Korean Wave Embedding in Global Market
Korean Wave Embedding in Global Market
  • Reporter Jeong Ye-ji
  • 승인 2024.03.20 17:06
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▲ The design of the newly released product, Coca-Cola K-wave / @sodaseekers
▲ The design of the newly released product, Coca-Cola K-wave / @sodaseekers


  On Feb.20, Coca-Cola launched the new zero product, “K-Wave”. The reason why this new product was such a hot topic is because of the design. Rather than the usual English logo of Coca-Cola, this time, there was a Korean logo written, “囀蘋屬塭”. For the first time in 130 years of the history of Coca-Cola, the company included a specific country’s language, other than English, in a product. 

  The surprising fact of this product was that it was not released in a similar series to the existing one. Naming it “Korean Wave”, it was made as a true Korean Wave concept. Made with inspiration from K-pop and its fandom, the Coca-Cola company had its new market target. The product will be sold to 36 countries including the U.S., Japan, and France.

  Seeing the global fame of K-culture, Coca-Cola is just an example. As K-content is gaining popularity worldwide, global brands are actively using Hangul to promote their products. Italian luxury brand Gucci exclusively released a new product with the Korean logo in Korea last year. Although doubt was cast on its unique design, it was found to be sold on Gucci’s official website.

  So why Korean? Why Hangeul? The answer is the brand power of Korean products. Consumers who encounter Hangeul in their products think that the product is made in Korea or in a Korean-manufactured way. South Korea is depicted as a global IT powerhouse and a country with a fascinating music and film industry. The products that Korean stars wore, or used, combined with Korean technology and methods, uphold the commodities’ image. It connects the premium images accumulated by Korean products in the global market and makes consumers open their wallets. 

  In Indonesia, Hangeul has emerged as one of the new marketing strategies. Local companies are actively using Hangeul as a brand to promote their companies and products. They use direct Hangeul product names, labels, advertising phrase, or sometimes even their brand name. Although local companies produce and sell products targeting local people, they make use of marketing methods that emphasize the connection with Korea. For instance, Inni Food Company recently launched a ramen brand called “Arirang” and began to sell ramen that reflects the Korean manufacturing method. There is also the case of R company, which became the largest hot dog franchise in the country with a Korean-style manufacturing method, along with Korean taste. 

  There are changes in domestic companies as well. Bibigo, Korea’s representative food company, used to export its product in English, but it has recently changed its expression using Hangeul. Altering “Dumpling” with “Mandu”, allowed the Korean brand to be imprinted. Bibogo plans to continue to communicate with global Gen Z consumers through various campaigns. As the company’s overseas consumers exceeded 50%, we can look forward to a wider global change. 

  Today, it is time for “Hangeul” to thrive as a marketing strategy. It is an era when Korean products are recognized as excellent technology and products. Thanks to the long-established K-brand power in the global market, K-wave is continuously flourishing. For companies that prepare, export, and differentiate their products, entering the overseas market would be a good strategy. By branding Hangul, it can be best to express the unique styles and characteristics of Korean products.