The Gold Misses in South Korea: Icons in Marketing to Gangnam
This case, set in 2012, deals with an increasingly important economic, demographic and social phenomenon in Asia — the emergence of career- minded women who are impacting how products are marketed in that region — in this example, South Korea. The case revolves around the iconic “Gold Misses” — an updated term for “Old Misses” — who shun long-standing cultural norms, such as getting married, in order to pursue personal achievement. They become role models for wannabes such as the “Doenjang Girls”, who aspire to the same lifestyle, but do not have the means. Therefore they emulate their opinion leaders only in superficial ways — like drinking a brand of coffee favoured by Gold Misses. The case also introduces segments in other Asian countries that are analogous to the Gold Misses.
This case helps to introduce marketing students to the dynamic changes taking place in an important region in the global economy, Asia, in general, and South Korea in particular. It would also enable them to understand how key opinion leaders like the career-minded women in Korea can drive consumption trends. Students will apply consumer behaviour concepts to understand why new purchasing patterns and users such as the Gold Misses emerge, and think deeper about the sustainability and risk issues of targeting just one segment e.g. the Gold Misses.
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