Worldwide Recognition of Korean Products Grows

The number of buyers of Korean products around the world and evaluation of their quality improved significantly compared to 1988, a special survey by Gallup Korea marking the 90th anniversary of the Chosun Ilbo finds.

Close to 90 percent of the people around the world taking part in the survey were aware of Korean brands such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG, demonstrating that foreigners had a more favorable impression of Korean companies and brands than the country itself as only 37.1 percent of respondents said they have a favorable impression about Korea.

◆ Experience with Korean Products

In the last Gallup survey of the kind in 1988, less than 45 percent of respondents in France, Japan, U.K., and the U.S. said they had used a Korean product, compared to 64.8 percent in the latest survey. The greatest increase was seen in the U.K. from 28.6 percent to 59.7 percent, while the figures in other countries also increased.

While the 1988 survey covered these four countries only, the latest one included the G8 countries plus China. It showed Korean products were most favored in Russia with 93.1 percent. China followed it with 84.4 percent. The most widely bought were mobile phones, followed by televisions, clothes, other home appliances, food and cars.

◆ Evaluations of Quality

Evaluations of the quality of Korean products improved around the world. In the 1988 survey, an average of 63.3 percent of respondents in France, Japan, U.K. and the U.S. gave Korean products good marks, while in the latest survey, 71.6 percent gave a thumbs up.

Fewer people in Japan had good things to say about Korean products than in other countries, but the number of proponents rose markedly compared to 22 years ago from 38.3 percent to 56.4 percent.

Meanwhile, an average of 76.6 percent of respondents in the G8 countries plus China said they are willing to buy Korean products in the future, while only 23.4 percent said they are not. In most of the countries surveyed, up to 70 percent of respondents were interested in buying Korean products but in Japan the proportion was only 50.8 percent. Topping the list of Korean-made products respondents wished to purchase were cars, followed by TVs, other electronic home appliances and mobile phones.

The Americans and the French preferred Korean TVs, while Britons and Italians favored home appliances and the Chinese opted for mobile phones. Korean food topped the list among Japanese respondents.

Some 95.2 percent of respondents said they knew Samsung and Hyundai, while 93.9 percent said they heard of LG. In most countries, between 80 to 90 percent of respondents were aware of major Korean brands, but in Japan only between 60 to 70 percent.

The survey was conducted in Korea on Feb. 24 by interviewing 526 people, while surveys in the other nine countries were taken between Feb. 8 to 11 targeting around 500 respondents per country by e-mail. The margin of error was a hefty 4.3 percent and the confidence level 95 percent.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 06, 2010 08:06 KST