This time last year, shawarma food outlet Turks launched their brand with Piolo Pascual as brand ambassador. Last May 6, up-and-coming brand The Shawarma Shack launched its own campaign featuring fellow celebrity Daniel Padilla on the Sunday noontime variety show ASAP.
Who did it better? Both brands launched memorable campaigns that proved that even a new, medium-scale brand can actually compete with the Goliaths of the F&B industry. This could serve as an inspiration for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)--that it doesn’t really matter whether they’re big or small, businesses have the chance to compete and get a piece of the pie. It’s only a matter of good timing, good angle and, perhaps, a good offer.
Here are some marketing lessons we can learn from these two brands:
1. Find your niche
When Turks started, it had to look for something unique to set itself apart from an abundance of Filipino-themed food. The brand wanted to offer something different and own that category. Their R&D produced the famous Turks shawarma that is a bit sweet, which is familiar to the Filipino palate. The success that the brand is enjoying today, with over 400 branches nationwide, proves how much Pinoys love their product.
The Shawarma Shack came a bit later in the shawarma food trend, at a time when it was more difficult for similar food concepts to stand out. Eager to get consumers’ attention, The Shawarma Shack offered something better than great-tasting food—free food. The company pioneered the Buy 1 Take 1 shawarma offer (“forever!”), resulting in skyrocketing sales and proof that people love the product and its value for money proposition.
Turks now has over 400 brtanches around the country, thanks mostly to franchising
2. Go big or go home
Turks and The Shawarma Shack were generating phenomenal sales during their first year of launch and this imposed bigger growth expectations for both brands. The consistent clamor from consumers and the brands’ replicable success were obvious reasons to expand the business.
Both brands could have focused on growing their company-owned stores, as they have done in the past. But both knew that although there are unlimited possibilities, there is also a limited time to take advantage of them.
While opportunities are hot, both brands accelerated their growth via franchising. They doubled their number of stores upon launch, corresponding to hitting double, if not more, in system-wide sales. Within a year, both brands were able to enjoy an over five-fold increase in their number of stores.
As the network grew and the brands gained more popularity, both took their brand presence to the next level by enlisting a celebrity endorser. These brands did not wait for sales to plateau, choosing instead to invest in the brand to accelerate its growth. Their respective celebrity endorsers took the brand equity to new heights, upgrading the brand to near-superstar status and opening up new demographics of consumers.
Both brands took advantage of the old adage of “strike while the iron is hot."
The Shawarma Shack pioneered the Buy 1 Take 1 shawarma (“forever!”) offer, with celebrity endorser Daniel Padilla
3. Perfect the system and profit potential
At the end of the day, no matter how big your network is and whatever marketing you do, it’s the business returns and working system that will make people buy your franchise. Going the franchise route isn’t just about exponential growth but also making the franchise partners happy with their franchised stores. And of course, their happiness has a lot to do with good profits and reliable franchise support.
Turks and The Shawarma Shack both believed in “doing it right the first time.” Both brands’ franchise programs were developed meticulously within a span of six to 10 months by certified franchise executives and that includes strategic financial structuring and operations manual development. By undergoing that process, they made sure that the business has strong foundations and can be replicated with minimal errors to ensure the success of franchisees.
The opportunities may differ but everyone is given one. If you’re an aspiring franchisee or franchisor, remember that every day is a war of opportunities and it’s up to you which ones to take and when to take it.
If you think you’re business can also scale up to franchising, take Francorp’s FREE FRANCHISABILITY TEST today or schedule a FREE franchise consultation at 638 3142 or 0917 835 5530 / 0920 961 0810.
Velle Cacha is the Group Marketing Manager of Francorp Philippines