Sunday, November 18, 2007

High salaries on the rise in Korea!!!

The number of high-income salaried workers earning over 80 million won ($88,000) per year has increased 7.6-fold over the past 10 years, while employees receiving below 10 million won dropped 36 percent, the Ministry of Finance and Economy said. This should be good news for companies as consumer might be more willing to spend their growing income. Especially high quality and luxury goods sales should be affected.

Read whole story at Koreatimes

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Gambling in Seoul!!!

Macau is making lots of cash with tourist enjoying to gamble their money away. With this in mind Seoul plans to attract more foreigners to its casinos with a foreigner-only casino initiative. Even though gambling does not hold up well in the popular view, the increase in Chinese tourists searching for the next place where to spend their money, is making Korean casinos aware of an opportunity. The travel and hotel industry is surely interested in this as well and it will be interesting to see if this expansion will happen and the effect it will have on local businesses.

Read complete article at Korea Times

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hallyus Number 1 is?

In the past years Hallyu stars have been on the rise internationally. Their increased intercontinental exposure has allowed companies to market their products in collaboration with these popular faces. The Korea Times has conducted a recent survey to see which star is the number 1 representative of Hallyu. Bae Yong Joon, most widely known for his lead role in Winter Sonata has toped the list, with Rain and Song Seung Hoon following him.

See top ten at Korea Times

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Samsung-Armani Phone!!!

To counter LG's offensive and success with the Prada phone, Samsung has teamed up with Giorgio Armani. The company recently revealed the SGH-P520 in Milan and it is expected to be released this November in the EU, with other markets following in 2008. The price is still unknown, but is expected at 650 Euros, which puts it in a similar price range as the LG's Prada phone.

The phone is slightly larger than a business card and has a 3 megapixel camera, outscoring the competition in this area. This seems to follow the trend of offering luxury products to the mainstream market and in my opinion the design is pretty sleek.

Courtesy of

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Order your burger on the phone!!!

McDonald's and SK Telecom have formed a partnership that allows customers to order from their cellphone. On each table there is a RFID device that can be plugged in and enables customers to use a touch screen system to order from the menu. Once the meal is ready a message is send to the phone, while the payment is also automatically processed. This technology is still being tested in a limited number of venues but it could start a new trend. It will be interesting to see how far this application will reach and if competitors will follow.

Courtesy of The Korea Times

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Bottled Water on the rise!!!

Bottled Water is becoming increasingly popular and its sales already surpassed the ones of Carbonated Soft Drinks at some of Korea's top discount markets. The market is highly competitive but fairly young in Korea and projections are supporting further growth. Overall sales are now an estimated 390 billion Won and expected to reach 500 billion in 2010. Water seems to be just water, but smart marketers that can establish their brand well may seek in nice profits in the near future.

Courtesy of Korea Times

Saturday, September 8, 2007

China-free Movement Growing!!!

The words "China-free" on food packaging are becoming increasingly popular in the Korean market. Consumers aren't trusting Chinese health and safety standards completely and prefer products that use homegrown ingredients or from other countries. Even though some consider this movement racist the mayority agrees and prefers products that are labeled "China-free". Korean companies are risk awerse and don't want to get bad PR if the customer is not satisfied with the product quality, even is this means they have to spend more in the production process. This movement is expected to continue unless China can get some positive PR about its products.

Courtesy of Korea Times

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Big Spending on Millennium Babies!!!

Millennium babies, born in 2000, are now getting ready to start school in Korea. These kids represent a new consumer segment as parents start spending plenty of Won on their offspring. Clothes, toys, imported luxury goods for youngsters are just some of items that are popular and make retailers smile. With many families just having one child, sales of high end goods are hitting an all time high. Smart companies are already adjusting their marketing campaigns to profit as much as possible from these new consumers.

Courtesy of the Korea Times

Monday, September 3, 2007

LG-KU990 Camera Phone Viewty!!!

LG Electronics has introduced the LG-KU990 camera phone at the IFA 2007 in Berlin. The new phone called "Viewty" is supposed to further establish LG as one of the main players in the market. Their recently released phones have been accepted very well and given rival Samsung something to think about.

This multimedia phone
could be the first one that truly replaces a stand-alone digital camera. The LG 5.1MP camera phone has some interesting digital camera features featuring a Schneider Kreuznach lens, auto focus, image stabilizer, up to ISO 800 sensitivity, and 120fps video recording. Furthermore it includes a 3 inch screen and music player.

View details at LG site (Korean)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Smokefree Korea???

Starting September, people will be encouraged not to smoke at bus stops in Seoul. The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to launch a campaign designating all bus stops, along with 10 park complexes in the city, as nonsmoking areas. With this initiative they plan to reduce the risks of secondhand smoke and burning incidents from thrown away cigarettes.

The ban is not completely enforced yet and citizens will initially be asked not to smoke, however, they hope that in the long-term it will reduce the number of smokers in the country. A good start in my opinion and it will be interesting to see how the large tobacco companies react. I am sure there will be some kind of campaign from their side.

Read all at Korean Herald

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Summer Street Fashion in Korea!!!

This summer tight shirts, sleeveless tops, short skirts, and Capri pants seemed to be popular on Korean streets. Check out the video!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Multiracial actors in Korea!!!

Multi-culti or multi-racial is hitting Korea. Foreign influence in Korean media has significantly increased over the past years. Foreign actors Daniel Henney and Dennis Oh, who are partly Korean, may have started it, but now there are more and more non-koreans making it onto the local screen.

Japanese-British woman Eva Popiel and Julian Quintart, a 20-year old from Belgium, are appearing on popular dramas and opening the doors for others to follow. Furthermore, foreign movies are also becoming increasingly popular. Marketers should definitely take this into consideration, as non-Korean faces become well known they may change partially the advertising scene.

Read whole article here