Branding and User Experience in Turkish Websites


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This is my masters thesis proposal. The real presantation will be available here in July 2009.

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Branding and User Experience in Turkish Websites

  1. 1. Boğaziçi University Management Information Systems Branding and User Experience in Turkish Websites Deniz Utku Master’s Thesis Proposal Thesis advisor: PhD. Aslıhan Nasır
  2. 2. Agenda • Introduction • Turkish users, e-commerce in Turkey, Internet in Turkey, “Brand”, online branding • Literature Review • Porter’s view, 5 Forces for online landscape, branding, new marketing models, design, online brand landscape, • Research Question • Methodology • Contribution • Expectations • Limitations Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 2
  3. 3. Introduction - Landscape • Most of the top traffic sites are social networks, search and news sites. • Half of the top websites are not Turkey based • Some of them are not even in Turkish Source:, Popular Sites in Turkey, 2008 Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 3
  4. 4. Introduction – Turkish users • 66% of Internet users are male, 34% female • Average age is 26 for both sexes • 53% in A/B/C1 SES • 22% graduated from university • 68% single • 45% employed, 37% student • 39% speaks English • 52% has PC in the house • 91% has cell phone • 84% is watching TV daily (avg. time spend is 3 hours) • Avg Internet connection 2.5 hours/day • Average Internet connections per month 22 Source of user data: Nokta Internet Technologies 2008 Source of demographic data: GfK Turkey Report 2006 Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 4
  5. 5. Introduction - eCommerce • E-commerce in Turkey is growing faster than developed markets • Huge potential for foreign and domestic commerce sites • The ratio of online shopping is 3% among Turkish Internet users.2 Source of data: BKM; Internet Card Centre Reports, and estimates Source 2: Taylor Nelson Sofres Interactive, 2002 Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 5
  6. 6. Introduction - Turkey The growth rate of the number of internet users has continued to rise – achieving a growth rate of 183% between 2000 and 2005. 3 Source of user data: CIA World Factbook, 2007 Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 6 Source of penetration data: World Internet Stats Source 3: Internet World Stats, 2006
  7. 7. Introduction - Turkey • Broadband in Turkey started late, in 2003 with 55,000 subscriptions, but with tremendous growth • In May 2008, the number hit 10M.5 • Avg. Connection speed is 1 Mbps • Monthly fees dropping, competition among providers increasing Source of table: OECD Broadband Portal,November 2007 Source 4: Turkish Telecom 2007 Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 7 Source 5: TTNet Newsletter 2008
  8. 8. Introduction – “Brand” • Brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of these, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors. (Kotler, 2004; Aaker, 1992) • A strong brand can accelerate the market awareness and acceptance of a product while reducing the risk of product failure (Rooney, 1995) • The development of a powerful brand requires money, analysis, planning, execution, and time (Sharpe, 2000) Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 8
  9. 9. Introduction – Online Branding • Companies are currently very interested in attracting people to their websites, and to their products (Lacy, 2004) • The Internet inspired marketers to use it as new branding and advertising tool (Reuters, 1999) • The Internet is a unique channel that has its own separate attributes that do not fit the offline branding activities, but also isn’t something that is completely separate from traditional branding (Haig 2003, Ind 2001) • While traditionally pricing, market share, and price heavily influence brand image, the brand image online is heavily influenced by community, site design, and user experience (Christodoalides, 2004) • When buyers need goods or services, they often seek a trusted brand. Brands are important with online purchasing and a company’s integrated marketing communication (Murphy, Raffa, &Mizerski, 2003) Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 9
  10. 10. Literature review – Porter • Does the Internet render established rules about strategy obsolete? To the contrary, it makes them more vital than ever (Porter, 2001) • Despite the recent failures of many e-businesses, the consensus remains that firms will need to develop e-commerce strategies if they are to compete in the future (Porter, 2001) • We need to move away from the rhetoric about “Internet industries,” “e-business strategies,” and a “new economy” and see the Internet for what it is: an enabling technology— a powerful set of tools that can be used, wisely or unwisely, in almost any industry and as part of almost any strategy (Porter, 2001) • Gaining a competitive advantage does not require a radically new approach to business. It requires building on the proven principles of effective strategy (Porter, 2001) Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 10
  11. 11. Literature review – 5 Forces Michael E. Porter, 2001, Strategy and the Internet, HBR Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 11
  12. 12. Literature review - Branding • Users with increased Internet experience ‘tend to rely less on brand names’ (Ward and Lee, 2000) • Consumers rely on the strength of brands which possess a meaningful, clear and trusted set of values and attributes, facilitating their online purchase choices (Reynolds 2000, Ward and Lee 2000) • There is a paradigm shift in branding. Important aspects that need to be considered by marketers responsible for online branding are: 1) the customer’s experience level 2) the amount of information search by the customer 3) the customer’s involvement. (Hanson, 2000) Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 12
  13. 13. Literature review - Branding • De Chernatony and Dall’Olmo Riley (1998) found twelve main themes in their definition of branding drawn from a content analysis of over 100 articles from trade and academic journals and in interviews with leading practitioners in the area. These were the brand as legal instrument, as logo, as company, as shorthand, as risk reducer, as identity system, as image in consumers’ minds, as value system, as personality, as relationship, as adding value, and as evolving entity. Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 13
  14. 14. Literature review – New Models The main issue over online branding is the validity of traditional branding models: • The idea that the Internet is a medium just like TV supports the old way of thinking about marketing, but it just doesn’t work the same way. (Seth Godin, 1999) • While the technology and the economy may be new, the economic and psychological forces inducing consumers to buy specific products have not changed. (Lewis, David & Bridger, Darren, 2000) • Only those firms ‘which practice tried and true marketing and branding practices will prosper’ (Goldsmith, 2001) • Advertisers should not forget about the basics of marketing, since they retain much of its value, ‘even if how and where we apply it has radically changed’. ( Sharpe, 2000) Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 14
  15. 15. Literature review - Design • Improving customer experiences of website use could lift sales by at least 33%. (Gianforte, 2003) • Good website design must fulfill customers’ needs for information or transaction capabilities (Heldal, Sjovold, & Heldal, 2004) • Effective websites require continuous assessment, careful management, frequent updates (Albert, Goes, & Gupta, 2004) and ongoing innovation (Reichheld, Markey Jr, & Hopton, 2000) Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 15
  16. 16. Literature review - Landscape Internet landscape and literature changed after 2001 • In 2001 Porter says: “Internet brands have also proven difficult to build, perhaps because the lack of physical presence and direct human contact makes virtual businesses less tangible to customers than traditional businesses. Dot-com brands have not approached the power of established brands.” • But now, in Interbrand, Business Week, FutureLab “top brands” lists we see pure-play Internet companies like Google, eBay, and Yahoo. Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 16
  17. 17. Research question This thesis will focus on: • Brand building • Brand management • E-branding • Customer experience • Design • Trust • Credibility Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 17
  18. 18. Research question I will compare the credibility, trustworthiness, and usability of Turkish transactional websites with customer reactions and attitudes. • H1: More trustable sites have better chance of being evaluated for a transaction. • H2: Credibility of a site increases its odds of being used for a transaction. • H3: Websites with high usability have bigger potential customer base. • H4: Branded websites are more trustable and credible. Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 18
  19. 19. Methodology • Online Questionnaire – Self-report method – 5 point scale (agree-don’t agree) – Target: 300 people • Checklist – selected websites will be evaluated – 3 judges will assign points to sites Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 19
  20. 20. Methodology Checklist will test ten rules for good online customer experience: (Source: Reuters, 2000) 1) quick downloads 2) keep it simple 3) keep it calm 4) limit the use of frames 5) make it easy to find you 6) stay up to date 7) limit the need to scroll 8) provide a map 9) standardize link colors 10) brand the pages Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 20
  21. 21. Contribution • Turkish web sites will see a huge increase in their e- commerce volumes in the coming years and they need scientific evidence on how to realize their potential. • Turkish market is underserved in the means of exploring the potential of websites. • Turkish online customer population is growing and this research will try to understand their priorities in selecting venues for their transactions. • Benefits of brand usage and self-branding among websites will be clearly identified. Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 21
  22. 22. Expectations • A mindmap of Turkish online customers will be shaped with the help of this study. • Websites will have a roadmap and scientific data to improve their standing. • A healthy understanding of some web design practices will increase the quality of serious online transaction sites. Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 22
  23. 23. Future Study and Limitations • No trusted source of “top sites” in Turkey. • Questionnaire and checklist not ready, measures are not clear yet. • Brand image, offline impact of established brands will not be identified. • No manipulation will be made. Just observation and information collection. Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 23
  24. 24. Thank You for your attention! Questions? Comments? Deniz Utku - Master's Proposal 24