Keys to Success: Quality and Price

In 2003, total product and service imports to the US reached $1.5 trillion. China accounts for $152.3 billion, which is higher than the gross domestic product of Turkey ($146.7 billion). In other words, China exports more products and services to the US than Turkey produces in a given year. Turkish product and service exports to the US is $3.7 billion. In textile, China is the largest single exporter to the US market.  
The competitive forces in the market will inevitably change when the World Trade Organization will lift all quotas as of January 2005. It will basically become more difficult to compete against Chinese products. Especially in textile, where Turkey claims a prominence, new strategies will have to be formulated.

Attorney John Driscoll in his New York office.

Attorney John J. Driscoll, who follows the Turkish textile industry closely, thinks that Turkish brands can compete in the market by offering quality and price advantages.
Mr. Driscoll works for Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, a New York based law firm that was established in 1957 and currently has 50 lawyers. He is the legal representative of Sarar as well as the prominent designer Atil Kutoglu and as part of his work follows Turkish textile companies attending various international fairs and shows.

“Sarar sets an excellent example for Turkish companies that target the American market”, says Mr. Driscoll. “They have as good quality as an Italian brand, and provide better prices. Since it is impossible to compete with East Asian from a price perspective, it is wiser to invest in brand development. The US market presents a great opportunity for Turkish companies that are willing to take this path.”

Mr. Driscoll reminds us that in addition to apparel and blue jean brands, Turkish designers such as Bahar Korcan and Atil Kutoglu are establishing their presence. He adds that in the highly visible Fashion Week in New York this year, Turkey was one of the two countries that were represented by more than one designer (France was the other country.)

According to Mr. Driscoll, large groups, including Macy’s and Target, now prefer to create their own brands instead of paying huge sums to purchase products from different suppliers. He believes that this strategy shift will make it more difficult for their current suppliers to maintain their sales volumes.

It takes a lot of patience to succeed in the American market. Mr. Driscoll says the recognition of a country is an important factor in the level of acceptance it receives in the market. In Mr. Driscoll’s words, “An ordinary American consumer does not know much about Turkey. It helps a lot to promote the country to the target consumers before the product.”

Another important factor that Turkish companies need to pay attention is to understand the American consumer preferences. “Companies that develop products for the European market have to adopt a different strategy in the US. If you check out the stores in New York, you will immediately recognize that they create new products to match consumer preferences on an ongoing basis. Product development and variation is much less common in Europe”, says Mr. Driscoll.

John Driscoll is a member at various Turkish organizations in New York. He complains that a problem that he encounters during meetings is the language used. According to him, the reason why business opportunities cannot be exploited to the full extent and organizations have limited number of American members is the fact that most meetings take place in Turkish. “When you attend a meeting at the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, everybody speaks English. The announcements are in English. You can comfortable invite a friend to the meeting. Unfortunately same doesn’t apply to meetings of Turkish businessmen”, says Mr. Driscoll.

Having completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University, John J. Driscoll received a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and studied law at the New York Law School.

He currently provides legal advice to apparel manufacturers, textile companies and fashion designers. In addition to Turkish companies, he provides legal advice to French, German and British companies in fashion, software and media industries. His earlier work includes licensing of American and European fashion designers’ products, opening a boutique in China for an American retailer, employment contracts for senior management of Italian and French fashion companies, development of foreign brands in the US, intellectual and industrial rights, branding, patents, and inter-company contracts.

Mr. Driscoll speaks French and Romanian, and is currently taking Turkish classes at the New York University. He is a member to the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce, Turkish Business Forum, Association of Bar of City of New York, American Bar Association and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

(April 2004, 12th Issue)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07