Over the past decades many famous American brands have begun to globalize themselves and expand into countries near and far, including Turkey. One of America’s most beloved and recognized pizza chains has made a home for itself throughout five of Turkey’s most popular cities. If my title didn’t give it away already, the deliciously famous pizza place I speak of is none other than Pizza Hut. But it isn’t without effort that makes this brand thrive in countries abroad. So why is Pizza Hut successful in Turkey?
With 45 restaurants spanning throughout five cities, this pizza chain must be doing something right. A big part has to do with Pizza Hut’s ability to translate its product so well into the Turkish culture. With Turkish specific menu items, such as a pizza made with Halloumi cheese, a specialty cheese of the Middle East. In addition, several salad options are available that include the Wheat Salad, Tulum Cheese Salad with Arugla, and Purslane Salad, all with familiar and favorite ingredients of Turkey. Pizza Hut’s ability to allow its food to adapt to new surroundings has definitely contributed to its ability to keep the brand growing in Turkey.
But having good and relatable food isn’t the only thing that Pizza Hut is doing to keep itself recognized among the people of Turkey. It has begun making a footprint in the digital scene.
Its use of Digital Technology
As of June 2010, 45% of the population in Turkey was using the Internet. 16 million were on Facebook, which is the top social networking site in the country, and 804,000 were on Twitter. With a newly designed website (which Google easily translates into English), including online ordering capability, Pizza Hut Turkey is definitely connecting the people with the pizza. With easy links to the Pizza Hut Turkey’s Facebook and Twitter pages, customers can “like” and “follow” the brand on a constant basis. Its Facebook page is updated several times daily with deals and coupons. While its Twitter page is not nearly as active, I believe it is merely due to the much smaller presence the Turkish have on Twitter as opposed to Facebook.
One of its most successful strategies comes from the use of the newly renowned homegrown website, MobilHediyem, which is the newest and fastest way to give a gift. Users can log on to the MobilHediyem site and purchase products and services as gifts, such as a $30 credit at Pizza Hut, for friends and family. The gift is instantly sent to the recipient via mobile phone with a code, which they can use to redeem their gift. This technology, which brings the Internet and mobile closer together, was recently invested in by Emre Kurttepeli, the founder of Mynet, one of Turkey’s most popular search engines. Pizza Huts current presence on the site is opening the door for greater expansion, recognition and business in the future.
Could they improve?
There always seems to be ways for companies and brands to expand in the digital realm. I think Pizza Hut Turkey has successfully positioned itself within the country to reach people on its most popular digital platforms, as well as partnering itself with companies who can help drive its business. As long as Pizza Hut Turkey keeps up and develops its digital presence, I have a feeling it will grow to be even more successful then it is today.