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BFJ
108,3 An empirical investigation of
Turkish cola market
Dilber Ulas and H. Bader Arslan
156 Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Political Sciences,
Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey

Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to present a broad view and analysis of brand switching
attitudes of cola consumers in Turkish cola market.
Design/methodology/approach – Presents the results of a questionnaire, conducted with 855
university students. Brand preferences and loyalty towards cola drinks were investigated by
frequency distributions, T-tests and cross-tabulations, using particular factors such as purchasing
frequency of the brand, brand preference, repurchase intent, searching for the brand, price and
promotion tolerance.
Findings – Cola Turka, the new cola brand, has captured almost one-quarter of the market. It has the
potential to create loyal consumers. Despite Coca-Cola preserving its dominance, Pepsi-Cola has been
surpassed by this new product.
Research limitations/implications – Although special attention was spent in constructing a
sample with high presentation ability, university students, selected from three different cities, may not
reflect the whole picture of the cola market. Cola Turka is a newly-born brand and it is hard to identify
whether consumers are loyal or not to such a brand.
Practical implications – Origin, advertising and image of the product may foster its preference, as
in the case of Cola Turka. Men and women have different buying motives and this can be used for
attracting new consumers.
Originality/value – This research paper is unique in its field, which aims to depict brand loyalty in
the Turkish cola drinks market. It has a particular importance since the research was carried out after
the launch of the new Turkish cola brand “Cola Turka”.
Keywords Brand loyalty, Brand management, Advertising, Soft drinks, Turkey
Paper type Research paper

Introduction
At 9:30 p.m. on 5 July 2003 almost all TV watchers saw a famous Hollywood star,
Chevy Chase, in a three-minute advertisement, which was simultaneously broadcast in
all TV channels in Turkey. Was that the beginning of a shift in the cornerstones of
Turkish soft drink market that was dominated by the two established multinationals:
Coca Cola (CC) and Pepsi Cola (PC)? At first glance, the new brand’s image was made of
a synthesis between the traditions and modernity, and coexistence of the west and the
east. Many people went to markets next day for taste trial, however they faced empty
shelves. Cola Turka (CT) was sold out in its first day throughout the country’s retail
stores. This success brought about a number of empirical questions. Was the Turkish
market witnessing a birth of a new and long-lasting brand? Was that a temporal behalf
British Food Journal of curiosity? Or, was that a reaction to old American producers?
Vol. 108 No. 3, 2006
pp. 156-168
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
0007-070X
The authors would like to thank Zeynep Akyuz from Université Paris Dauphine for her very
DOI 10.1108/00070700610650981 insightful comments.
The Turkish soft drink market has reached to a sales volume of 7.5 billion litres, 1.3 Turkish cola
billion of which is grasped by cola drinks. It is an attractive and rapidly growing market
market with 2.5 billion dollar annual sales, 40 percent of which is held by cola drinks.
CC and PC have been the major players in the field until the last couple of years.
However, PC seems to have lost ground against CC and the new brands like CT. Jim
Zaza, the new head of Pepsi Bottling Group in Turkey, states that its market share has
fallen from around 50 percent to 20 percent in the last ten years. Coverage rates, the 157
rate of the sales outlets that the product reaches, depict a similar vision of the market:
CC (85 percent), CT (80 percent) and PC (59 percent) (Oncel, 2005).
Surveys reveal that the market share of CT is floating between 15-20 percent.
Although its market share has fallen when CT entered the market, CC is still the
market leader with around 60 percent. Finally PC is just under 20 percent (AC Nielsen
Turkey, 2005a).
Ulker Company (www.ulker.com.tr), the producer of CT, was established in 1944
and has become the major confectionary and cookie producer by years. Publicly traded
on the Istanbul Stock Exchange, Ulker is delivering its products to 94 countries
worldwide with over 21,000 employees in its 25 production units in five countries most
of which operate in the homeland. The company makes sales of four billion dollar a
year, 80 percent to the domestic market, with a growth rate of 7 percent and
continuously present new products in food and soft drink markets.
The launch of CT through all the stores on the same day was not surprising, taking
into consideration the Ulker Company’s wide distribution network. Delivering more
than 100 different products with more than 4,500 vehicles, the company has one of the
biggest fleets in the whole market.
The cola market was dominated by CC with a 57 percent share, followed by Pepsi
with 27 percent in 2002. Not only have they a gigantic volume of sales throughout the
world, but also are their brand awareness and loyalty strong with such names as CC
and PC. CC is the most famous and valuable brand in the world and the value of its
brand is estimated to be worth $70.45 billion in 2003 with a one percent increase
compared to 2002, according to BusinessWeek’s 2003 Global Brands Scorecard Survey.
Pepsi’s global brand is ranked twenty-third with its $11.78 billion value. The case is
not different in Turkey. According to an AC Nielsen Turkey (2002) survey, CC is the
first cola brand submitted by Turks when they are asked to recall one, with a 76.2
percent frequency. Coca-Cola and Pepsi, have spent myriad dollars in brand building,
brand maintenance and achieving top-of-mind awareness. However, some consumers
are also willing to try new products.

Prior studies
Brands consist of the proprietary visual, rational, emotional and cultural image
surrounding a company, organization, product or person (Vrotsos, 2000). Besides
having a brand name, its identity is also crucial for companies. Brand identity refers to
connation in the hearts and minds of the clients and it prospects associates with the
brand name. Brand loyalty is defined as the consumer behaviours of repeatedly
purchasing a specific brand over a certain period of time rather than switching to an
alternative (McConnell, 1968; Lin et al., 2000; Leclercq et al., 2003). However, this is not
a comprehensive definition. Brand loyalty involves something more than repeated
purchasing. Consumers repurchase the same brand after experiencing it; because they
BFJ perceive that the brand offers the right product features, advertising, image or level of
quality at the right price. Thus, brand loyalty is a complex concept that may require
108,3 both psychological and behavioural measurements (Jacoby and Kyner, 1973; Knox,
2001). For East et al. (2000), loyalty, which they call “customer retention”, signifies a
preserving dimension. Brand loyalty occurs when favourable beliefs and attitudes for
the brand are manifested in repeat buying behaviour (Keller, 1993). Dubois and
158 Laurent (1999) define loyalty as “propensity to choose a given brand in a variety of
situations”. According to them, a consumer is loyal if she/he decides not only to
purchase the Tropicana Fruit Juice, but also to go to another store to get it if it is out of
stock. Miller and Grazer (2003) noted that brand loyalty could be identified by
repurchase intention, price tolerance and recommendation to others. Brand loyalists
have three mindsets: commitment to the brand, willingness to pay a higher price for the
brand over other brands and recommending the brand to others (Giddens and
Hofmann, 2002). Thus, we can say that loyalty is comprised of three factors:
(1) psychological loyalty to a brand;
(2) repeated purchasing (which also involved price tolerance); and
(3) searching for a brand.

An important determinant of the extent of evaluation (whether or not to buy and select
a brand) is whether the customer feels “involved” in the product. Involvement
determines the extent of effort a person puts into deciding what to buy. Some
customers are more involved in the decision-making process for products that they
perceive to be risky. In case of any risk, the belief that use of a product has potentially
negative consequences, financial, physical, or social; the consumer feels low
involvement. Buying a soft drink is a lower involvement purchase than buying a
house or a car (Roehm et al., 2002). Consider, for example, consumers who receive initial
information about a new cola brand. This information might consist of taste, package,
brand, price, etc. Given that cola is typically a low-involvement product, and that a new
cola brand is unfamiliar to consumers, it is unlikely that they will be aware of motives
for their preferences. In such a situation, consumers, who are asked to analyse reasons
for their preferences, tend to focus disproportionately on cues those are easily
verbalized, such as the product attribute information. Instead, for a low-involvement
product such as a cola drink, the purchase decision is likely to be influenced largely by
non-verbalized cues, such as packaging, company image and advertisement (Sengupta
and Fitzsimons, 2000). Consequently, analysing reasons for brand preferences should
lead to a disruption between brand attitudes and choice behaviour (Sengupta and
Fitzsimons, 2000). There are several influential factors on brand choice such as
advertising, sales promotions, packaging, company image and previous purchase.

Measuring brand loyalty in cola market


Loyalty has been calculated using the data based on entire purchasing history of the
consumer, either as an exponentially weighted average of previous purchases or as a
proportion of purchasing measures (Papatla and Krishnamurthi, 1996).
Cola drinks are inexpensive and frequently purchased goods. Trial and brand
switching in the cola market are easy to undertake. When people have a positive
experience with a memorable brand, they are more likely to buy that product again
comparing to other competing brands. The probability of consuming a specific brand
would be higher if that brand has already been tried. On the other hand, market share Turkish cola
of a product is a very simple indicator of brand loyalty. Market share and brand loyalty market
are often closely related to each other. Brand loyalty may be higher for brands, which
have a larger market share (Leclercq et al., 2003).

Methodology
We aimed to determine a sample with as much diversity as possible. A total of 855 159
university students at four different universities (Ankara, Gazi, Cukurova and
Suleyman Demirel) were fielded in March 2004. We thought that would be more
convenient to apply our questionnaire to university students for some reasons. First,
they come from different regions and thus they represent different subcultures and
purchase habits within the country. Second, cola drinks consumption is high among
young people, especially in university students and this would make the rate of
response high. Third, they were easy to reach. Only 45 of 900 questionnaires were sent
back without response. We applied 855 questionnaires to students of four universities
in three different cities throughout the country to enhance the reliability. Of the
respondents, 445 (52 percent) were female and 410 (48 percent) were male, which means
almost an equal distribution of gender.

Research questions
In this study we tried to investigate presence of brand loyalty towards cola brands by:
.
measuring purchasing frequency of each brand;
.
determining brand preferences and last purchased brand;
. interrogating repurchase intent;
.
searching endeavour for the brand;
.
depicting a general picture of price; and
.
promotion tolerance variables.

Descriptive analysis of these factors will be presented later in the paper.


Respondents participated in a 20-minute questionnaire. A pre-test was also held to
evaluate the efficiency of survey questions. The survey included questions related to
drink consumption, brand awareness, brand preference, purchase frequency, factors
affecting purchase decisions, brand appraisals, etc.
Responses to a question of cola preferences revealed that CC, CT and PC were the
most frequently preferred brands in the sample. Therefore the analysis was conducted
on these three brands. Frequency distributions were calculated and T-tests and
cross-tabulations were conducted based on responses. Due to their importance in
measuring loyalty, repurchase intention and price tolerance for brands were
particularly investigated. Under this framework awareness and last purchase ratios
for cola brands have been calculated. For measuring repurchase intention for brands,
students were asked if they would buy their favourite brand again, under all
conditions; what they would do in case they could not find their favourite brand; and
for measuring price tolerance they were asked if they change their preference in case
other brands reduce their prices or make promotions. For identifying preference factors
limited to CT, respondents were asked to sign items that affect their decision to buy (or
not to buy) CT. Thus, common factors that affect buyers and non-buyers of CT have
BFJ been determined. Finally, we aimed to identify the most important driving factors that
108,3 impact CT purchasing decisions. Was it just the brand name, the price or the
promotion or was it a cluster of many different factors? Which characteristics were
more important in making CT a widely preferred brand in Turkey, in a market that is
solidified by two global brands? In sum, our research questions in this study are:
RQ1. Do consumers have price and promotion tolerance towards their favourite
160 brands?
RQ2. How loyal are consumers of CC, CT and PC?
RQ3. What are the key strengths and the weaknesses of CT?
RQ4. Does CT have the potential to construct a brand loyalty?

Scope and limitations


In our study, the sample was selected from university students from three different
cities. Although special attention was spent in constructing a sample with high
presentation ability – university students may not reflect the whole picture of the cola
market. CT is a newly born brand and it is hard to identify whether consumers are
loyal or not to such a brand. Therefore, future analysis may exhibit different outcomes.
Furthermore, there are gaps in what consumers feel about a brand and how they
actually behave when making a purchase decision. In this study we investigated the
data provided only by the respondents who confirmed that they purchased CT.
Therefore, a purchase observation study may give different outcomes.

Analysis and results


Drink consumption
Of the respondents, 46.8 percent announced that they consume cola drinks. That was
followed by 20.5 percent that consume non-carbonated fruit juice; 32.7 percent of
respondents signed carbonated, soda pop and other drinks. Preference of cola drinks is
higher among males whereas that of fruit juice is higher among females.

Brand preference
Of the respondents, 82.2 percent has brand preference. CC (66.3 percent) is the most
frequently chosen brand. CT (25.4 percent) followed CC. Although females were main
consumers of CC, it is not the case in CT. Almost 70 percent of CT consumers is men.
Results indicate that male students attitudes towards CT were more favourable than
female students. Finally, 7 percent of respondents chose PC. Last purchased brand
figures depict a similar picture: 57.7 percent CC; 21.4 percent CT; 7.4 percent PC.
In this study CT captured 25 percent of sample’s market share and it can be inferred
that CT surpassed PC in terms of last year’s market share statistics. The findings of the
empirical study indicate that preference for PC has been replaced with CT in Turkish
soft drink market and CC still has the biggest market share.

Devotion to brands
In out-of-stock or non-existence situations, 35.9 percent of respondents buy another
specific brand (that is they have particular second choices), 13.7 percent buy any
existing brand, 15.3 percent would “chase the brand” to a different store, 28.2 percent
buy other beverages and 6.8 percent turn back without buying anything. Thus, while Turkish cola
49.6 percent of respondents prefer buying a different brand; only 15.3 percent of them market
keep searching for their favourite brands and 6.8 percent of respondents do not buy
anything. Therefore a leg of brand loyalty, insistent purchase, is missing in cola
market since almost 85 percent of respondents may give up their brand without any
effort. This may be due to the phenomenon that a cola drink’s primary function is to
make people get cool. However it is not the sole option to meet this need. That is, 161
consumers may easily shift to other brands or products in case of a brand’s
non-existence.
One important question to this may be “what are the favourite brands of those who
insistently chase for the brands?” Answer to this question may illuminate our
understanding of the fundamentals of cola market. Table I shows distribution of
preferences among three brands and also by gender. A total of 105 individuals (57.1
percent of which are male) said that they would look for their favourite brands if they
could not find it in a particular store. Among men, 53.3 percent are buyers of CC and
41.7 percent are those of CT. On the other hand, the gap is much wider in the case of
women – 68.9 percent of them are buyers of CC and 20 percent of them are buyers of
CT. Therefore, CC is the strongest brand in generating loyalty; 60 percent of this
category are buyers of CC. CT is the second brand which buyers keep searching if they
could not find one; 32.4 percent of this category are buyers of CT. On the other hand,
female consumers have a greater tendency than males in terms of commitment to CC.
Another indicator of brand loyalty may be not buying anything in out-of-stock and
non-existence situations. In our study 48 individuals are located in this category.
Among them 72.9 percent are buyers of CC, 18.8 percent are buyers of CT.

Second choices
Among 701 students who answered the relevant question, 35.9 percent signed that they
could buy another brand in case they could not find their favourite brand. Among
them, 63 percent are buyers of CC, 26.6 percent are buyers of CT and 9.9 percent of
them are buyers of PC. 34.8 percent of CC buyers (459 students) said that they could
buy another brand. Among them, 83 (18.1 percent) prefer PC and 76 (16.6 percent)
prefer CT. Of CT buyers (175 students), 38.3 percent (67 students) said that they could
buy another brand. Among them, 55 (31.5 percent) prefer CC and 11 (6.3 percent) prefer
PC. Of PC buyers (48 students), 52.1 percent (25 students) have a second choice, 23 (48
percent) prefer CC and 2 (4.2 percent) prefer CT. The results revealed that PC is the
second choice of 37.92 percent of respondents. CC and CT have close shares, 30.83

PC CC CT Total

Female Count 5 31 9 45
Percentage within gender 11.1 68.9 20.0 100.0
Percentage of total 4.8 29.5 8.6 42.9
Male Count 2 32 25 60
Percentage within gender 3.3 53.3 41.7 100.0
Percentage of total 1.9 30.5 23.8 57.1
Total Count 7 63 34 105 Table I.
Percentage of total 6.7 60.0 32.4 100.0 Devotion to brands
BFJ percent and 31.25 percent respectively. Thus, second choice rate is the highest among
108,3 PC buyers and it is the lowest among CC buyers. Although Pepsi is the highest ranked
second choice of cola drink buyers, buyers of Pepsi easily skip to another brand (see
Table II).

Sales and price promotion tolerance


162 Sales promotion can be defined as activities or techniques intended to create consumer
demand and maximize sales volume for a product or service. Sales promotions can be
divided into price and non price-oriented categories. The benefit of price promotions for
the consumer is a lower purchase price, whereas other promotions focus on various
benefits (e.g. value for money, like two-for-one promotions) (Laroche et al., 2001;
Laroche et al., 2003).
According to Dodson et al. (1978), promotion itself has an effect on the perceived
value of the brand and it induces customers to choose a brand. Sales promotion is used
not only to attract new customers but also to reinforce and to retain more and more
loyal customers (Raaij et al., 2001). Baohong et al. (2003) also affirm that promotions
influence consumer choice by encouraging them to switch to another brand. One
reason for the increase in the use of sales promotions can be a lack of product
differentiation, which makes it difficult for advertising to influence consumers by
touting unique product features. However, for a product with high satisfaction rate,
there may be less need for price promotions (Fornell, 1992). Promotions have therefore
become the key influence in many product categories, because they are a mechanism to
bring the product to the attention of the consumers, and they are being frequently used
for soft drinks.
Among the 692 individuals who answered the relevant question 507 (73.26 percent)
said that they would not change their preferred brand even if prices of other brands
decline. Among these, 349 (68.8 percent) drink CC, 121 (23.9 percent) CT and 33 (6.5
percent) PC. Contrary, there are 185 consumers who uttered that they would change
their preference in case of discount at other brands. Of them, 106 (57.3 percent)
originally prefer CC, 57 (30.8 percent) prefer CT and 16 (8.6 percent) PC. It is worth
mentioning that, only two weeks after CT went on the market, US brands reduced their
prices by 12.5 percent.
Of the students, 266 (38.46 percent) said they would prefer any brand that makes
promotions and 426 (61.56 percent) said they would stay loyal to their original brand
even if other brands make promotions. Theoretically, cola drinks are low involvement
products and their consumers may easily switch between them. Parallel with price
discounts, possible promotions do have a significant impact on brand choice. Almost
one-third of consumers have the potential to shift to another brand if the price is

Second choices
Favourite brand Percent 1 Percentage 2 Percentage

CC 66.3 PC 18.1 CT 16.6


Table II. CT 25.4 CC 31.5 PC 6.3
University students’ PC 7 CC 48 CT 4.2
second brand choices Others 1.3 – –
reduced or promotions are offered. A total of 174 (65.4 percent) of them are drinkers of Turkish cola
CC, 64 (24.1 percent) are those of CT and 22 (8.3 percent) are PC. market
This study showed that premiums (free gifts) were found to be the most attractive
type of promotions. Thus, any promotional attempt by a cola drink company has a
rough possibility of expanding its market share by 38 percent. Thus, almost
one-quarter of respondents are sensible to price reductions and 38.46 percent are
sensible to promotions which illustrate a possibility of high volatility in market shares 163
and somewhat loose overall loyalty in the market.

Appraisals on Cola Turka


Flavour
A total of 63.2 percent of the sample has tasted CT. Among them (540) 57.6 percent
found its flavour satisfying, 14.1 percent unsatisfying, and 28.3 percent claimed no
comment.
This study did not, primarily, aim to reveal the organoleptic qualities of cola drinks.
However, the sample was asked to compare each product’s flavour. Results showed
that 69 percent of the sample found CC as the “best-flavoured” drink. The rate for CT is
23 percent and for PC is 8 percent.

Advertising
Ulker Company is likely to build its brand by focusing on the product through its
name: “Cola Turka”. The brand has nationalist components. This idea is conveyed in
advertisements where American consumers start to adopt Turkish customs after
drinking it. Turkish viewers are offered a pleasing fantasy of seeing Turkish culture
transform behaviours of Americans. Answers revealed that 83.2 percent of
respondents were pleased by CT advertisements.
According to Medya Takip Merkezi (www.medyatakip.com), a media investigation
company, CT has been the second most advertised cola brand with $45.5 million,
following CC ($53.3 million) during the period of June-October 2003. PC’s advertising
expenditure has been $6.4 million in the same period. Since CT entered the market in
July 2003, it can be inferred that the company had assigned a serious advertising
budget.

Brand name
A good brand name gives a good preliminary impression, a marketing edge over
comparable competitors and evokes positive associations with the brand (Rooney,
1995). Companies must have a connection in the hearts and minds of the clients and
prospects associated with the brand’s name. Our study showed that 79.4 percent of
respondents liked “Cola Turka” brand name. Turkish consumer first became aware of
CT before purchasing it. This is the concept of reminder advertising and CT attracted
consumer attention and encouraged them to buy it. Brand name recalls nationalistic
sentiments, Turkish life-style, act of patriotism and positive nationalism.
According to Grocery Manufacturers of America Survey, American consumers are
loyal to national brands of food, beverage and consumer products. A familiar brand
name was the first or second most important element for Americans when making a
purchase in the supermarket. As for CT, being a domestic good and having a familiar
brand name may have affected Turkish consumers’ purchasing decisions. Timing of
BFJ the advertisement campaign also proved to be crucial. Because of the simultaneity of
108,3 the war (and unexpected raid of US troops to Turkish soldiers in Northern Iraq) and the
commercials, national sensitivity was at its peak in Turkey and many chose to buy
national brand rather than US products.

Packaging
164 Appearance of package has an influence in buying decision as well. For consumers,
manufacturer-branded products have clear and distinct identities. Their distinctive
packaging makes them clearly identifiable on sight and the package can change
consumers’ perceptions of the product (Schoormans and Robben, 1997). Of the
respondents, 55.2 percent said that they liked CT packaging and 44.8 percent said that
they did not.

Company image and product origin


A company image is described as the combination of the thoughts, feelings, beliefs,
opinions and visions people have about a company, its business name, products and
services at a certain period of time, tradition, ideology and therefore it is in constant
change (Nguyen and Leblanc, 2001; Laforet, 1999).
As long as the company image appears as an essential strength for CT demand in
the market, it is worth stating that Ulker is the second most popular brand following
Arcelik, a major white-goods manufacturer according to a recent AC Nielsen survey
(AC Nielsen Turkey, 2005b).
Improving a company’s image is one step closer towards enhancing brand loyalty.
64.5 percent, a quite high portion, of respondents find Ulker’s image pleasant (see
Table III). However, company image is such an asset that could be harmed easily
despite abundant expenditures. Thus it is an important yet delicate factor in attempts
to strengthen brand loyalty. Besides asking a question, which simply seeks to evaluate
the company image by directly heading towards consumers, that would be more
analytical to infer it by interrogating brand image. 79.4 percent of students found
brand name pleasing. Moreover, 96.1 percent cited that being a domestic product is a
positive factor. The respondents were asked to utter what the three most popular cola
brands do (CC, CT and PC). We gained a list of positive and negative associations they
have with the brands. Most of the answers involve political phenomena. The one that
CT encompasses is “nationalism”. A huge portion of students 76.6 percent claimed that
the brand name reminds them of nationalistic themes. The sample was also asked to
qualify each brand with a word or phrase. Responses depict a clear vision of brands’
perceptions by consumers. CC was characterized as an “American brand” by 18
percent, “quality” by 10 percent and “addiction” by 8 percent; CT as ‘national cola’ by
27 percent, “advertisement” by 9 percent and “competition” by 8 percent; PC as “bad

Factor Pleased (%) Unpleased (%)

Flavour 67.1 32.9


Brand name 79.4 20.6
TV commercials 83.2 16.8
Table III. Packages 55.2 44.8
Appraisals on Cola Turka Company image 64.5 35.5
flavour” by 13 percent, “American brand” by 8 percent and “celebrities” by 8 percent of Turkish cola
the sample. It can be inferred that CT would be placed somewhere between CC and PC market
in a brand perception scale.
Positioning the brand is a crucial decision to ensure its sustainable success. That is,
underpinnings of a brand should be placed correctly and effectively to defence its
position. Brand name shows that the product has been wittingly located on a point
where nationalistic ideas dominate, and this characteristic has the possibility to 165
surpass the brand and its flavour. However, interestingly, claims have been submitted
that CT concentrate was purchased from Royal Crown Cola Company. Ulker officials
regret such a transaction however; accept that they import a sort of aromatic
compound.
Debates have been witnessed, claiming that CT was anti-American. Evidently, its
commercials do not represent an anti-American setting as well but turn the idea of cola
as an American symbol on its head as New Yorkers who are shown drinking CT
suddenly become Turkish (Advertising Age, 2003). As for its marketing campaign and
company image, CT is far from being a niche brand, unlike new Islamic colas Mecca
Cola, Zam Zam Cola and Qibla Cola. Furthermore, it does not claim to be a religious
brand but imply a soft positive nationalism with the catchword “the acquainted cola,
but à la turka”. Focusing on the name, but not claiming to be better or healthier, Ulker
is saying that CT changes you.
Drinking CT should give the consumer some sort of a feeling just like the “enjoy
happiness” of CC and the “young and cool/next generation” of PC. CT has to have
certain values and beliefs, which have the power to gather people around it, who were
attracted by these values. CT requires more than identity; it needs a personality, some
strong characteristics.

Drivers for purchasing Cola Turka


In the questionnaire, students have been asked the reasons why they prefer buying CT
and why they do not. Since the brand’s advertising campaign was based on
nationalistic grounds, we thought company image, advertising and product origin
(being a domestic good) have significant impacts on purchase decisions; and these have
different weights in males and females’ purchase decisions (see Table IV).
A total of 297 female and 355 male students purchase CT. Flavour, quality,
advertisement, origin (being a domestic good), curiosity, etc. are the factors that lead
female students purchase the brand. Similarly male university students purchase CT
for its flavour, quality, advertisement, domestic good, company image, etc. Though
curiosity is the fifth factor for female consumers, it is replaced by company image in
males’ ranking.

Conclusion
CC and PC dominated immense portions of worldwide market shares. Since they are
the earliest brands, consumers have become familiar with their flavours and have
accepted them as benchmarks of cola drinks. As a conclusion, any brand would need
more time to be qualified as “loyalty creator”. Thus it is simply early to say that brand
loyalty is high towards CT brand. However, as opposed to its predecessors, brands that
come on the market as rivals of CC and PC, CT gained quite a bigger market share. In
line with the results of other market surveys, CC is the first choice of 66.3 percent of the
BFJ
Female Sig Male Sig
108,3 (n ¼ 297) X S (two-tailed) (n ¼ 355) X S T (two-tailed)

1 Flavour 4.59 0.64 0.05 1 Flavour 4.44 0.87 2.45 0.05


2 Quality 4.5 0.66 0.03 2 Quality 4.37 0.86 2.13 0.03*
3 Advertisement 4.32 0.97 0.04 3 Advertisement 4.17 0.97 2.02 0.04*
166 4 Domestic good 4.05 0.99 0.394 4 Domestic good 4.12 1.09 20.85 0.394
5 Curiosity 4.01 0.99 0.31 5 Company image 3.88 1.07 4.65 0*
6 Price 3.93 0.87 0.362 6 Price 3.86 1.03 0.91 0.362
7 Company image 3.9 0.94 0 7 Curiosity 3.62 1.15 0.31 0*
8 Availability 3.68 1.03 0.424 8 Availability 3.55 1.02 20.8 0.424
9 Promotion 3.42 1.03 0.53 9 Promotion 3.37 1.05 0.62 0.53
10 Packaging 3.3 1.04 0.926 10 Packaging 3.29 1.1 0.093 0.926
11 Reference 3.09 1.16 0 11 Reference 2.68 1.12 4.46 0*
Table IV.
The reasons for Note: * There is significant difference at the 0.05 level for females and males’ not purchasing reasons
purchasing Cola Turka (p , 0:05)

sample. CT and PC are the favourite brands of 25.4 percent and 8.3 percent of the
sample respectively. The first choice figures for PC are not compatible with market
data, which sign a market share of 20 percent.
Statistics in the early period of a brand’s life may be misguiding for interpreting
consumer loyalty towards it. Due to the effects of intense advertising campaigns and
curiosity for the product, the market share of CT may be somewhat higher. Therefore,
in order to strengthen its position in the market, the company has much way to go. CT
has at least two particular advantages in expanding market share, generating brand
value and loyalty. First, since it is a domestic product, consumers’ perceptions towards
the brand would be more positive. Given that nationalistic sensitivity is more powerful
in rural areas, the brand could attract more demand in Central Anatolia. Second, it
looks more serious than a plain venture and corporate image and strategies seem to
support the brand. However, brand positioning is such a critical factor that could
misguide the brand. Therefore, CT should strengthen its image and may relocate itself
somewhere a little further away from its present reactive position, which could be
called “moderate-nationalist” (focusing on nationalistic origin of the product). This is
especially important, taking into consideration the former attempts to break the
hegemony of global brands.

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Corresponding author
H. Bader Arslan can be contacted at: harslan@politics.ankara.edu.tr

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