Throughout the course of its history, Turkey has demonstrated a strong capacity to manufacture high quality consumer goods. Globalization set the stage for contract manufacturing, and European brands took advantage of Turkey’s relatively lower labour costs. But subsequent economic and social developments in Turkey and the emergence of Asia as a manufacturing powerhouse diminished the previous competitive advantage in labor costs which the country had.
Seeing a greater potential to add value and create a brand out of the high quality products that Turkey had traditionally manufactured, Mr. Sait Akarlilar founded Mavi Jeans in 1991. Within just five years, Mavi became Turkey's number one jeans brand. Mavi was the first Turkish brand to run a commercial campaign in the US and Canada - strategically integrating” the prefect fit” into a lifestyle and kicking off denim trends with Hollywood stars sporting its styles. Speaking with Panaroma Reports, General Manager Cuneyt Yavuz stated that Mavi to this day represents, “a loved brand which is hip, cool, in sync, and dancing in tune with the domestic market.” As a member of Turquality, the brand sets the bar for Turkish enterprises looking to venture into the global market and demonstrates their strength and entrepreneurial spirit.
Since the appointment of Mr. Cuneyt Yavuz as General Manager in 2008, Mavi has seen a 50% growth rate in its European market, most of which can be accounted for by Germany. Mavi has redirected its European focus toward its core market with the GAS (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) Approach. With a per capita jeans consumption of one, Mr. Yavuz sees huge potential in Germany and sets a 28% growth target for this year. This will be accomplished through a lifestyle campaign spreading “Maviterranean” culture from Istanbul to Berlin. In addition to this, the establishment of a European office based in Germany has been fundamental to the company, and last year management made an effort to invite the entire Berlin team to visit Mavi headquarters in Istanbul. Focusing on a more holistic approach to its business, Mavi seeks to establish a heritage brand which places denim in its social and cultural context.
What is the most important lesson that Mavi’s success can teach us? That strong management, a well-developed corporate strategy, and an aggressive and innovative branding campaign can transform a good product into an essential part of customers’ lives. These factors not only have the potential to transform a company’s image, but also contribute to consolidating a nation’s brand. ¨Made in Turkey¨ has become synonymous with ¨made with care¨.