At the end of 2004 the Turkish government launched its so-called ‘Turquality’ program in which it sought to create 10 global brands within 10 years, but according to experts the program needs a major overhaul if this is to occur. They feel that Turkey needs to have a brand strategy in place, and have suggested hospitality should represent a major part of this program as the Turkish people are well known for being hospitable.
In addition Turkey has its own very distinctive and tasty cuisine, but doesn’t have its own restaurant chain that is known throughout the world, nor does it have a global brand in the hotel industry. There are 132 brands within this program that are getting financial support.
Those companies in the program are able to claim half the money they spend building a brand in the form of a subsidy from the Economy Ministry. These subsidies have no upper limit and are designed to cover all expenses during the phases of building a brand, including design, marketing and after sales services.
Critics do believe the program has a lot of merits, but don’t believe that Turkish brands have been able to make much headway in becoming established abroad. They also believe that companies with a marketing budget of less than $4 million shouldn’t be part of the program as they simply won’t be spending enough in order to become established in a foreign market.
Apparently most Turkish companies use their finances to attend trade fairs and to print brochures in order to export as many goods as possible to as many countries as they can, as opposed to simply focusing on two major markets and carrying out a comprehensive survey on the best way to establish themselves within these markets. At the beginning only companies within the textile and garment industries were allowed to enter the program, this has been gradually expanded to include many other sectors.