The masculine realm of personal care particularly demands goal oriented and practical product designs. Foneks, one of the most remarkable producers, strengthens its position both in Turkey and in the world.
We can find Foneks products at 105 thousand sales points around the world. Which products are the most popular abroad?
Foneks’ hair styling products, shaving and after shave skin care series are very popular. They in dude hair gels, hair styling waxes, brilliantine,. hair sprays, shaving gels, after-shave balms and colognes. Our products are known and sold at international e-commerce outlets like Amazon and eBay.
How do you develop a Foneks product?
Our R&D process begins with market research. We closely and constantly keep track of emerging trends and collaborate with our overseas vendors to come up with new product ideas. Then our R&D department develops sample products with desired technical qualities. These samples are tested in hair styling saloons and barber shops in Turkey and abroad. After achieving the desired quality in line with the test results, the chosen sample becomes a new product project. Packaging design, chemical stability and controls are carried out in coordination. We develop our product formula in compliance with EU cosmetics regulations which is approved and certified by the Responsible Person after testing.
Which technologies in hair care products are worthy of attention?
Hair care products with keratin have been particularly popular in recent years. There are products with high concentrations of herbal content, minimum amount of harmful chemicals and virtually no silicon, paraben, coloring agents, sulfate and salt in their formulas that do not damage but strengthen the hair and eliminate scalp problems. Thanks to social media, consumers are becoming more knowledgeable too and they tend to look for products with such qualities. At Foneks we take into account such concerns and refrain from using harmful raw materials as much as we can.
Which products are popular in Turkish market?
Hair styling, hair care and personal care products are widely used and demanded in Turkish market too. We believe that the importance we place on quality, our knowledge and experience from the past, our strong financial structure and business ethic have made us a brand of choice for many years.
Men seem to be as keen and demanding as women when it comes to hair care. Can you tell us about your products particularly developed for men?
Hair care for men have become as important in recent years. Men try to be more groomed and stylish. Therefore, they pay special attention to their hair and hairstyle. We at Foneks have a full comprehension of the barber culture of the past and as a cosmetics producer our product portfolio is quite rich. Within this context we enrich our range with additional products such as hair styling waxes, beard grooming sets, hair straighteners and shaving sets.
How do you motivate your team?
Our marketing department take in-house trainings on traditional marketing, brand management and digital marketing. Our quality assurance unit get trainings on quality management systems and our purchasing department receive many trainings on supply chain functions and they partake in seminars. Our R&D unit also takes part in raw material and product seminars organized by global companies.
You are exporting to 65 countries from Turkey. What makes Foneks worthy of attention and successful in foreign markets?
We produce quality and functional products that meet world standards. Our vendor structure is strong, and we develop the right strategies in collaboration with them. We are true to our words and agreements. We keep track of the developments in our industry, we identify the needs of consumers and take immediate action to come up with the right products and services and our financial infrastructure is strong. I believe these are the keys to our success.
What are your favorite Foneks products that are essential in your personal care?
I use Gummy beard grooming products all the time and I recommend them to all men with beards. We believe you are travelling a lot for business reasons. Where did you go in your last trip? I went to France and during the field visits we made with our distributor company we witnessed an interest in black men to straighten their curly, frizzy hair. Hair saloons were using products developed for this purpose. Also in line with the beard trend I noticed a demand for beard grooming products.
Who gave you the best business advice so far?
What would you recommend to the new generation? One of my favorite pastimes is to read biographies and I am very much interested in reading the biographies of people who succeed in business. As Satrap Sabana once said, “Work, work, work”; this is an important advice for me. I became an assistant at carpkapi, an assistant professor at Tahtakale and took my PhD by travelling around the world. This is my advice to young people: Be loyal to the customs and traditions of your country but think like a world citizen in everything you do.
Having started with a single razor blade Foneks is now the distributor company of hair and beard styling and trimming products brands like Ermila, Wahl and Moser. How do you think this product range will evolve in the future?
These products improve in line with the developments in technology. There will be smart shavers that can sense the quality of hair and beard and work accordingly. We will also have systems to vacuum the trimmings that spill out. Personal shearing head options is another prospect for more hygiene.
Which country is the leading market for men’s personal care and grooming products? Can you tell us about the differences and similarities with Turkey?
Men all over the world are getting increasingly mindful about their personal care and cosmetics brands are adding more men’s grooming and skincare products in their product ranges. Product groups developed for men used to be limited to hair styling products like gels and brilliantines, and shaving and after-shave products like shaving cream and cologne, however in recent years we began to see hair and skincare products too. Countries like USA, Great Britain and Germany are in the forefront, but we see more men’s products in cosmetics departments also in Turkey. Waxes, beard grooming products, products that prevent dandruff and hair loss, facial masks are among the most popular.
What are the contents and/or technologies that differentiate you from your competitors?
The R&D processes of our hair care and styling products are extended over a long period of time. The samples are tested at hair styling saloons and barber shops with actual customers and the outcomes are drawn up in reports which are then analyzed to be utilized in product development processes. Also, in line with our non-stop innovation philosophy, we try to keep track of the changing and developing hair care needs and hair fashion trends and transform this input into functional products. As for contents, we avoid using unpermitted or harmful raw materials and actively seek for efficient and functional, health compatible contents that are natural and plant based.
Foneks is one of the first brands that comes to mind when talking about hair products that do not disappoint. What were Foneks’ basic principles while building up such a reliability?
We have always been keen on quality. In the process of creating a product we have always managed to come up with the right active agent and the right formula to do justice to the promises we wrote on the package. The same understanding continues today. We have an emotional purpose: “As a Turkish brand we aim to satisfy Turkish consumers first and then prove it again globally.” We see our customers as family, we are honest, and we want to turn our mutual trade relationships with them into lifelong collaborations. This has been and will be our way of conducting business. What is the relationship between technology and hair care products? Do you see much difference when compared to the past? Production and chemical technologies have advanced tremendously compared to the past, let’s say 20 years ago. Especially raw material production has developed a great deal in chemical industry. Thanks to coordinated crossdisciplinary researches we are now able to better analyze how substances may affect the skin or hair.
Foneks is better known with men’s personal care and hair products but in fact you have a much wider product range. Can you tell us about them?
In addition to men’s grooming and hair styling products we also produce hair care and styling products for women to be used by professional hair stylists at saloons. We have also entered the massmarket with hair styling sprays and waxes for women under our Matte-Look brand.