Brand and Brand Image are part of product positioning, where companies create the image make the product sustain in the market. Kotler defined Brand as "The name, associated with one or more items in the product line, that is used to identify the source of character of the items. The brand image of a product is associated with its features, pricing and the promotions. Customer’s perceive different products of the company as different brand images.
If the brand Image of a product is successful in the local market it is not guarantee that it will create the same influence in the Global market. Also different Product categories will have different brand images at different areas. Few decades ago electronic goods have good reputation when they are imported from Japan. Similarly, Mexican, Thai food is world famous. In this context, the current study Proposes to observe the difficulties of building a brand image especially with Turkish textiles.
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Park, Jaworski and MacInnis (1986) as cited in Francisco Guzman, brand Image is the "Understanding consumers derive from the total set of brand related activities engaged by the firm". Brand Imagery relates to the satisfaction of customers psychological needs”. Usually companies create Brand Image through the marketing programs by constant inputting of the brand name in to the minds of customers. Chung Koo Kim is under the opinion that brands originating from different countries have created country-specific intangible assets (or country image).
According to Erickson et al. as cited in Chung Koo Kim et al. , when brands of a company becomes successful in the global market, there is an increased attention given to intangible assets shared by those brands from the same country. Chung illustrates this concept by taking an example of how Japanese brands seem to be perceived as more reliable (i. e. , requiring less repair), where American brands are perceived as more roomy and safer in the event of a collision.
Chung further explains that the marketing strategy that works well for Japanese brands will not work in a similar manner for U. S. and European brands, just because of the difference in country image.
Effect of Country on Branding
Bilkey & Nes et al. , also stress that, in today’s highly competitive business world, not only the image of the brand itself but also the image of the country where it was produced is valuable; and marketers are aware that country of origin affects consumers’ product evaluations.
So some times the retail chains or the big promoters refuse to promote certain brands which are under less assumption in the minds of the consumers. Obviously customer choice is primary than any other push and pull. According to Nurullah Tac & Ozan Aglargoz, the Country of origin not only affects consumers’ perceptions of product quality but also of brand image, purchasing decisions and the propensity to use a product’s ‘Made In’ label. The authors related this belonging ness by taking the example of German’s Mercedes Benz car which stands for German talent for engineering into account.
Nurullah Tac & Ozan Aglargoz expresses that this mutual effect has led the business world to treat nations as global brands. According Wang and Lamb (1983) as cited in Nurullah Tac & Ozan Aglargoz , country of origin shows an intangible barriers to entry into new market and creates a negative bias towards imported products. This country image can include, culture, language, education, engineering, technology and the economic growth and development to sustain the industry and its image.
Schooler (1965) as cited in Nurullah Tac & Ozan Aglargoz states that “products made in less developed countries were not evaluated as quality products. Consumers were biased for or against products from a less developed country when they were evaluating products made in different or even less developed countries”. According to another study by Papadopoulos et al, 1987 as cited in Nurullah Tac & Ozan Aglargoz, both consumers and industrial buyers are affected by ‘Made In…’ images.
Han, (1989) as cited in Nurullah Tac & Ozan Aglargoz explains the country image in the following two directions. “A ‘halo’ construct where the image of the country is used to consider products that consumers know little about and, alternatively, it is used as a summary construct: where consumers become familiar with a country’s products, the image of the country may become a construct that summarizes their beliefs about product attributes and which directly affects their attitudes towards the brand”.
Finally Khachaturian & Morganosky, (1990) as cited in Nurullah Tac & Ozan Aglargoz concluded that associating a brand with less industrialized countries could potentially lower the quality image of that brand type; moreover, the less industrialized the country of origin, the greater the potential decline in the quality image. Strengthening the above opinion, Baker and Currie, (1993) as cited in Nurullah Tac & Ozan Aglargoz, suggests that the concept of country of origin should be considered as the fifth element in the marketing mix
Textile Market of Turkey
Turkey marketing activities are poor. Even the Turkish people think their Turkish brands are non - fashionable. According to Esra Tasoren, the American Tommy Hilfiger brand jeans are more popular than high-end Turkish jeans. Scholars think this is because America itself is a popular brand, where as Turky is not a renowned and popular industrial country. Alex Gallafent, described the factor of textile branding like this “When you want to develop a brand first you have to develop your own country.
First Turkey has to be a brand - as a country we have to be brand. ” Such statements makes one to think then what Turkey has till now? And with which it has to compete and to which level it has to raise. Many researches in turkey feel the need of raising their brand for themselves as like the Italians did it 30 years ago. And also they feel it is difficult to raise their own brand Image. According to Lider Polat the turkey needs to build its own image before it start building its business brands.
The advantages of Turkey over other countries of exporting to the nearest countries lies with less turnaround time. Speed is one of the main factors in achieving competitive edge in textile industry. For some countries, the turnaround time is high say 8 months; whereas for Turkey it is four weeks. Even the competitor China cannot beat Turkey in this aspect. Prediction of stock and variety for 8 months ahead is a risky forecast. But in spite of this speed delivery, Turkey is not able to cover the market and establish the brand.
Many big orders goes to the countries like Egypt. Egypt being close to the European market and also with cheap labor makes the turkey textile business narrow. Some people like Alex describes the condition of the turkey textile like this, “I can easily say 70, 75 % of the textile business will be closed in the near future - not more than 10 years. ” This is a shuddering statement to the real exporters. In countries with high individualism cultures (e. g. European), brand image is emphasized through functional variety, novelty and experiential needs are more effective than social image strategies, Roth (1995) as cited in Susan Forquer et al. , On the other hand, cultures with low individualism (e. g. Asian) are more amenable to social brand image strategies that emphasize group membership and affiliation benefits than they are to sensory brand images, Roth (1995) as cited in Susan Forquer et al., Textiles are the major Turkey’s exports, rising to some $16 billion in 2007 from less than $9 billion five years earlier.
According to Turkish Clothing Manufacturers’ Association chairman, Ahmet Nakkas, the last year’s 15% growth in textiles is largely reflected dollar weakness and real growth is less than 2 percent due to waning competitiveness There are very few Turkish brands that are operating on the International scale - Mavi Jeans, LTB by Little Big and Big Star were among the brands that attracted the biggest attention at the shows. The rest of the market operate as local brands. According to the survey conducted by Turkish Woolmark more than half of the local textile sellers sell their
products under their own brands at varying degrees. Statistics show that out of the 26 Textile and Apparel and 5 Interior export licensees, 31 export products under their own brands as follows: Six companies export 100%; two export over 90%; six export 50-89%; and twenty export 15-100% of their exports under their own brands. According to Bulent Uygun, the secretary-general of the Denizli Chamber of Industry, though Turkey’s history of 2000 years ago shows the country as best known brands among the Roman Empire, the current state is totally upsetting. Today the entire nation is struggling to compete for a brand image for its country and products.
The Turkish Government’s recent advancement on Turquality also shows the raising need of brand image in the country. Turquality is a concept made up of ‘Turk’ and ‘quality’ and is defined as an accreditation system encompassing all processes from production to marketing, and from sales to after-sales services, of products having a competitive advantage and branding potential. The vision statement of Turquality mentions about locating the Turkish brand Image within World standard.
And the mission statement of Turquality - to act as a catalyst and incubator for the selected Turkish brands _ to support the branding expenditures of the selected Turkish brands So in this regard the current study tries to identify the basic difficulties of the Turkish textile industry in positioning their brand image. Aim of the research proposal: In the above light of country’s deliberate act of raising brand image of the Turkish industries, the study intends to take an assumption that till now the textile is facing challenges to compete with the other global brands. So the study aims to identify the difficulty of creating new brand image in Turkish textile industry
The current study is proposed to identify the following objectives.
- The overview of global textile Industry
- The current status of the Turkish textile sector
- The reasons for the low brand image
- Difficulties in raising the brand image
- Competitor country’s strategies in textile branding
- Why Turkey is not able to adopt the successful brand image strategies
- Support & Initiative of Turquality
- Implementation barriers of Turquality
Research Method The current study is proposed to observe a hybrid methodology as it involves the study of further literature and the has to conduct the opinion poll of the companies regarding the difficulties of brand Image. The view that qualitative and quantitative methods are no longer be seen as exclusive to their traditional methodological schools, and it is possible for a single investigation to use both methods is propounded by numerous researchers (e. g. Howe, 1988; Wickens, 1999). Several researches argue that both have advantages and drawbacks.
Some support the mix of two approaches in their research (Wickens, 1999). While evaluating the types of factors or problems that influence the companies in raising the brand image, quantitative tools can be used. Qualitative research has the facility in describing the background of the textile industry and Turkish country brands to understand and inference the results of marketing methods in textile industry. And moreover the distinctions between the two “traditional” approaches are not as precise as was previously believed and that it is no longer. (Strauss and Corbin, 1990; Wickens, 1999)
The current scope of the research compels the researcher to adopt a combination of approach in using quantitative and qualitative techniques. Cook (1995) confirms the usage of this hybrid methodology. In his opinion, both quantitative and qualitative methods contribute to all aspects of evaluative enquiries and can be successfully used together (e. g. Cook 1995). Many researches that cannot validate the outcome through any single methodology will have an approach to this hybrid way. It is most important to derive the answer to hypothesis, rather than restraining to use the methodology.
Proposed Data Gathering Methods
The study proposes to collect two types of data:
- Primary data through quantitative survey
- Secondary data through qualitative
- Content/literature review
In an attempt to collect the data, the study proposes the steps provided below:
Isolating the problem
The problem statement has been defined as “difficulties in raising the Turkish textile brand Image. Formulate hypotheses: The study then intends to draw up the hypothesis.
Quantitative Survey Method
The principal research activity, Quantitative method is proposed to be conducted through survey however consisted of surveying the branding or marketing managers in the Textile industry those are associated with exports and global players. Some of these include, Textile and Apparel Importers, exporters, wholesalers, branded and unbranded merchandisers, distributors, manufacturers, retailers, etc.
Qualitative method for content review
The study proposes to observe the content related to Turkish brand operations and country and cultural norms and policies and the comparative industry observations etc., to identify the facts of the industry and then to compare the results with the survey results. Proposal to develop Instrument: The study designs a survey questionnaire. The survey questions were framed on the following topics:
- Current patterns of marketing
- Criteria to create brand image
- Marketing channels they have to create brand image.
- Targeting positions
- Problems facing in developing brand image
Proposed Data analysis
The study proposes to use statistical packages like Excel or SPSS for data analysis of the results to make an opinion poll.
The research proposal identified that there is a relation to the country’s image and the brand image of the products manufactured in that country. And it is found that some developing countries still face difficulty in competing with the global brands. Under such contest, the current research proposal intends to observe the difficulties of raising brand image in Turkish textile industry by using a hybrid research methodology.
Both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies are proposed to use for the study. And the survey results are proposed to be analyzed using a statistical package to compare the results with the content review.
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