Branding Innovation: The Case Study of Turkey

Branding Innovation: The Case Study of Turkey

Neslihan Aydogan-Duda (Thunderbird School of Global Management, Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0134-5.ch012
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The impact of innovation on the competitive ability of firms is obvious. R&D activities are expensive, time consuming, and risky. Hence, protecting the rights to any innovative output is extremely important. Given this context, the author delves into understanding how branding works to help companies to benefit from the fruits of their innovation. Patent rights are important; however, as it is discussed in the literature, owning patent rights might not suffice. Business and process improvement without branding could face problems in the 21st knowledge economy. Companies should see brand as a “patent” through which customers emotionally connect and choose their products and services over competitors. Just as patents are designed to provide exclusivity in a market, brand offers that, tacitly, if properly executed. Branding can establish a self-sustaining relationship between customers and the producers thereby helping companies to be protected from patent infringement. In this study, the author shows evidence to the lack of any viable branding strategy on innovation by the few Turkish firms that have filed patents. This explains the lagging of the Turkish companies in internationalizing their brands.
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Branding has been defined in a variety of ways by marketers; some describe it as a symbol while some authors describe it as that knowledge that stays in the mind of the consumer. The latter describes a relationship rather than information. This latter definition helps examine brand equity and innovation. In fact a more accurate terminology would be to call brand a mental patent since once a company develops it, the consumer is not legally but emotionally attached to its products or services.

In the innovation literature scholars have long tried to understand how companies can effectively solve the issue of property rights to their investments. Some of this knowledge is protected naturally as it involves ways of doing things aka what is described as tacit knowledge by Polanyi (1958). The transfer of such knowledge requires face to face contacts as in espionage activities in Silicon Valley where spatial proximity might allow for theft. In most cases as it is described by Arora (1996), any patentable knowledge requires tacit type of knowledge for the owner to benefit from it. In other words, these two types of knowledge, patentable knowledge and tacit knowledge are complementary.

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