For Turkey’s National Drink – Less is More

In Turkey, USA on August 7, 2011 by jmpea Tagged:

Since the 1940’s, Raki has been recognized as Turkey’s national drink. The taste, the strength (it is 45% alcohol), and variety of different types of Raki (there are over 10 “flavors”) are all factors that make Turks proud of their drink. Raki continues to flood bars, restaurants and homes throughout Turkey and across the world because of its strong heritage to the country. But what about their online presence?

Based on sales and online presence, Yeni is the most popular of the Raki’s. Since Turkey’s population includes 70% of people under the age of 35, it is no surprise that they value Facebook and Twitter just as much as any other highly internet-populated country. In fact, because Turkey’s mobile penetration is larger than the internet penetration, many Turks access their social media from mobile phones. So Yeni Raki should follow suite by making sure that their online presence connects strongly with this demographic.

Yeni’s main site is strictly for the Turkish audience because that is the only language offered once you enter the site. While it has a very attractive layout, it is lacking vital information such as information about the drink, history of the product, and even contact information. I can understand how they might not feel the need to promote the product within Turkey, but there still needs to be basic content about the drink on the site. For example, one might even miss the social media buttons on the top right of the page because they are sketched in white on a light grey background making them difficult to stand out.

However, the Yeni Raki USA website is quite different. This site engages the audience through various tools such as videos, photo galleries and maps encouraging people to learn more about the product. The tabs at the top of the page make it really easy to find additional information about the beverage and navigate through the site by just one click.  There is no reason as to why Yeni Raki USA is more interactive and user friendly than Yeni Raki, especially when Raki is Turkey’s national drink. Yes, the USA site might be more detailed because it is a different audience (we tend to need more visuals than other countries) and the goal would be to educate consumers about the drink while selling the product. I get that. Yet, the same message should be implemented across the globe.

I recommend combining the sites into one. Offering an option for Turkish or English language as soon as a person enters the site with one URL and similar components makes things easier for one to navigate through.  Having videos and a tab for other products is beneficial for all viewers including those of Turkish decent.  The social media content could also be improved on both the USA and national end.  Since Facebook and Twitter are very popular in Turkey, those are perfect markets to push the product through. Here is another example of how Raki is over saturating the market with too many channels.  My guess is that the 500 people who like the Yeni Raki USA Facebook page would also be fond of liking the overall Yeni Raki page that has 10 times more likes (over 66,000). Creating one “fan page” but integrating the USA and Turkish messaging would be ideal. The same goes for Twitter. There is no reason as to why I have more Twitter followers than both Twitter pages combined.

I say condense the website and social media tools down to one each and concentrate on building the clear concise message for all audiences. Since Turks take pride in their products, that should reflect in the digital world as well. The support base for Raki is strong in Turkey so the online content should reflect accordingly.  Communicating with the Turkish audience through social media while also interacting with other audiences across the world should be a top priority.  After all, Raki is Turkey’s national drink.

One Response to “For Turkey’s National Drink – Less is More”

  1. Very interesting topic for your post, and it definitely made me curious to go out and try some Yeni Raki myself … you know, for professional research reasons. You focused on something that is surprisingly common among global brands – offering a very different experience from country to country largely based on the fact that they probably have two marketing silos working on campaigns and promotions and no one is incentivized to globalize the experience. As a result, the simple solution that you offered to integrate the two experiences is probably vastly more complicated than you and I realize. That, of course, doesn’t make it the wrong recommendation. As you aptly noted, there is a big experience gap that could and should be filled when it comes to social media. More brands should heed the advice you offer in this post, and more organizations should break down the barriers so they can make it much easier than it typically is for this to get done. (5)

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