Rampant growth of Iceberry’s frozen yogurt franchise

Mustafa Erçin Erkmen

The lower fat content makes frozen yogurt a healthier alternative to normal ice creams. The last few decades have seen an increasing demand for this delicious and healthy dessert. The story of Iceberry began in 2010. In the interview below, Mustafa Erçin Erkmen (Sales & Marketing Manager of Iceberry) tells us about the rampant growth of Iceberry‘s frozen yogurt franchise. Iceberry is a  brand that was born to grow into a successful franchise.

1. How did you enter the franchise business?

We started this journey with a group of people who believe in sharing, growing together and teamwork. Growth with the franchise model was our primary plan once we started the company. At the beginning instead of having only one sales point, we acted like a Franchise company. The very first company we founded was the sale point for testing evaluating our work strategy.

2. Where and how did the idea of your concept come from?

Iceberry’s story started in 2010. After the founder of the company had enjoyed this taste in Greece, he thought that with its similar food culture, Turkey could be the admiral ship of this product. It is sugar-free, natural and healthy thus our first slogan “Healthy Yogurt Movement” sums up the whole story.

3. What inspired the brand name?

Iceberry is a name which our agency and team agreed on. We decided that “Iceberry” is the name that best depicts the combination of yogurt and the small fruit particles.

4. What is the story behind the brand’s logo?

The logo we are using currently is different from our initial logo. Due to our innovative nature, to give life to the brand and for objectifying it, in 2012 we designed our new logo branded with yogoman.

5.What makes your brand different from your competitors?

Iceberry Türkiye’s Frozen yogurt, without an alternative, is the most powerful and well-known company in Turkey. Moreover, its rich menu, cafe concept and handmade products, makes the brand stand out. There are plenty of investment models for every budget. Mini concept 9.700 Dolar, Corner concept 16.000 Dolar, Shop 22.000 Dolar and Up Life concept 36.500 Dolar.  With small amounts, you can get the keys to your company effortlessly. Once we finalise the feasibility of the branch we customise the menu based on regional preferences. Until the franchisor breaks even, we don’t take a loyalty fee. Most of the companies in this field demand 3%-5% share even from the branch in a loss. Iceberry calculates where the profit starts from and takes 3% of the exceeding amount from break-even point, as share. Because of its innovative menu and Franchise system, it is one of the rare companies which have been growing for the last two decades.

6. What are the essential qualities that you look for in a franchisee?

Being an influential manager is very important.  Iceberry Turkey Family learns and grows together. Participation and being a team player are very important.

7. How long does it take, on average, for your franchisee to realize their investment?

It depends on the market and the timing. Between 6 – 18 months, an investor can earn the entire initial capital.

8. What was the major challenge you faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

Undisputedly it is the pandemic that we face now. We are a food company settled in Antalya and our partners are in Turism field. The problems caused by pandemic to tourism and has affected a lot of branches in shopping malls.

We launched a new unit for sterilization and security in February. This unit works for sterilization and follows up the news closely to protect idea flow. We started packed services in shopping malls. Additionally we started to send text messages to our client for ensuring social distancing.

9. How does your business day start?

The most enjoyable side of my working day is that I don’t have a routine. Because of my nature, it’s a big obsession to be informed about our brand and oversee every step. So, I am in touch with enterprise, supply chain, finance, the opening of new enterprises and feasibilities. Hence on Fridays, we plan for the following week with my assistants.

10. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?

To increase our footprint internationally and have our presence established in at least four different countries. We thus endeavour to fulfil our dreams with each passing year.

11. What was your best moment throughout your franchise career?

A lot of effort goes into opening a new franchise. Thus when a new branch is launched and settles down with business, that brings immense joy to us. In other words, even after opening 34 branches, the excitement and happiness about one more new branch does not fade away.

12. Any tip for the reader who wants to be in the franchisee business?

The investor needs to know that he/she is not just buying the brand name but must also understand the value behind it. Further, the owner cannot afford to see the franchisee as just a customer, if he wants a successful branch, the franchisee must be treated as a partner.

Turkish version of this interview is available here>>

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