Blueberries are a bona fide superfood, naturally high in vitamins C and K, and with a decent dose of fibre. Their deep purplish-blue colour comes from anthocyanin, a type of flavonoid that is one of the richest sources of antioxidants found in nature. They’ve been shown to protect against Alzheimer’s, inflammation and other degenerative diseases.
And they taste pretty good too. However the little round berries have a cousin who puts them to shame when it comes to nutrition: the wild Alaskan blueberry. These beauties are smaller, with a stronger and more tart flavour, and boast twice as many antioxidants. They are also flash-frozen within hours of harvest to lock in their goodness.
When brothers Kirk and Jim Hansen and their friend Carl Taylor from Idaho Falls in the US found out about these berries in 2005, they launched Kyäni to develop nutritional products that would combine the best of nature’s ingredients with modern technology. The aim was to support the human body with nutrients it may not receive from a modern diet.
Now, the wellness brand produces millions of Alaskan wild blueberry-packed supplements in more than 60 countries. The international operation that’s growing most quickly for the company is Turkey, where the business has more than doubled sales in just a year.
General Manager of nearly two years Ersin Arisoy tells The CEO Magazine that the secret to the extraordinary expansion is having customers who believe that it should be part of a healthy lifestyle.
“It is not about money or business, it has to be about whether you like the product,” he says. “We always tell people to try the products first to see what they think of them. If they are satisfied with the performance of the products, then they can choose to become an ambassador and sell to others.”
The company has focused on increasing public awareness about a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing, including the need to strengthen the immune system, the importance of regular nutrition and exercise, and how supplements can help achieve what diet alone cannot.
Remember that you cannot get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs with food alone. You need food supplements.
“We’re working to instil this knowledge into society, create regular customers and ensure that everyone uses our products regularly,” Ersin confirms. “Being a global brand, we’re shaping our product portfolio too, as well as our accompanying marketing and communication activities, in order to respond to the needs and expectations of the Turkish people.”
In February last year, Kyäni opened a new nine-level Istanbul office with proud Co-Founder Carl flying in from the US to help cut the ribbon for the highly successful multi-level marketing operation that uses a network of business partners to sell products.
These business partners earn their living by either selling the actual health products or recruiting more distributors and receiving a percentage of every sale made by them.
“We offer our business partners an opportunity for a passive income, but they will only earn money if they put in the effort,” Ersin warns. “It will not always be easy and it will take time, but it will happen.”
Now, despite the challenges of the pandemic, Kyäni Turkey is number one in the Kyäni world with 116% total sales growth and 146% customer sales growth. “Undoubtedly, the biggest problem in the world in 2020 was health and job security lost due to COVID-19,” Ersin says.
“But Kyäni offers solutions for both: an online business opportunity and supplements for increased good health. As such, we turned the crisis into an advantage and achieved a serious growth in turnover in our number of customers and in the number of our business partners.”
Kyäni promotes its so-called ‘health triangle’ of supplements – Kyäni Sunrise, Nitro and Sunset – with claims that they are built on scientific foundations to provide nutrients, make up for dietary deficiencies, strengthen the immune system and increase natural energy for a fitter, healthier body.
“Remember that you cannot get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs with food alone,” Ersin points out. “You need food supplements. Use them regularly to get the maximum benefit from them.” Ersin says it was a desire to change people’s lives that drew him to the company.
“The biggest factor in choosing this job was that I could not only help improve customers physically, but also the lives of our business partners with our great business opportunity, and people who are in need around the world through Kyäni Caring Hands Social Responsibility Project,” he says.
“I was also impressed with the business model of having family as partners, the professionalism of the employees, the perseverance of our business partners, and the product-oriented culture.
“I’d had executive positions with global companies like Bayer and Ferrero, but had never worked in this type of company with a business model of ‘Next Generation Marketing’ – a combination of e-commerce and brand ambassador. It took time to understand the culture and how the supplements work.”
But now, with the company reaching new heights, Ersin has no doubts about what’s important for Kyäni, its customers and business partners. “A healthy life and healthy eating supported by taking supplements, plus business opportunities to help you live well are most important,” he insists.
“If you’re healthy, the rest will follow. There are some things that money can buy but trust, love, health and job security are not among them. Kyäni gives all these to its business partners and customers.”