ESOMAR puts Turkey in the “Culturally Sensitive” set of countries in its Global Cross-Industry study.
The Turkish culture is collective and common.
Public advocacy and loyalty to common values is very high.
While Turks admire certain global brands they expect their values to be respected and considered.
What Turkish people mean with respect to their values?
Basically they expect brands to understand that:
• Their identity is based on the social system to which they belong.
• Their culture is a high-context communication culture.
• Their stories exist to be shared.
• It is necessary to first build a relationship, then persuade them.
What do brands do?
The oneswho are not able to communicate locally, work extensively to localize their adaptations. They spend huge amount of top executive time to find local insights.
The lucky ones, who are able to shoot locally, become even more Turkish than their local competitors.
Global brands such as Pepsi work with Seda Sayan, Kenan İmirzaoğlu and Hülya Avşar in order to fight Coca Cola.
Vodafone fights Turkcell by joining forces with Orhan Gencebay.
In this fight of Thrones, the brave ones survive.
Where does research stand in this picture?
Unfortunately nowhere near bravery.
Global research models are employed locally in Turkey.
No localization effort is considered.
Models built in UK (according ESOMAR a Individualist Culture Country) are used to assess the conformist Turks.
When challenged by a few logical marketing minds, the global research networks bring out the validation datas.
In Western Europe.
Turkey has witnessed brave marketing leaders who fight their Head Quarters in their localization efforts.
We hope that one day we will witness the same for the research industry.
Till then brands will continue to see research results nowhere near to what is really happening in the market.