An example for a branding program and its effects on turkish textile industry

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7th Global Conference on Business & Economics ISBN : 978-0-9742114-9-7

Çukul, D., Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkiye

Candan, C., Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkiye
Turkish textiles and ready to wear clothing trade has been increased for the last decades. Turkey’s export of textiles and ready to wear is growing continuously and worth almost 15 billion USD. It can be said that Turkish textile industry is one of the largest producers for Europe. “Turquality” branding program promoted by the Turkish Ministry of Trade and Industry was introduced in 2003 and its effects on the textile industry were examined in this study. This project aims to upgrade the international image of Turkish-made products and to create a country that sells quality to the world at the right price.

The textiles and ready to wear clothing industries will continue to play an important role in the near future. Turkish textiles and clothing producers are in strong position against their competitors, and have achieved to raise their market shares in last decade. The industry could protect its competitive position in the near future i) by adopting new marketing strategies (developing their own brands, establishing new marketing channels, coupling their strategies with the EU and US companies), ii) by specializing in niche markets, and iii) by being innovative in generating and adapting new products (/technical textiles, eco-textiles, etc.) and processes (non-woven fabrics, etc.) [1].

Owing to the implementation of the liberalization process since the January’1980, the Turkish economy has experienced a period of high growth. Foreign trade, both in exports and imports, has grown rapidly and noteworhty changes in the structure of exports have taken place. The dominant role of agricultural products in exports came to the end in favor of industrial products. At the same time the product composition of exports diversified and the volume of foreign trade increased about three-fold in that decade. The Customs Union established with the European Union and the conclusion of the Uruguay Round are the main determinant factors shaping Turkey’s foreign trade policies and orientations. The Customs Union incorporates Turkey into the single European market by extending most of the EU’s conventions on trade and competition to Turkish industry. Main export items of Turkey are [2];

  • Textile and clothing

  • Machinery and transportation

  • Automotive and spare parts

  • Agriculture and food

  • Iron and steel

  • Chemicals and plastics


In recent years, there have been striking changes in the policies of all countries in the world resulting in a reduction in commercial restrictions, and this has led to both sales and purchasing becoming global. Therefore, competition has become global and those that could offer the best price, best quality, and the best customer service are able to do much better business. This trend will continue increasingly in coming years. The Turkish textile industry has advantages in the global competition in both technology and qualified human resources. Therefore, the industrial basis in Turkey is quite strong; however, they must be strengthened and developed in order to meet customer demands in the following areas:

  • customer service

  • product quality, and

  • cost and price efficiency [3].

Turkey had a closed economy until 1980s; production and export were at poor levels. With the shift towards export-led economics policies in 1980s, both production and export have increased considerably. For example;

  • At the beginning of 1980s the total value of Turkish textiles and apparel export was about USD 700 million. In 2006, an amount of USD 19.7 billion was reached.

Composition of export has changed as well.

  • The distribution of exports between apparel and textile industries was 13% and 87% respectively in 1980. The share of apparel has increased gradually since then. In 2006, it reached to 69% of the total. Apparently, the share of textiles dropped to 31%.

  • Within twenty five years up to 2006, the industry has both grown rapidly and shifted from low value added commodities to high value added manufacturing items and fashion goods. [4]

With the export performance, the Turkish textile and apparel industry has taken an important share in the world trade. The textile and apparel industry is the leading force for the Turkish economy, and the Turkish exports. There are 60 textile and 15 apparel company among the first 500 big establishments in Turkey [5].

The industry has a great contribution to the Turkish economy. This can be seen in main macro economics indicator of 2006. [4]

  • 8% of GDP,

  • 20% of industrial production,

  • 24% of manufacturing labor force,
  • 23% of total Turkish export earnings.

  • USD 19.7 billion export and

  • Exporting volume in 2006 Clothing : 400.000 tons

Clothing : 1.9 billion pcs.

Knitted Fabric : 130.000 tons.

Woven Fabrics : 3000.000 tons

Carpet : 130 million m2

Figure 1. Turkish Textile and Clothing Exports [4]
Clothing industry is not only engine of the economy, but also one of a few exporting sectors in Turkey. Despite facing a harsh competitive environment in 2005, the sector has been able to continue its growth at a lower pace. Clothing sector has realized $ 13.9 billion exports in 2006 while it was $ 13.6 in the previous year.
Table 1.shows that the clothing industry corresponding for 16.3 % of the total export of Turkey. With such an export performance, the clothing industry together with textiles was able to keep its leading position among Turkish exporting industries [6].
Table 1: The Share of the Clothing Industry in the Total Export of Turkey [6]

Unit 1000 $

2005 2006 Change %

Total Export of Turkey

Clothing Export
The share of Clothing Industry in The Total Export
The Export of Industrial Products
The share of Clothing in The Total Industrial Product Export












TURQUALITY® is an accreditation system for the product groups with brand potential. Turquality aims to be the symbol which highlights the quality of products and services made in Turkey. In other words, Turquality plans to upgrade the international perception of products made in Turkey [7]. Many nations have bought into this same way of thinking about constructing their public faces: for instance, England’s semi-successful ''Cool Britannia'' campaign, “Pure New Zealand,” “Incredible India,” ''Brand Oman,'' Spain’s  high-successful “OK Spain,” and even the United States’ own “Brand America,” introduced after 9/11 [8]. On the other hand, the Turquality project also aims to provide a stimulus for the textile industry to upgrade their technology and reposition themselves in the international market as the higher-end/quality apparel producers. Therefore, Turqaulity is described as a unique tool, as it is a complex mix of marketing, quality upgrading and strategic positioning, implemented for the first time, not only in Turkey, although perhaps globally [7].

Nowadays, gradually increasing competition conditions and changing consumption patterns compel the countries and companies enterprises that wish to take place in international arena to create powerful brands which shall mean further added values and additional market share. 
When it is taken into consideration that increase in the product composition with high added value and differentiated and/or branded took place in the export strategy of Turkey related to 2000s the importance of creating brands in exportation becomes more and more significant.
Consequently, branding carries more importance in terms competitive industries such as textile and ready-to wear, automotive, electronics, food which are the leading sectors of Turkish economy. To cope with other countries having competitive advantage based on low cost/low price not only in textile-ready to wear industry but also in the other industries is creating differentiation in product design and branding, usage of advanced technology, of high quality manufacturing and accordingly creating a good image for Turkish products in international markets [9].
TURQUALITY®” logo which brings “Turk” and quality concepts together was developed and was taken under protection by being registered in the name of the Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade. TURQUALITY® is positioned as an overarching brand in the opinion of the consumers it is really an accreditation system covering the entire processes of the product groups from production to marketing from sales to after sales services constituting the competitive advantage of Turkey and has potential for establishing brand.  

Figure 1: “TURQUALITY®” Logo

The Turquality program mainly consists of two complementing activities. On one side, there is the development of a “quality manual and accreditation scheme” which defines the quality standards which applicants will be required to meet in order to be accepted in the program and for use of the Turquality logo and brand. On the other side, an articulated auditing program is currently being implemented with the aim to “benchmark” Turkish companies with international best practices - building on Werner’s wide experience in this field all over the world. This part of the project is particularly focused on each company’s organisation and processes. The purpose is to provide each participating company with a dynamic tool to identify its weakness areas in the path towards excellence. This will be done according to each individual companies’ own, specific strategies. Therefore, Turquality will be much more then a branding program. It will also become a very versatile platform for member companies to be supported while they strive towards excellence and to successfully compete with today’s highly dynamic international markets [10,11]. Turquality’s objectives are three-fold;

1. to bring worldclass standards and best practices to Turkish industries including apparel.

2. to brand Turkey itself, so the perception can be created on a global scale, that it is a place where fashion and brand creativity is a reality.

3. to communicate the above to the global market [12].

Purpose of TURQUALITY® Project
The Turquality Program seeks to improve the image and respectability of Turkish products generally through subjecting applicants to quality assurance evaluations. In the event applicants receive the coveted Turqaulity logo, the Turkish government may provide subsidies of up to US$ 500.000 for marketing and distribution; or US$ 300.000 for design and development [13].
Turquality program, which aims to create 10 world brands in Turkey within 10 years, is much more then a branding program. It is also a very versatile platform for member companies to be supported while they strive towards excellence and to successfully compete with today' s highly dynamic international markets. This is a very unique project which is such a complex mix of marketing, quality upgrading and strategic positioning, to be implemented for the first time in Turkey and, possibly, in the world [2].
1-Aim of the Program:

In frame of national branding strategy, the authorized body (Undersecreteriat for Foreign Trade) applies a decree towards assists the sectors aiming for creating their original brand.

2-Scope of the Program:

The offical decree about the Turquality Program covers some activities of the following organizations & institutions;

-Exporters’ Unions:

-Foreign Trade Capital Companies

-Foreign Trade Sectoral Companies

-Producers’ Unions

-Producer Companies (SME’s)

-Commercial Companies (Exporters)

3-Support Amounts:

According to the offical decree, different units benefit from this mentioned support in different forms.

The pilot field of application is the ready-to-wear sector. Applications have been concluded on the project, whose initial studies were conducted at the beginning of this year by the Turkish Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade, the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) and the Istanbul Textile and Confection Exporters Union (ITKIB). Fifteen brands and three designers have been selected as qualified for accreditation. (Most of the brands selected are in the ready-to-wear clothing sector, an area constantly pushing the boundaries in quality, production and design). According to this, the ready-to-wear brands, that we will be able to see in world markets, with the Turquality label attached on them are as follows: Abbate, Bil's, Colin's, Damat-Tween, Derri, Esas, Harmanli, Ipekyol, LTB, Mithat, NetWork, Polo Garage, Ramsey, Sarar, and Viaveneto [14].

Structure of The Program

To support selected Turkish brands in a systematic way covering all the operational processes, to furnish training, consultancy and coaching to the best companies of Turkey for global competition, TURQUALITY® program shall take as a mission to subject the companies to a group of training, consultancy and coaching processes in order to support the achievement of such companies in international markets and to raise a group of athletes in order to determine potential champions among them by starting from making an imaginative comparison with olympic team.

By means of a study which will be carried out simultaneously with the services in the first level the companies shall be evaluated in comparison of their weaknesses and strengths on the basis of their commitment for becoming a brand besides their operational and managerial activities.

The operational activities observed in evaluation phase shall be examined under following primary headlines:

  • Supply Chain Management

  • Customer Relations Management (CRM)

  • Organizational Structure and Human Resources

  • Institutionalism

  • Finance

  • Information Technologies

  • Brand Management

By means of this study the candidate companies promising the most powerful potential for being champions in terms of developing world’s brand shall be selected; and an opportunity to take the advantage of a serial of support initiatives in advanced level shall be granted to such companies [9].
An example for A Success Story of Global Turkish Apparel Producers

The first fruits of the Turquality project were seen in Tokyo in 2006. Giant Japanese department chain Takashimaya will be selling seven Turkish brands, namely Damat/Tween, Derri, Machka, Network, Mavi Jean, Pasha Deri and Inci, for two weeks. Depending on sales, these brands may be permanently offered at Takashimaya. Products of the seven Turkish firms supported by Turquality are being displayed at Takashimaya, which has global annual turnover of more than $40 billion. With branches in Paris, London, New York and Singapore, Takashimaya's main store, where Turkish brands are for sale, has an annual turnover of $8 billion. The displays housing the Turkish brands are located next to world-famous brands such as Hermes and Louis Vuitton. Turkish brands are also displayed in a shop window on the street, passed daily by an average 3 million people. Several creations from Damat/Tween, Network and Machka are on display [15].

Since the EU and the US are major markets for Turkish textile and clothing products, it is necessary to explore the competitive position of Turkish producers in these markets. “Turquality” plans to upgrade the international perception of products made in Turkey. The project also aims to provide a stimulus for the textile industry to upgrade their technology and reposition themselves in the international market as the higher-end/quality apparel producers. Turkey will always be among the leading countries in textile and apparel industry. Therefore Turquality will play an important role in Turkish textile industry. In addition to this, the Turkish textile industry is getting less involved in contract manufacturing everyday; consequently the need to create original designs has been rising especially for the last three to four years. Thus, designers educated in textile design are beginning to be involved in the industry increasingly and give original design support to manufacturers and exporters to help creating their own brands in the market.


[1] E. TAYMAZ, 2002, “Competitiveness of the Turkish Textile and Clothing” Industries” Version, September,15.

[2] World Intellectual Property Organization, “Executive Forum Consultative Cycle 2006, Innovations In Export Strategy”,

[3] B. ÖZİPEK, New horizons in yarn technologies in Turkey, publications of Turkish exporters assembly,


[5] M. AKALIN, 2001, Electronic Journal of Textiles, Volume: 1, no: 1.


[7]A. KOÇAK, 2006, “Turkey in Transition, Expectation in The Textile and Apparel Industry for the Next Two Decades,

[8] Retaining Loyal Readers While Re-Positioning Its Brand, 2007,



[11] New Twist, 2006, Turquality: A branding program to qualify and promote Turkish


[13] Clothing and Textile Sector, 2004, Clothing and Textile Sector Technology Development Trends,

[14] K. DIKBAS, Today’s Zaman, November 26, 2004

excellence in Apparel production & marketing, Newsletter Volume 1, March 08.

[15] A. GUVENKAYA, 2006, Turquality project bears fruit in Japan,

October 13-14, 2007

Rome, Italy

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