this be the end of Batman?

Of course not. The strength of Batman lies in the strength of the brand. The same can be said for major brands that have survived shake-ups in their leadership.

Apple is an excellent example. The brand has continued to release innovative products that are best sellers even after the passing of co-founder Steve Jobs. Another example that is now playing out is Microsoft. Steve Ballmer, the company’s most recent CEO, just announced his retirement. This is the CEO who helped the company more than double its revenue after taking the reins from Bill Gates, the face of the brand for many years.

Having a strong brand is not necessarily related to having a well-known front man or woman. Instead, a strong brand is known by its ability to develop innovative products or services, knowing when to reinvent itself to keep up with current trends, maintaining a high profile in the marketplace, and giving its competitors a run for their money.

After all, who would know about Batman in Gotham City if it wasn’t for the Bat Signal, his coverage in the Gotham Gazette, his state-of-the-art tools and his ability to constantly kick all of his competitors (i.e., villains), to the curb?

The Batman character was originally introduced in 1939 in “Detective Comics” and has had a TV series, several movie adaptations, and has become a pop culture icon. The brand even survived the dark days of George Clooney as Batman. Personally, the more I think about it, July 17, 2015 can’t get here fast enough to see what Affleck has in store for us as the Caped Crusader.

What do you think about the new Batman? And will you still be a fan no matter who plays him? Share your thoughts (and who your favorite Batman is) in the comments.