The total brand value of the 50 brands listed on 2017 Best Korea Brands is 136 trillion won. The total value of the Best Korea Brand report has risen 6%, from 128 trillion won in 2016, growing at a slightly higher than the Best Global Brands, which rose 4.6% from 2015 to 2016.
Furthermore, the total brand value of the 50 Best Korea Brands is 14.3% of their total revenue, which shows a continuous increase compared to past reports. This indicates that the importance of brand is consistently increasing for businesses.
Best Korea Brands 2017 TOP50
Best Korea Brands 2017: Top Growing Brands
30. Kakao (+31.0%)
Kakao is the shows the highest increase in brand value brand value among 2017 Best Korea Brands. Kakao is evolving into a multi-dimensional platform by successfully expanding its business into the contents industry. In 2016, Kakao generated one trillion won in sales by focusing on content, including games, music, and characters.
In synergy with its music business Melon, games such as Friends Popcorn for Kakao and Kung Fu Panda 3 for Kakao, and high-touch experiences such as the Kakao Friends Flagship Store and the Friends Concept Museum have contributed to the strengthening of the Kakao brand. Kakao is planning to make Kakao Talk the mecca of mobile advertising. An example is its introduction of a chatbot (conversational AI service) that takes charge of booking tickets and ordering goods, and is powered by Kakao Brain, its subsidiary specializing in artificial intelligence technologies.
4. Naver (+20.0%)
In 2016, Naver achieved meaningful milestones which take it a step further towards becoming a “Total Global IT Platform.”
Last July, Naver became the first Korean software company to go public on both the New York and Tokyo Stock Exchange, signaling its vision to become a truly global platform. Its video message application SNOW surpassed 130 million downloads and was designated “App of the year” by Google. It is leading the communication trend amongst the younger generation. Naver’s real-time broadcasting platform V LIVE is also generating much interest amongst users and showing potential as a next-generation platform.
Further, Naver is bringing state-of-the-art technology closer to our lives by carrying out its role as a technology platform. The artificial intelligence technology-based translation/interpretation service Papagois has successfully popularized future-facing technologies by reaching one million downloads in only four months after its launch. Today, it boasts over two million downloads.
Naver enabled free usage of the Naver map API, based on its open platform strategy, which opens business solutions to the public, and has broadened opportunities for small businesses and content creators to meet their customers through Project Flower. These activities have helped Naver to become a successful business platform.
7. AmorePacific (+19.3%)
AmorePacific—the first company to achieve one trillion won in operating profits in Korean cosmetics industry—has successfully demonstrated a customer-oriented approach, which has driven its recent growth.
Customized products and services such as Laneige’s My Water Bank Cream and My Two Tone Lip Bar, Innisfree’s My Cushion, and the Jeju Lava Seawater Boosting Ampoule are perfect examples. Further, AmorePacific is concentrating on analyzing the skin genes of their customers, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Theragenetex Bio Insititute to provide solutions tailored to individual customer’s characteristics.
In the luxury cosmetic field, Sulhwasoo strengthened its position among Asian luxury cosmetic brands by providing a unique brand experience and delivering its original brand philosophy through its flagship stores. HERA has established a foothold for global expansion by strengthening its “SEOULISTA” brand story and evolving its product lines.
AmorePacific, which is already operating successfully in major global markets including China, ASEAN, and North America, is planning to establish a successful “Beauty Belt” by developing new markets in areas such as the Middle East and Western Europe.
29. SK Innovation (+19.3%)
SK Innovation, which set a record in 2016 with sales of 39.5 trillion won and operating profits of 3.2 trillion won, became the first company to exceed three trillion won in operating profits in the Korean energy/chemical industry.
Profit structure innovation through business diversification and improvement of the operational systems has enabled SK Innovation to achieve this record. SK Innovation has continuously invested in its chemical/lubricant business in the past five years to stabilize its oil refining business-oriented profit structure and to meet demands of petrochemical products. As a result, SK Innovation has become the sixth largest producer of paraxylene and largest producer of high-quality, lube-based oil in the world.
SK Innovation has recently acquired the Ethylene Acrylic Acid business of Dow Chemical, and is restructuring its business around chemicals, oil refinement, and batteries to become a world class leader in the energy/chemical industry.
28. NCSOFT (+19.1%)
NCSOFT is one of the “3N of the Korean game industry,” along with Nexon and Netmarble. NCSOFT is a leading game company in Korea and has grown based on the success of major titles such as Lineage, Aion, and Blade & Soul.
In particular, Lineage has held its ground as a classic online game, remaining strong, 18 years since its launch.
The business diversification of NCSOFT, utilizing IP from Lineage, has led to a series of hits recently and is accelerating NC Soft into a mobile platform business, beyond online. A great example is its self-developed mobile game, Lineage Red Knights. Another example is Lineage 2 Revolution, which was published by Netmarble Games has demonstrated the IP power of Lineage, achieving cumulative sales of 206 billion won.
Further, NCSOFT is continuously investing in providing new brand experiences by establishing a separate VR organization, and presented its game story through a VR video clip at a showcase of Lineage Red Knights in order to expand the base of the VR platform, which is expected to be a future growth engine in the gaming industry.
25. Hankook Tire (17.5%)
Hankook Tire achieved one trillion won in operating profits in 2016 through its premium strategy.
Increased sales of their Ultra High Performance (UHP) Tire that boosts driving efficiency by giving cars more grip on the road, along with increased share of upsized wheels, and supplying Original Equipment (OE) Tires to premium vehicles, greatly contributed to the strengthening of its brand image. Furthermore, Hankook Tire is accelerating B2C sales by acquiring Australia’s biggest tire distributor, Jax Tyres.
Hankook Tire never stops innovating to fulfill its corporate mission to “Contribute to Advancement in Driving.” Hankook Tire demonstrated its cutting-edge technology recently by establishing a Central R&D Institute, Technodome, which is dedicated to the research of original and next-generation technology.
In addition, Hankook Tire is innovating in multiple areas—it launched its 24/7 nationwide roadside assistance service mobile application, Smart TBX App, which facilitates customized maintenance of trucks and buses.
41. Lotte Chemical
Lotte Chemical has strengthened its local and global competitiveness and has led the development of the chemical industry through its commitment to building new infrastructure and expanding globally. It is also building a more balanced business portfolio to ensure sustainable growth. Lotte Chemical is becoming a key subsidiary of its parent company, Lotte, by achieving the greatest record in the local industry—and in the company’s history—with operating profits above two trillion won in 2016.
In particular, Lotte Chemical is acting as a socially responsible company by focusing on mutual growth, coexistence with local communities, and ethical management. It fulfills this value through various activities, such as partner support and corporate social responsibility initiatives including education and volunteer work. This has led Lotte Chemical to be included in Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index (DJSI Asia Pacific) for five years in a row.
With its focus on not just growing alone, but growing with partners, and the overall improvement of the society, Lotte Chemical is steadily moving forward to realize its vision of being a “Global Top 10 Chemical Company.”
S-OIL, which achieved the greatest record in the company’s history with operating profits of 1.7 trillion won in 2016, is moving towards its vision of becoming the “Most Profitable Energy Company.”
S-OIL supplemented the instability of its oil refining-focused portfolio by expanding its share of high value products through a large scale investment in new facilities and has enhanced production efficiency and profitability through improvements to existing facilities. Furthermore, S-OIL is working on the RUC/ODC project, which increases the ratio of refining facilities enhancements, and the SUPER project which improves the core process facilities in existing plants.
S-OIL is achieving excellent results in terms of communications with individual customers. It developed additional IP content, leveraging its GOODOIL brand character, and communicated this creatively at various touchpoitns. It also sold character products, utilizing GooDoil Family Animations at its pop-up store. As a result, S-OIL was able to establish a familiar and comfortable brand image which is difficult for oil refining companies to establish. This is an index representing the results of of S-OIL’s brand activities, which are consistent from internal innovation to customer communication.
In 2017, Hyosung was named a Best Korea Brand for the first time, while setting a company record of above one trillion won in operating profits. While maintaining the largest market share in the global spandex and tire cord industry, Hyosung has continued to grow across all business units including its textile, industry materials, chemical, and industrial divisions.
Especially in 2016, while increasing its spandex market share to 32%, it made its plan concrete to become the number one in the world by establishing the C(China) Project Team to target China. Selective winning contracts focused on profitability and extension of new businesses such as ESS (Energy Storage System) and HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) in the industrial field also contributed to its brand growth.
Hyosung was established with the mission of “Enhancing and enriching the quality of life for humanity based on leading technology and management capability.” Hyosung is investing in future growth—having established the country’s first private institute of technology in 1971, it continues to concentrate on R&D and investment to secure its own source technology.
48. CJ CGV
CJ CGV has a vast majority of the market share in Korea and has begun its journey—“evolving beyong movies” to become the “Global No.1 Cultureplex” through aggressive overseas expansion, including China, Turkey, and Vietnam.
In 2016, CJ CGV became the global No.5 multiplex company by acquiring MARS Entertainment Group, the biggest film distribution company. Further, CJ CGV demonstrated its technical expertise through its subsidiary CJ 4D PLEX, while presenting the world’s first five senses cinema, 4DX, and Screen X technology which offers image 3-dimensional imaging.
In order to provide customers new brand experiences, it launched the world’s first reclining bed cinema with Tempur Korea and presented the country’s first Premium Siesta Service, which lets customers enjoy napping at a premium cinema. CJ CGV continues to innovate and grow by strengthening its competitiveness in the global filming industry and becoming a pioneer in the Korean market.
49. LOEN Entertainment
LOEN Entertainment, which started as a music entertainment company with the vision of becoming “No.1 Entertainment Company,” has evolved into a content provider, encompassing everything from music content creation to distribution, by acquiring the biggest music platform Melon in 2008.
It currently holds 30% of the music investment/distribution industry, and boasts the largest network in the industry. Through its K-POP new media channel called 1theK, it provides high quality cultural content to the world. It is also investing heavily in content creation for its newly acquired labels.
Melon, which has more than 28 million users, has started big data analysis and opened its platform to enable personal curation and star connection services. In 2016, it introduced a music recommendation system based on the TPO (Time, Place, Occasion) of the user. It also introduced a curation service called For U and a personal artist and genre analysis system called Music DNA.
Ottogi has strengthened product safety by establishing a food safety center, which the Korea Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (KOLAS) has certified. This is in line with its business philosophy of sticking to the basics and pursuing social coexistence.
Ottogi has displayed true authenticity through its 24 year-old sponsorship of children with inherent heart disease and the transitioning of all its employees to permanent employees
Despite Ottogi’s low profile, due to its humble nature, it is an innovative company with true growth potential. Ottogi’s 3 Minute recipe series is Korea’s first HMR (Home Meal Replacement) and has been a typical convenience food, which has been continuously chosen by customers since its launch in 1981. Moreover, Ottogi has about 30 top-selling products including mayonnaise, curry, and glass noodles.
Instead of settling for success, Ottogi has continued to push trends forward in the food industry, demonstrated by the success of its Jin Jjambbong Ramen and Budae Jjigae Ramen, targeting premium ramen market. Jin Jjambbong Ramen in particular, has driven the Jjambong Ramen fever in the market, selling 170 million ramen in total within a year of its launch.