IF we ask who sets the rules of the game in the clothing sector, I mean who is the playmaker, then there is little doubt that the first brand that comes to most of our minds is Zara. So, why is Zara the brand which comes first to our minds? There is one answer to this question: Speed. Zara adapts so quickly to changes in tastes and preferences that no one else can keep up. Zara’s most important characteristics are discovering new things, applying them, working without stock and, most important of all, offering products at an affordable price.
There are also successful playmakers in Turkey. We asked the leading experts and consultants for the playmakers in different sectors. Based on the replies we received from them, we indentified 16 playmaker companies. Here are the playmaker companies and their strategies...
WHO ARE THE PLAYMAKERS?
Academics and marketing experts say that the characteristics of playmaker companies vary according to the sector in which they operate.
Some companies set the direction of the market through their superior pricing policies, some through their innovative identity, and some through their strength in distribution and procurement. Prof. Dr. Selime Sezgin from Bahçe?ehir University lists the shared characteristics of playmaker companies as follows: “Companies which can be described as playmakers in their own sectors are generally the market leaders and have extensive resources.”
THE ADVANTAGE OF STRONG DISTRIBUTION
Peppers & Rogers General Manager Orkun O€uz notes the importance of the right strategies in order to be a playmaker. “The right strategy may vary according to the situation and sector. The distribution network and the structure of distribution are much more important in countries like Turkey which are geographically large. For that reason, companies which can have a strong distribution can be in a much more advantageous position when it comes to being the playmaker.”
Companies such as Aygaz, Arçelik and Ülker which have a strong distribution network are each a good example of this assessment of O€uz’s. These companies use their pre-eminence in distribution against their existing rivals or companies which are new entrants in the market, and set the rules of the game by acquiring more shelf space.
THE PLAYMAKERS IN FOODSTUFFS
The areas in which the playmaker companies have an advantage vary by sector. For example, in the foodstuffs sector, the most important characteristics of being able to set the rules of the game are the ability to create new products, shelf pre-eminence and pricing policies. Sectoral representatives say that it is possible to use the term playmaker for Ülker and Knorr. Experts describe Sana as a playmaker because its product has given its name to the range, that is to say that it has become a “generic brand”.
Knorr, which introduced Turkey to instant soup and bouillon is a significant power in terms of creating new segments and growing the market.
IN CLOTHING IT IS ZARA AND MUDO
According to the opinions of retailing and marketing experts, the playmakers in the clothing sector are Zara and Mudo. Experts say that Zara in particular is a very successful example. Retail expert Suat Soysal says that the Spanish brand Zara’s strategy of “selling fashion at a reasonable price” has rewritten the rules of the game and expresses his opinions as follows: “Zara’s policy of affordable prices have made it the playmaker.