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Turkish companies which have differentiated

Competition is increasing, new players are entering every field. A new era is beginning in the world of business as the result of low-inflation and falling prices. In such an environment it is thos...

Son Güncelleme: 01.01.2006

Competition is increasing, new players are entering every field. A new era is beginning in the world of business as the result of low-inflation and falling prices. In such an environment it is those who can differentiate themselves from their rivals, whether it is creating a difference in cost control, design, price setting or product management, who will have the edge. As we enter 2006, Capital brought together the companies who are leading the way on this subject, making a difference in sectors from logistics to white goods and outlined their strategies. 


“In most markets there are too many fishermen chasing too few fish. The best fishermen are those who understand the fish better than their rivals. In the short term, your most dangerous rivals are the companies which most resemble your own. The customers cannot see the difference between you. They regard companies which resemble each other as having the same chance. What I am saying is differentiate, differentiate, differentiate.”


This is how the famous marketing guru Philip Kotler explains why companies must differentiate. The marketing guru Tom Peters takes a more aggressive approach than Kotler and says: “Be different or disappear.”


In his book entitled “Purple Cow”, Seth Godin has collected together recent examples of recommendations which have been made for those who want to differentiate and individual cases of successful companies. He summarizes the advantage of differentiation as follows: “In almost every sector and every business, it is the creators of the purple cow who reap considerable rewards.” Godin has two invaluable recommendations for companies which really want to succeed in doing something really different and striking. “When you come up with something really striking, milk the cow as much as you can. Look at how you will maintain it over time and how you can reap the rewards for as long as possible. It is inevitable that the rewards you reap initially will come to an end one day. So create an environment in which you can later invent another new Purple Cow.” The three gurus have identified a common feature in the successful applications of Wal-Mart, IKEA and Southwest Airlines, which have been taken as role models by many companies all over the world. Because these three companies each have their own unique way of doing business, and have differentiated themselves in their sectors through their incomparable applications and the volume they have generated.


There are several companies in Turkey which have differentiated themselves in their sectors through their ways of doing business, their applications, strategies, unique approaches. TAV, Turkcell, Goldaş, Efes Pilsen, Opet, Sutaş, Arçelik, Garanti Bankası and PO are just a few of these companies.


In cooperation with experts, management consultants and leading high level executives in different sectors. Capital has compiled a list of: ‘The Turkish companies which have differentiated.’


Holdings have also differentiated

Some of the leading groups in Turkey are also serving as role models when it comes to differentiating themselves. Borusan Holding, which is included in our list, is active in fields such as iron, automotives, logistics and telecommunications. The Holding has come to the fore through its corporate governance and six sigma applications. In the wake of the 2001 crisis, the group made the decision to expand and initiated a period of change. The driving forces of this changes was the development of the six sigmas. The application of the six sigmas began in 2002, first at Borusan Makine and Borusan Güç Sistemleri and soon extended to all the other companies. These applications are seen as a management model which covers all processes. Such an approach has also resulted in the group being listed amongst those who differentiated. The Ülker Group, the domestic giant of the foodstuffs sector, has also caught the eye through its product development activities. Ülker has differentiated itself through its competitive strength which has enabled it to compete with different international companies.


Boyner Holding has been included in our list as the result of its performance with the new, different business models it has created and marketed such as Advantage and T-Box.


The reason Eczacıbaşı Holding features on our list of those who have differentiated themselves through the importance it has given to technology and its innovativeness.



35 Turkish companies which have differentiated



Why is it different?



The bank restructured itself in parallel to changes in the banking sector and successfully completed this transformation.



Has launched many new products suitable to Turkish tastes. Attracts interest through its unarguable position as market leader



Set an example through its strategy of growth through branding. Bought a brand abroad. Its innovation has made it popular.


Atlas Jet

Has moved closer to the public through its strategy of cheap tickets for airline services, following the example of SouthWest, and Jetblue in the West.



Has redefined the LPG sector in which it is active as the energy sector and broadened the field of its operations. Played a role in the acquisition of Tüpraş.



Played a pioneering role in the discount supermarket category through its simple store design, cheap products and low number of brands.


Borusan Holding

The Holding differentiated itself from the other groups through its concept of corporate governance and the success of its 6 sigma applications.


Boyner Holding

Created new different business ideas such as Advantage and T-Box. Successfully marketed these business models to customers.



The company is the leader in the heating field and differentiating itself through its strategy of becoming one of the first three companies in the world in its field.


Doğuş Otomotiv

Very successful in ensuring customer satisfaction with its brands. Has differentiated itself from similar companies by offering a lifestyle.


Eczacıbaşı Holding

What has given the Holding its edge has been its innovativeness and the importance it has given to technology, while it has also become noteworthy for its concept off corporate governance.


Efes Pilsen

Has reached different groups with a single product, a single brand and successful segmentation. Has secured a competitive edge through its brand management.


Enka İnşaat

Attracted considerable attention with its business in Russia. Has differentiated itself through the timely delivery of quality services.



Has successful realized the transition following the sale of Dışbank to Fortis. Has caught the eye through its rapid growth strategy.



Has become popular through its dynamic credit cards, such as Bonus and Shop & Miles. Is one of the first to apply new technology.



Led the way in the jewelry sector in terms of branding, opening stores and going public. Plays a pioneering role.



Offers a lifestyle with complexes which contain hotels, cinemas and sports centres. Increases the value of the locations when it opens complexes.



Has become popular through its creative new products. Differentiates itself in the publishing sector through its profitability and volume.



By selling its products abroad under its own brand has become a role model not just in its own sector but for many other companies.



Became a role model for all companies through its work on customer relations management. Has realized the best CRM applications.


Omsan Lojistik

Many of its projects, such as Intermodal and Iraq, have become an models for the sector. Has a transparent and stable concept of management.



Together with Aygaz, another company from the same group, enabled the Holding to open up to the outside world in the energy sector. Has an edge through its storage capacity.


Pegasus Airlines

Applies a cheap ticket policy. Differentiates itself by focusing on the 6-7 million people living on the Anatolian shore of Istanbul and neighboring cities.



Became a pioneer in the sector by opening its production processes to the public over the Internet. Launches innovative products in the foodstuffs sector.



The company defines its business as energy in parallel to regional developments and attracts attention through its regional growth strategy.


Sabancı Çimento Grubu

Is a producer on a global scale in white cement. Its regional growth strategy has made it a pioneer in the sector. 


Shaya Mağazacılık

Has expanded rapidly by launching a major offensive, recently bringing many brands, including Starbucks and Topshop, to Turkey.


Step Halı

Has differentiated itself from other companies in the sector through its innovative products. Attracts interest through its strategy of becoming an international brand in carpets.



Has succeeded in becoming a market leader in some products by competing with global giants. Has become popular through its success in product diversification.



Has differentiated itself from others by giving priority to the customer through its concept of "Unimaginable consumer rights ". This has been reflected positively in its balance sheet.



Has differentiated itself by taking risks and thinking big. Successfully manages an airport with a throughput of 50,000 people a day. 



Developed the Doblo model and allocated a significant portion of its production to this product. Has redefined the sector through this product.



The company is becoming a regional power, and its correct, effective leadership strategy has made it one of the most popular companies in Turkey.



Has differentiated itself in foodstuffs through being strong enough to compete with many different international companies in a variety of fields.



The company has become popular through following and swiftly applying new technologies. Its investments in Russia have attracted considerable interest.





Note: Listed alphabetically.