Recently, U.S. economists and businesses have been paying attention to the so-called “Korean Wave.” This charge led by Korean electronics company Samsung highlights a worldwide shift in markets that may be crucial to the global economy.
According to the latest Brand Finance Global 500, Samsung is the second most valuable brand in the world, with an estimated value of $79 billion. The electronics giant trails only its U.S. rival, Apple, which has an estimated brand value of $104 billion.
Samsung isn’t the only Asian brand making waves. While the U.S. dominates the Global 500, second place falls to Japan—fueled largely by gains through Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi. While China occupies a respectable 6th place overall, there are also similar Taiwanese waves and Cantonese waves making significant impacts on the global market.
Samsung is the only Asian brand currently in the global top 10, but this won’t remain the case for long. The dominance of American brands hinges primarily on emotional attachment. When consumers discuss Samsung, they talk about the quality and value of the products—but when they discuss Apple, it’s about Steve Jobs and the human values that surround the brand.
Asian brands have yet to develop that emotional attachment, but they’re getting closer. Many Asian corporations are now working with second or third-generation leadership; young professionals who may have studied overseas at prominent U.S. universities and worked for global corporations. They’re bringing new brand strategies into traditional Asian business models, and transforming the future.
With the rise of Asian brands, there will be significant shifts at the top of global brand rankings. Consumers may yet see Asian brands occupying even more of the top positions than it does currently within the next 5 to 10 years— U.S. industry leaders must be prepared to integrate the new brand paradigms.
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