Becoming a National Sigil

The new Turkey logo has found wide usage in many fields. Its affects uponthe economic growth is yet to be seen, as brand management appears to be correlated with finance management.

Thc launching of the brand carried out with a wide range of participants.

Year 2014 saw a large-scale launch of the first episode of Turkey brand: Discover the Potential. A new Turkey logo was designed and launched, to be used for all advertising, business and communicating purposes. The slogan of the logo was chosen as “Discover the Potential”, an invitation for all to see Turkey in a new light, at the beginning of a new era in nation’s history. Embracing its cultural and racial heritage in Middle East, Asia and Europe, accepting a prominent role in its religious sphere; Turkey is ready to combine these ingredients to create a vast, deep and modern identity which will be benefit to not only Turkey, but all countries in the hinterland.

As “Made in Turkey” represents an era and apprehension, the new Turkey logo symbolizes a change and paradigm shift. The background of this new paradigm and approach is huge and is a blend of a variety of concerns, prospects, ideas and solutions.

At the beginning, there was an ambiguous notion in the collective subconscious of Turkish business world and related institutions. Everybody knew they were close to a turning point, a “milestone”, were aware of a necessity yet it was undefined and unspoken. The “move” had to be a collective one, as the members of the business world are connected to each other with strong ties and individual attempts would not be effective enough to trigger the long-awaited paradigm shift.

An opportunity arose when Mehmet Büyükekşi, President of Turkish Exporters’ Assembly and Turgay Adıyaman, Saffron Brand Consultants Managing Director of Turkey, started talks about a possible project for TEA. TEA was in pursuit for a thrilling story which would boost the Turkish export volume and inspire Turkish exporters. As the brainstorm proceeded, under guidance of Mehmet Büyükekşi, the proposal evolved into a wide-scale project, a nationwide story. As the spectrum of participants spread, the idea gradually developed into the current approach. A drastic change was on the way.

President Erdoğan launched the new Turkey brand himself.

This time, as “Made in Turkey” had created the potential, it was time to “package” this potential and introduce it, and create an awareness which would eventually activate the potential and harvest the fruits of efforts of long decades.

The potential is “packaged” and presented to the “customers”. Its message is still being delivered, and now another dimension emerges. As David Haigh, CEO Brand Finance PLC says in 2014 Brand Finance National Brands Report; ‘The states of the 21st century are participants in a global marketplace, with intense competition for tourists, students, the best workers and investment. The results of this year’s Brand Finance Nation Brands report show the advantages that a strong nation brand can confer; the effect of a country’s image on the brands based there and the economy as a whole makes a nation brand the most important asset of any state. Governments, trade bodies and businesses must take steps to ensure that their nation brand is strategically appropriate, well-managed and regularly monitored in order to maximize the benefits.’

Key findings section of the report demonstrates a key fact: Most valuable nation brands belong to the biggest economies. A country’s rank in list of biggest economies is correlated, if not in a causality relation, with its rank in most valuable national brands list.

Turkey Brand Observation Committee has been officially set by the notice published in the Official Gazette. Presided by the Undersecretariat of Minister of Economy, the committee consists of various ministarial and public offices, including ISPAT and TİM.

On the other hand, Turkey has a goal in accordance with its grand strategic plan: Becoming one of the top ten economies in the world by year 2023. The year 2023 is important for Turkey, as it marks a century after the proclamation of republic. In year 1923, Turkish Grand National Assembly had abolished the monarchy. After World War I, the Ottoman Empire was already collapsed and Allied-backed Greek forces had invaded the country. Emerging as the leader of the victory following Turkish War of Independence, Turkish Grand National Assembly introduced a new chapter in the nation’s long history: The republican era. It was a desperate era, as most of the Ottoman lands were lost, the remaining lands were devastated by ongoing wars. Yet the new-born republic had initiated a series of reforms, with baby steps at the beginning. And the reforms have always continued, and the pace has never been so fast: In the last decade, Turkey has went through a great change, economic, social and physical; finally turning its eyes towards the horizon after settling its domestic affairs. And these “masters of change” took the initiative for the new Turkey brand.

It is obvious that the economic growth will have a mutual relationship with the success of branding process. If Turkey wants to become one of the top ten economies of the world, it must invest in branding to increase the national value added. And in order to retain a feasible and sustainable branding plan, Turkey needs a strong economic background.

Surely the national brands are not totally similar to ordinary brands; they act as a sum of “national brand value” and they contribute to the same value, instead of being an individual brand. Hence the national brand can be seen as an “umbrella” of brands; contributed by all and contributing to all. It is the “package” of all national values, a personification. Yet, like all brands, it requires to be backed financial strength to bring income, and the value added creates the growth: Every single penny invested in branding and advertising brings more than it costs. Therefore, new Turkey brand is, in fact, another component of 2023 goals: The main goal can be paraphrased as to become one of the top ten; national brands...