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Management Report

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Top Ten Hit Products of Korea in 2006

Top Ten Hit Products of Korea in 2006

LEE Jung-Ho

Dec. 22, 2006

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Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) recently conducted a survey on Korea's top ten hit products of 2006. Based on recommendations from experts and data culled from internal and external sources, SERI chose 52 runner-ups and asked 5,000 subscribers on its website (www.seri.org) to choose top ten hit products between December 11 and 13. This report analyzes their choices.

The survey shows that a majority of respondents are keen on cultural products such as movies and TV miniseries. Notably, liquor and fashion, which were absent from the top-ten-product list in the past years, were chosen this year.

The final list reflected Korean consumers' desire for improved living style, in parallel with the changing consumption pattern of global consumers. It also indicated Korean consumers' effort to cope with the current economic and social instability. Koreans' consumption pattern boils down to three keywords:

1) Slim and Light - Increasingly, consumers prefer slim and light mobile phones. Consumers' pursuit of slim and light products is also reflected in fashion preferences. At the same time, Korean consumers prefer milder liquors and tobaccos. They go for products made of natural materials, rather than those made of artificial ones.

2) Luck and Fortune - The surging popularity of apartments in Pangyo, located south of Seoul, shows Korean consumers are anxious to accumulate wealth in order to hedge against the future. The wedding business also boomed in 2006 as the year's lunar calendar contained two spring seasons, widely believed to be exceptionally auspicious for marrying couples.

3) Identity - Cultural products inspiring national pride gained notable popularity. Koreans derived much satisfaction from global recognition that Korean actors and sporting figures have won.

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