Consumer response to economic crisis and lessons for marketers: The Turkish experience
Gül, Mısra Çaǧla
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Private consumption is the largest component of gross domestic product (GDP). It has a substantial impact on the speed of recovery from an economic crisis. This paper aims to examine the behavior of consumers, firms, and government in Turkey in response to the recent global economic crisis. Turkey was one of the few countries that emerged from the economic downturn relatively quickly. The demographics of consumers, the solidity of financial sector, and the government policies led to a speedy recovery from the crisis through an increase in consumption expenditures. During the initial shock, consumers switched to cheaper goods and decreased consumption expenditures in total. The government emphasized that the impact of crisis would be limited. The opening of credit lines, the temporary reduction in value-added tax and special consumption tax on certain commodities, aggressive marketing campaigns, and a rosy future drawn by chambers of commerce and NGOs in specific promotional activities were influential in increasing consumption. This paper discusses the consumer response to and the marketing lessons derived from this experience.