I scream, You scream, We all scream for… Froyo!

Usually after an hour or so after finishing dinner, the cravings become too strong for many Wilmingtonians to resist.  Their sweet tooth’s get the best of them as they take the streets to find that sweet frozen treat.  With this new age of developing technology and blossoming new ideas comes the best thing to happen to dessert since the hot fudge sundae—frozen yogurt, or more commonly known as Froyo.

Fuzzy Peach filled that void for the Wilmington community in 2010.  Three recent UNCW graduates revolutionized the dessert by providing an array of alternatives to the typical banana split everyone has grown up on.  Fuzzy Peach is a self-serve frozen yogurt bar that offers over thirty different frozen yogurt flavors and toppings to create the ultimate dessert, satisfying picky eaters and creative minds throughout the port city.  Aside from providing delicious indulgences, Fuzzy Peach also has quite a unique interior that enhances the overall experience of the customer.  Visitors to the establishment are greeted with bright colors on the walls and sleek furniture to dine upon.  While enjoying their deserts, customers are also provided with fun family games, such as connect four, to ensure fulfillment.  To complement the relaxing music that puts customers at ease as they approach the front door, their comfortable rocking chairs outside the store that make it the perfect destination for a relaxing summer evening.

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What started as a local hangout for UNCW students has grown to be a go-to destination for people and families of all ages.  However, what is more impressive about the success of the franchise is the advertising, or lack thereof, that has gotten them to be so well known.  With the exception of a billboard that was recently installed, Fuzzy Peach has relied heavily on the simple “word of mouth” to endorse their brand.  While competitors such as Brrrberry Frozen Yogurt have resorted to paid radio advertisements in promoting their product, Fuzzy Peach has become a local powerhouse the old fashioned way through great customer service, welcoming atmosphere, and overall quality of the product.  Over the past couple years, Fuzzy Peach has expanded to seven different locations spread out across the Wilmington area with nine other locations across coastal North Carolina planned to open by winter 2013.

– Zachary AbramoMeaghan BeamJessica ButnerJackson Lane

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26 thoughts on “I scream, You scream, We all scream for… Froyo!

  1. It seems like Froyo bars have popped up everywhere in the past couple of years. I wonder how Fuzzy Peach is doing since the opening of two other Froyo companies in Wilmington. I also wonder if Froyo is a phase and in a couple of years people will think going to get Frozen Yogurt is not a unique thing to do anymore. Either way it is great Fuzzy Peach has done so well and continues to do well. It is yummy yogurt and a tradition for UNCW students.

  2. Having worked for one of Fuzzy Peach’s competitors in the past, it really made me realize how successful Fuzzy Peach actually is at word of mouth marketing. The company I worked for was struggling to have any business what-so-ever, and shortly after opening went out of business. However, we constantly found ourselves at staff meetings trying to brainstorm new marketing techniques and other ways to “get the word out”. In hindsight, the best way to do that would have been word of mouth marketing because we lost way too much money on failed marketing ideas. Fuzzy Peach has many loyal customers and has been very successful, paving the way for more “Fro-Yo” places to come.

  3. Even smaller towns like where I am from has expanded and now holds at least one Froyo place. Fuzzy Peach opened a franchise in Cape Carteret, which is an hour and a half away and has great business being right by the beach. Although the town is small, I guess the location is making for heavy business. A year ago, nobody in my town ate at a “Fuzzy Peach” was let alone knew what it was. Now everyone I talk to seems to know.

  4. OOOoooh! I love me some fro yo. I think one crucial reason for the Fuzzy Peach’s success is due to their ability to establish a polis. They have taken advantage of their close proximity to UNCW’s campus and pulled in students as their main customers… Another reason for their success is their delicious frozen yo!

  5. Fuzzy Peach has not only established word of mouth marketing for selling their yogurt but also their brand. Their shirts are all different colors and have their logo on the middle, but college students and others buy into it and where it around town. Bumper stickers are on so many cars for fuzzy peach that their word of mouth has probably traveled millions of miles!

  6. I love this blog post because I was totally one of those “word of mouth” advertisers. Once you go to the Fuzzy Peach, you have to go back, it’s just too good! I love everything about it, from the bright colored walls to the music choices. I definitely think that the Fuzzy Peach has changed the “froyo” business for good… And I’m proud to say that a few UNCW students started it all 😉

  7. I think froyo in general is a new fad that has not only expanded in the Wilmington community but all over. I think it is very interesting that you pointed out the lack of advertising that Fuzzy Peach does but that they do so much more business than the other companies. As a transfer student I would have never known what Fuzzy Peach was, but the amount of word of mouth marketing that occurs about Fuzzy Peach made it one of the first Wilmington destinations I visited, and I also bought a t-shirt! I think the fact that it was created by UNCW alum makes Fuzzy Peach more desirable than the other frozen yogurt places in town because I feel like I’m helping out a person who was once like me, trying to get a degree and find out what I want to do with my life. And obviously no one can deny ice cream! 🙂

  8. I agree that Fuzzy Peach is a powerhouse! I’m from Greenville where there is a million froyo places, but Fuzzy Peach is the best. I just moved to Wilmington and everyone told me about going there and how amazing it is. Their marketing is awesome because it’s word of mouth, since they have such great service and a different variety then everyone else. I also like how they support so many clubs of UNCW and provide a place for them to raise money for a good cause!

  9. My favorite places to visit are always “word of mouth” brands like that of Fuzzy Peach! This is because brands like this hold so tight to their customer reputation that every time you go through the fuzzy peach experience you get the same type of service. The only chain i’ve ever experienced service like a “word of mouth” brand is chik-fila and they do so well they don’t even need to be opened on Sunday’s!

  10. While reading through the different posts of the IMC class website, I stumbled upon this post that caught my interest. Before attending UNCW, I had never heard of frozen yogurt and quite frankly, the thought of yogurt made me think of Activia for old women. However, when a friend told me how wonderful frozen yogurt was, I had to give it a try. She took me to Fuzzy Peach and forever my life was changed. That’s a little extreme, but I did fall in love with the dessert and now I frequent Fuzzy Peach in hopes to stumble across the strawberry cheesecake flavor! I was very interested in the section of this post that discusses Fuzzy Peach’s word of mouth marketing. Had it not been for my friend who invited me, I may have never stumbled across it. With such a unique and delicious product, advertisements are not as necessary as it may be for other businesses in the area.

  11. I think that the fact that they are so close to campus, even within walking distance for some, helps as well. They were one of the first to reach out to the college community and I believe that is what was most beneficial to them. If they get the attention of one college student, they are going to go to their friends and tell them about it and when their parents come in town they are going to tell them about it. Another restaurant that does very well with word of mouth marketing is the Osteria Cicchetti, Circa 1922, and The Kitchen groups.

  12. Just the other day I was in Fuzzy Peach and I noticed that they have the story of how they began on the wall beside the yogurt. It was a cute and fun way to inform their customers just how this phenomenon started out. I know, when I was a new student here at UNCW one of the first places I ever went to was Fuzzy Peach, ever since I have been addicted. It is great that you can go in and get what every flavor and toppings combination that you would like and I highly recommend it.

  13. I like how you pointed out that “Fuzzy Peach has relied heavily on the simple ‘word of mouth’ to endorse their brand. ” This statement proves how important it is to provide good costumer experience and also make connections. Personally, I would rather try somewhere that has google reviews, or if I was referred by a friend, rather than just an advertisement. In an ad, a company can make their company look amazing if they put the money and effort into it. I do not believe that advertisements are a good judge of whether or not I would like to try the place. I would be much more swayed if I heard about a company through “word of mouth” marketing. This is why I believe that Fuzzy Peach is so successful. Also, their connections they have made with UNCW and the town of Wilmington also help separate them from the competitors.

  14. Frozen Yogurt places have become very popular within the past two-three years. I feel like five of them have popped up in town within the past few years. But Fuzzy Peach was one of the original ones and it stays the most popular. Word of mouth marketing definently helped with it staying so popular. Whenever I think of going to get some froyo, the first one that pops up in my head in Fuzzy Peach. It does show how important it is to make an impact on the customer because then that customer will go and tell there friends and family.

  15. I just went to Fuzzy Peach last night, so this article was definitely the most appropriate to respond to! It was delicious, and the service is always great. My friend and I even sat inside, because it wasn’t as crowded as usual. I have known about and gone to Fuzzy Peach since I was a freshman here at UNCW, and it is definitely popular by more than word of mouth! I always use the coupon in the books they pass out on campus. They even do billboard advertising!

  16. I remember when Fuzzy Peach first opened, it was one of the only frozen yogurt places in Wilmington. Almost three years later, I can think of at least six or seven others. With all of this new competition, Fuzzy Peach has continued to grow. It’s actually kind of surprising since they still haven’t done much advertising. I know many UNCW students have stayed loyal to Fuzzy Peach, largely in part that it was created by UNCW graduates, and since the original location is so close to campus when most people have limited transportation. UNCW students are a major part of the consumer market in Wilmington, and I think Fuzzy Peach has done a great job in helping give back to possibly their biggest market. Many UNCW organizations hold fundraisers at Fuzzy Peach, and I think that helping the students is a big part of what keeps them coming back and recommending Fuzzy Peach to new customers.

  17. Fuzzy peach is my favorite! Literally after about an hour, as you said, the cravings for something sweet is instantaneous. I’m somewhat of a health freak and have a hard time satisfying that craving in the healthiest manner. Thankfully fuzzy peach is right up my alley. They have so many options including sugar-free icecream and fresh fruit that leave you guilt-free. I really like the fact that their advertising was through word of mouth as well because that ensures how great they really are. They don’t need to pay tons of money in order to show off their greatness. I applaud them for that. I’m actually craving Fuzzy right now. Anyone feel like going?

  18. Mmm! I love fuzzy peach! When I first arrived at college, this frozen yogurt heaven was one of the first places I heard about- not through a flyer, not through chalking, or on the internet. I heard about it through word of mouth, just like you guys talked about. It is interesting because this ties directly into what I am learning in IMC 1 class. Fuzzy Peach is a brand of yogurt, with other competitors such as Brrberry. However, they have found a way to distinguish themselves without making an inferior product. The focus has never been on direct advertising; instead, Fuzzy Peach directs their attention on great customer service and an excellent product. They never disappoint, which has added to their success. Way to go Fuzzy Peach!

  19. The other day in my IMC we were discussing things that we had bought recently and why. It was interesting that most of our purchases were influenced through our friends and family not social networking ads or television advertisements. I believe this has a direct correlation with the word-of-mouth advertising you addressed when discussing Fuzzy Peach. It is a lot easier for a customer to go into a place of business and have a good experience because they go to tell everyone how great Fuzzy Peach is. This type of marketing is much more effective for local businesses. Once the business begins expanding need for other advertising outlets will be crucial though.

  20. I think that Fuzzy Peach definitely mastered the “word of mouth” technique. I new about Fuzzy Peach before classes even began and it is always somewhere I take friends who are visiting from out of town. Once they realized that people did love them so much and were spreading the word, selling t-shirts were the perfect addition to their free advertising. People willingly pay and wear these shirts around, attracting even more attention to the business. I think that “word of mouth advertising was with a doubt the right choice for them because although Brrrberry’s radio advertisements may momentarily get stuck in my head, I’ve never had froyo there. It just makes me want to go to Fuzzy Peach to get my dessert fix.

  21. I think that this innovative idea has been successful because it is not only selling a delicious dessert or frozen yogurt. It is also selling two things: an experience and a lifestyle. While I was reading this article, I started to imagine how the place might be. In my mind, the image I had was that one of a fun, enjoyable, and fresh place. In other words, a place I would definitely go. Why? Because I am student, I like frozen yogurt, I like fun family games, among others. These adjectives are some of the extra features, meaning an extra customer value, that differentiate Fuzzy Peach from their competitors. For this reason, Fuzzy Peach did not need to use advertisement but only word of mouth. They are selling you a whole experience, to be shared with many other friends. Furthermore, it gives you an idea of the personality of the brand: cheerful, great quality and fresh environment… All in one. Congratulations! This is a great example of IMC!

  22. It really is amazing how popular Fuzzy Peach has become. When I came on my visit here, it’s all that you would hear about. Everyone said, “You have to try Fuzzy Peach before you leave.” I think it is crazy that it has become a “go-to treat” for all of Wilmington. Especially because of the little to no advertising that they have used to further their business. It’s refreshing to see a business succeed as Fuzzy Peach has in today’s society. I say this because they haven’t relied on paying for all types of marketing, they have just succeeded through referrals and great customer service each and every time you step foot in their establishment

  23. I definitely heard about Fuzzy Peach through word of mouth. Just like I learned in a reading from IMC, brands do better when they are near competition. Every time I eat at Islands I always find myself walking down to get dessert at Fuzzy Peach. And anytime my friends visit I always take them to Fuzzy Peach for a sweet treat. Since Fuzzy Peach was the first place in Wilmington that I had frozen yogurt, the brand to me means a place to hangout by campus and so I do not even eat froyo at any other place besides Fuzzy Peach.

  24. It’s funny that I came across this article because just tonight I was craving frozen yogurt. The closest one to me is fro-gurts, although my favorite one is fuzzy peach. My roommates and I decided to go with convinience tonight and make a stop at fro-gurts just to find out they had gone out of business. There is no doubt in my mind that fuzzy peach put them out of business because everytime I go there there is a line atleast 5 to 10 people long. I believe fuzzy peach became so popular because 3 college graduate students created it and didn’t go off somewhere to start there own busniess but stay in the city they got their education in. I think the loyalty they have to Wilmington gives them a lot of popularity and students see what they accomplished and in return they give them very much support. It seems if they almost dedicated Fuzzy Peach to students and built everything around them. They made one of the most popular locations very convinient and close to campus. They made clothing that would catch the average college students attention with neon colors filling the shelves. They added a few games and nice furniture to give it a “good vibe” along with friendly service to create a good hangout spot and good “atmosphere”. They also didn’t need to advertise with the cute decals they have and the knowledge from being in college that every college student would probably stick that to their bumper or laptop. I think fuzzy peach is the perfect example of someone creating a successful “brand”….”whole brand” at that from scracth!

  25. What Fuzzy has shown here is the importance of understanding your audience and their demographics. I can imagine how specific and careful Fuzzy must be in marketing. Small businesses, especially newer ones, dont have a big budget to blow on ads or commercials. I know this because I work for a small, local business here in town as well. Rather, smart businesses have to target their audience and pursue them effectively. This company understands that their biggest audience is college students. Located in walking distance from UNCW, frozen yogurt is not only healthy but relatively cheap and good! Fuzzy Peach has effectively pursued the college demographic by simply showing up to UNCW. I remember during my freshman year they were passing out free fro yo during the involvement carnival and had a float in the homecoming parade during my sophomore year. Passing out free ice cream while branding their logo and showing support to UNCW community are extremely effective marketing strategies that do not necessarily cost a lot. This is how they build relationships, and relationships build reputation and reputation is how you get your word-of-mouths.

    And we all know theres nothing more powerful than a good recommendation. Money can’t buy that!

  26. It amazes me how reliant Fuzzy Peach is upon word of mouth advertising, and yet they are still so successful. I can tell you that the first thing numerous people said to me when they heard that I would be going to UNCW was, “OMG you have to go to Fuzzy peach!” Having never actually had frozen yogurt until I went to fuzzy peach my freshman year, their reputation alone is what drew me in! Without the daily running of the usual newspaper ads and commercials constantly reminding everyone to go get their frozen yogurt fix, this is still an extremely successful business and it is obvious that the UNCW natives knew what they were doing!

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