Why reputation matters
Ali Koc’s Fenerbahce win shows how business reputation can influence society.
Ali Koc, member of the Koc Family, last week became the 33rd chairman of the Fenerbahce Sports Club in a landslide victory. He received 77 percent of the votes and beat former chairman Aziz Yildirim, who had been in the position for 20 years after winning the previous election by only one vote. Koc’s victory was greeted by Fenerbahce fans and also hailed by supporters of rival Besiktas and Galatasaray, which is a sign that the level of fair competition will be higher in the coming seasons.
The success of Ali Koc is no surprise. Fenerbahce could be likened to a microcosm of Turkey, as shown by the results of the 7th Reputation Index of Turkey. For the seventh year in a row, Koc Holding, Turkey’s biggest conglomerate, ranked as the most reputable company in the country. Its subsidiary, Arcelik, the leading white goods manufacturer, placed second and Ulker, the biscuit and snacks company, came in third.
The research was conducted by three professors from the Statistics Department of Yildiz Technical University, Ali Hakan Buyikli, Omer Bilen and Resit Celik. They used CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews) to contact 5,000 people in 26 provinces and asked them about companies in 20 industries. The difference between the book value and the market value lies in the reputation of those companies, Ertan Acar, the head of Reputation Group that organizes the research, said. There were eight criteria for reputation measured and the results could help companies raise the level of their corporate culture, he added.
The report could be seen as a navigation device for companies, Professor Buyuklu said. The reputation of companies and industries were assessed separately, including their differences from competitors and benchmark values. The results offer insights into the expectations of the public and companies’ target groups as well as recommendations for ways to increase their reputation, he said.
Besides Koc Holding and Arcelik, Koc family-owned Opet and Koctas are also on the list of most reputable companies. Aside from the reputation index, its subsidiaries are in the top two in every industry where it has a presence.
Both reputation and success are intertwined, based on respect for consumers and improvements generated by feedback from them. The landslide victory of Ali Koc came from the reputation of his family brand as well as his personal communication skills built on that reputation.
The motto of the new era is customer satisfaction rather than profit and those who put profit first will eventually disappear in the new game.