New products, technologies strengthen companies’ brand power
Published : Sep 22, 2011 - 19:21
Updated : Sep 22, 2011 - 19:21
Korea Productivity Center releases 2011 National Brand Competitiveness Index ranking 176 brands

New products and technologies have elevated the brand power of local companies over the past year, whileremaining the market leader has become much more difficult, Korea Productivity Center found in an annual survey.

The non-governmental organization recently released its 2011 National Brand Competitiveness Index of 176 brands in 48 industries. A total of 94,920 Korean consumers were questioned over the year.

According to the survey, the brand power of the kimchi refrigerator ranked highest across industries, as the specialty refrigerator has become a necessity for today’s lifestyle and companies have taken progressive marketing steps to gain market dominance.

Brands of double-door refrigerators and milk were also elevated thanks to the growing demands for premium and segmented products.

The water-purifier industry scored the lowest NBCI points, as companies make little investment in promotional activities with the market nearing saturation.

Large sedans also recorded an overall decline in brand loyalty as mid-sized sedans with enhanced engines and spacious interiors replace them as family vehicles. 

The NBCI of beer brands also decreased with their sales slowing due to health trends, the decreasing number of younger people and the popularity of makgeolli, or traditional rice liquor. 

The survey found that the average NBCI was 66.9 points across industries, up 2 percent from 65.6 points in 2010.

This year, in particular, new products and services have led to an overall growth in brand competitiveness, Korea Productivity Center said in its report. 

In the case of digital TV, whose NBCI increased 4.7 percent from a year earlier, new products such as “Smart TV” and “3-D TV” have prompted companies to promote their products more aggressively.

Smartphones, introduced into the survey this year, also gained more brand power thanks to new products equipped with new technologies.

Fierce competition within each industry was another factor to have elevated the brand power of individual companies, the report found.

The NBCI of online bookstores increased 6.6 percent this year, well above the total average 0.2 percent. With online book sales surging, the competition got fiercer and bookshops made more marketing efforts to attract consumers.

Even though the financial industry showed little progress in brand power overall, there was a major change in the credit card sector.

After BC Card became the nation’s No. 1 credit card brand for seven consecutive years last year, other competitors such as Shinhan Card and Hyundai Card poured more than 10 billion won into advertising alone and their brand power has surged this year.

“Thanks to progressive marketing activities of local companies, each brand has narrowed the difference in consumer awareness. But at the same time, maintaining market dominance has become extremely difficult,” the report said.

According to this year’s survey, the number of brands with 70 NBCI points or more increased to 54, while those with 60 to 69 points were 116, the highest-ever.

Since 2008, there has been a surge in the brands whose NBCI hovers between 60 and 69. Along with some cases falling from the 70-range, companies with previously lower brand power made rapid progress in recent years, the report said.

By Lee Ji-yoon (