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Increasing globalization changes the customary business pattern and induces entrepreneurs to enter a foreign market. Transportation and insurance costs, duty and VAT taxes, as well as possible protectionist legislation, may embarrass a company’s expansion. However, even within the conditions of highly competitive market, the sales promotion depends on the effective marketing strategy. A wise business owner tries to understand the customers and to satisfy their needs. At this point in business development the cultural analysis of an importing country is not a whim, but an objective necessity. In order to see to what extent another culture may modify the whole marketing concept, it would be commendable to provide a cultural analysis of the Turkish core market. Its oriental mentality considerably differs from the American one.
The expanding Stunner enterprise specializes in the manufacture and sale of leather goods. The offered leatherwear and accessories are of high quality. They can be qualified as luxury goods. Both male and female clothing lines are featured. The brand has its website and an iOS mobile application. The goods are sold in boutiques throughout the country. Some share of the production is retailed through the shopping malls. The key concepts of the brand are quality, durability, uniqueness, and modernity. To better express and highlight the customers’ personality the company offers the possibility of individual design. The core market is represented by well-to-do customers of both sexes.
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According to Eroğlu, entrepreneurship is little developed in Turkey (2011). The business owners do not like taking risks and being subdued to governmental policies (Eroğlu, 2011). Ural and Kucukaslan also state that the Turkish people prefer international brands and are ready to buy imported goods (2011). For that reason, the conditions for the company expansion in Turkey are favorable.
Taking into consideration the Hofstede’s model, it can be asserted that Turkish and American cultural dimensions correlate in the followig way (Fig. 1). The United States have high scores in individualism, masculinity and indulgence, and Turkey scores higher in power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and pragmatism (The Hofstede Centre, 2003).
The high level of power distance in Turkey means that the culture appreciates obeying rules and respecting superiors. The hierarchy is rigid and there is a lack of personal initiative. In contrast, the United States show more opportunities to climb the social ladder and equality within a family.
As the individualism index for Turkey is only 37, it can be concluded that collectivist values are in the foreground, and the social institutions like family, government, religion group, matter a lot for the Turkish people. It also may be inferred that it is less common for the given society members to stand out. The high individualism rate in the United States signifies egocentricity of the society members. Personal achievement and career are dominant orientations of the population.
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Turkey is marked average in masculinity, i.e. achievement and result are of less importance than quality of life and well-being. As mentioned before, Americans are more task-oriented. For this reason, their culture may be labelled as masculine.
The considerably higher level of uncertainty avoidance for the Turks means that their life is regulated by norms, rituals, and traditions aiming to overcome the obscurity of future. Meanwhile, Americans are used to count on themselves, they are more optimistic about the future, and thus have fewer regulations in their everyday life.
Surprisingly, the Turkish society is more open to new tendencies, innovative approaches, and modern technologies, as their pragmatism scale is more elevated than that of the United States. However, it is not high enough in general count, as it scores only 46 %. It shows remarkable presence of traditionalism in the Turkish culture.
The Turkish indulgence rate is 49, which suggests average self-control and restraint. Americcans demonstrate much more moderation, because their culture is highly scaled in this dimension. In the commercial respect it may imply that the Turkish people are less resistant to purchases and that they may be tempted easier than the Africans.
The first conclusion from the foregoing data is that the Turks highly appreciate prestige and status. Fortunately for the Stunner brand, these are the basic qualities the company is oriented at. The key concept should be shifted accordingly from individual style to power and status expression. Business people, successful career makers, and celebrities should appear in laconic and aesthetic commercials.
Secondly, the Turkish customers are inclined to divide people in groups by evaluating personality according to the group attribution. Consequently, the leather goods should become a synonym of success, professionalism, and prosperity. It also makes sense to focus on the biggest cities, where the wealthiest people are concentrated: Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Adana, Gaziantep, Konya, and Antalya (Butler, 2009). It also means that advertisement will be more effective in the specialized magazines and newspapers than in the leaflets.
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Traditionalism presupposes existence of numerous religious and national holidays that may become a good opportunity to give presents to the family. The cumulative discount offers and special offers for the most important holidays such as New Year’s Day, Seker Bayrami, and Kurban Bayrami (Yenen, 2011) will attract more customers and encourage them to buy.
As a part of the hedonistic culture, the Turkish people attach most importance to the pleasure that they achieve from doing something. Hence, there should always be sweets or apples at the cash desk, the shop assistants should be extremely polite and smiling, and the speakers should transmit the lounge music. In fact, the personnel should take care of spraying pleasant scent, of carefully wrapping the purchases, and of keeping a friendly atmosphere. Great attention should be paid to the wrapping design.
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