Since the 1960s Korea has increased its per capita GDP more quickly than any of its neighbors. Yet, while Korea is the world’s 13th-largest economy with some $20,000 in per capita income, it ranks only 33rd in the global brand index, and  remains largely unknown to outsiders.  What is it doing wrong to brand itself?

More than Just Bad English

This article identifies the issue.  Over the course of my 15 years there, I can say that I witnessed some of the world’s worst tourist promotion practices.  For example, just take a look at the new slogan on the official tourism site:  “Visit Korea Year.”  This follows on the tail of the “Dynamic Korea,” Korea Sparkling” and “Korea Be Inspired” campaigns.  And check out this video.

Are you beginning to get the idea?

The tendency to promote themselves on the basis of what they themselves take pride in and find remarkable, ignores the inconvenient reality that outsiders don’t share their internal frame of reference.

Self Promotion vs. Customer Satisfaction

This is a marketing lesson that a company should take to heart since many – especially in the financial sector – still tend to promote themselves in terms of what they believe they have to offer or what they aspire to be rather than investigating the real customer experience. Inward looking Korea forgets the Voice of the Customer.  And so, too often, do financial services companies.

Snap Principle of the Voice of The Customer 

First find the Voice of the Customer.