More than 85% of Turkish imports consist of raw materials, intermediate and investment goods. 85% of exports, on the other hand, comprise final goods, which means what we sell increases consumer price sensitivity while what we buy doesn’t. We have to import goods in order to manufacture goods.
As a matter of fact, only 7-8% of Turkish imports consist of “consumer goods”. Imposing higher tariffs on each and every one of these goods does not only help reduce foreign account deficit but it also leads to higher inflation and a less powerful Turkish Industry vis-à-vis its international competitors. In the meantime, people are forced to pay a lot of money to buy high-quality products, and for its Turkish made equivalents, much more money than they deserve. It’s just wrong in every sense of the word.
First of all, Turkish industry professionals must quit whining, “We are making high-quality goods but the consumers fail to see it”. Turkish people are smart enough to tell the difference between good quality and poor quality products. If you can give them a good reason to choose Turkish products instead of famous 100-year-old brands, they would definitely consider your offer.
These “Turks are addicted to brands” talks are just making me laugh! That’s the reason why you build a brand in the first place: to surround consumers with a sense of belonging and loyalty… Please tell me one good reason why we should prefer 10 year old brands to brands that have been meticulously created 50-60 years ago with patience and love. You see? You cannot think of one! So, my suggestion to Turkish industry professionals is that they should keep going, without yielding, and be angry at those who abstain from helping them, not to everyday citizens.
“Want to win against volatility? Keep your prices flexible…”
I have one or two things to say to those who introduced foreign brands to Turkish market and have been hiking its prices since due to exchange rate volatility: “If you think you got yourself covered, you are wrong”. If you don’t sell quality goods at affordable prices, you may soon suffer the same fate as domestic brands. Due to export taxes and high exchange rates, people will eventually stop buying these products which are sold at even more expensive prices in Turley than they are in the EU. Times have changed. Turkish people are now perfectly capable of recognizing good quality with reasonable prices.
If need be, they would arm themselves with patience and do not pay even one lira neither for foreign brands nor its domestic equivalents. After all, consumers must get a certain sense of satisfaction and benefit to keep buying goods and services. Social status, comfort, quality… They are all very important yet purchasing what you want may not be most rational thing to do if the price will hurt you financially and drive you into purchase regret in the end.
Both Foreign Brands and Domestic Manufacturers should conduct a series of detailed analyses in times of fluctuations. They will be disappointed if they do not compromise on their “musts”. They should do this first for themselves and then for the consumers.
In short, avoid offending Turkish people. Take my advice!