Staying Connected: From Berlin to Istanbul with Djena and Ece

03.05.22 | by Louise Byrnes

The Central Brand Team is Delivery Hero’s in-house creative agency, supporting a portfolio of brands in over 40+ different countries. With the team Headquartered in Germany, communication is key when working with entities around the world who are located in cities across Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. 

We talk to Ece Karadeniz Bayar, a Senior Brand Manager at Yemeksepeti, based in Istanbul, and Djena Binet, a Brand Manager on the Central Brand Team, based in Berlin, both of whom work closely together on the renowned Turkish brand. We hear about how they stay connected from afar and what it’s like to collaborate on bringing the Yemeksepeti vision to life.  

In 2021 the brand underwent a major refresh that saw the identity revitalised across all touch points, and even though they are based in different countries, Ece and Djena worked closely to develop this project – we learn how!

Djena & Ece

Start by telling me about your roles and what you do? 

E: I’m a Senior Brand Manager at Yemeksepeti and have been working for the brand for almost 5 years, based out of Istanbul. My main task is to lead both the Brand and the Campaign Team – I am continuously working with our planning agency and creative agency to ideate our promotional campaigns across all verticals… amongst many other things!

I always start my day by checking the numbers – I want to keep an eye on how many orders have been placed and see how this is tracking day-to-day. I then jump into emails and catch up with various members of the team depending on what tasks we have on that week. 

One week we could be analysing media performance, another week we could be preparing for a photoshoot – depending on the focus, my schedule will change, but there is always something going on, and it is always fast paced!  

D: I am a Brand Manager working within the Central Team at Delivery Hero in Berlin, and work across many brands including efood Greece, foodpanda APAC, and of course Yemeksepeti! 

Day-to-day I will oversee branding and product development activities, and make sure the team in Turkey have everything they need to shape and communicate the vision. 

Last year my focus was very much centred on the rebrand project and making sure we had everything in place to launch the refreshed Yemeksepeti identity. Now that everything is up and running, we are more focused on the strategy- making sure we are top of mind for customers and the preferred app in the market. The focus is now on the data and making sure that we are continuing to travel in the right direction!

I can imagine there were a lot of meetings during the rebranding? Tell me about how you communicated during the process. 

D: In any normal situation, a brand and an agency would be talking on a weekly or fortnightly basis, the meetings would be very structured and a relationship would slowly build. But with Ece, our situation was accelerated – We had 3 months to work on the Yemeksepeti rebrand, so we got up to speed with each other very quickly! Over this time we were in constant contact, sharing ideas and messages over slack, email or on a video call. 

At the height of the project we would sometimes have multiple calls throughout the day, at all hours to accommodate different time zones. We both had a shared goal, and this kind of open collaboration makes you feel like you are working together in the same team. 

Of course there is a lot of fun that goes hand in hand with all the hard work; lots of travel, good food, socialising and conversation is had everytime we connect, whether that be virtually or in person. 

E: There are always regular calls scheduled with the wider team in Berlin to catch up on various strategy, content or research topics. 

The input we get from Djena and the team at Delivery Hero HQ is great- we love to hear their thoughts and work together to create something brilliant for Yemeksepeti.

Now that you have completed the rebrand, are you still in regular contact? 

E: We stay connected everyday! Whether it be in a meeting with the team, or a quick Slack message  – it is easy to stay in touch and share ideas. I think that the pandemic has made this even easier, everyone is communicating in the virtual world, so having team members working in different countries is just an extension of our remote working situation. 

D: If there are alot of topics to discuss, we will connect formally on a call and work through an agenda. But for smaller day-to-day things, I know I can send a message to Ece at any time.

A trusting relationship is key to our collaboration. We have worked together to create the refreshed Yemeksepeti brand, so it really is a passion project for us! We love the work we do and want the best outcomes.

The teams often travel between Berlin and Istanbul, how does this compare from remote collaboration?

D: It’s great to see each other in person! When we get together it’s not just about the workshops and meetings, it is about the discussion afterwards and the bonding over good food and drinks in the evening. 

Often there will be ad hoc conversations about other tasks or challenges that crop up and we can discuss them spontaneously, often coming up with a solution there and then.

Another great benefit of visiting Turkey is seeing the culture first hand. We do a lot of research to understand the behaviours of customers in the local market, as well as understand the competitors. But when I visit Istanbul, I get to see this for myself and really understand what is going on. 

I love to see our Riders in action, on the streets, wearing their kit, collecting and delivering orders! It is great to experience that in person. 

E: It is super fun to meet up with everyone! The main reason for the last visit was to participate in a workshop all together. This was a real contrast to the virtual workshop we had been in earlier that year – you could really see the change in energy. 

Everyone was sharing ideas and speaking freely, it was great to be all together again. Talking face to face gives us the opportunity to bounce ideas off of each other and really connect as a team.

What’s the best thing about working on the Yemeksepeti brand? 

E: The brand is truly dynamic! We are constantly developing projects and there is always something new to work on, which keeps things exciting! 

Quick Commerce is highly competitive right now, and this is a big part of the brand with Yemeksepeti Banabi and Yemeksepeti Mahalle providing customers with everyday groceries items, and goods from independent retailers. 

It’s exciting to be part of this QC scene and be part of an environment where we see our work making an instant impact and achieving growth. 

D: I have learnt so much! Handling a rebrand is one thing, but one for a 21 year old brand is another, and it all had to be done within 3 months! This really taught me a lot about project planning and collaboration.

What is the best project you have worked on together? 

E: That’s easy – the rebrand! You don’t get many chances to work on something like that, especially on a brand like Yemeksepeti that has been running for so long. 

As a Brand Manager, you already have a set of guidelines in place that specify what you can and cannot do, but this was a chance to rewrite the rule book; from a logo, colours, to a new jingle and tagline. 

The whole project was challenging, but it was so rewarding, and great to do it together! 

D: Of course the rebrand! But at the moment we are working on another exciting element,  product migration- simply put, we are moving our app to a different platform in order to improve functionality, design and generally make the app better and more enjoyable for our customers. 

This has been an interesting project as neither of us are specialists in the area, so it has been a learning process for us to experience together! It has been great to both bring our expertise and really look at the project from a Brand Management perspective – making sure that everything is consistent, aligned, and that the product looks as good as it can for the customer. 

I can say that both Ece and myself are very diligent when it comes to the details, everything needs to be 100% on point!

What do customers love most about Yemeksepeti?

D: The food culture is huge! Turkish people love and celebrate their food, and Yemeksepti goes hand in hand with this passion, allowing customers to order their favourite dishes and have them delivered straight to their door. 

Plus, there is such a strong association with the brand. Yemeksepeti has been operating for 21 years and as it was the first in the market, it’s seen as an innovator. There is a certain element of trust associated with that longevity, and our customers have grown and developed with the brand and seen it change and adapt over time. 

E: Simply put, we are making customers’ lives easier, giving them extra time to spend doing what matters to them. If they don’t want to cook or visit the supermarket – no problem! They can place an order via Yemeksepeti and have whatever they want in minutes. It’s this element of convenience and everyday solutions that customers love.

Describe Yemeksepeti in 3 words.

E: Dynamic, Creative, Distinctive.  
D: Bold, Passionate, Authentic.

03.05.22 | by Louise Byrnes