According to Brand Finance’s Global 500 2024 report which ranks the 500 most valuable and strongest brands in the world, nine out of ten South Korean brands saw improvements in their brand values.
Hyundai Group (brand value up 36% to USD37 billion), SK Group (brand value up 2% to USD23.1 billion), LG Group (brand value up 8% to USD22.9 billion), Kia (brand value up 9% to USD9 billion), Coupang (brand value up 12% to USD7.2 billion), CJ Group (brand value up 24% to USD6.4 billion), Posco (brand value up 20% to USD5.6 billion), KB Financial Group (brand value up 17% to USD5.4 billion) and GS Group (brand value up 9% to USD5.3 billion).
Despite observing a slight 0.3% decline in brand value to USD99.4 billion, Samsung remained the most valuable brand in South Korea and is the most valuable brand in East Asia outside of China in our rankings. The marginal decline can be attributed to larger pressures such as falling prices, industry-wide inventory adjustments and weak market conditions.
Nevertheless, the brand saw an increase of four points in its Brand Strength Index (BSI) score to 85 out of 100 with a corresponding improvement in its brand strength rating from AAA- to AAA. This notable increase was attributed to the brand’s elevated presence and recognition in the market.
Following behind as second most valuable brand in the nation is Hyundai Group, which saw an improvement of two points in its BSI score to reach 77 out of 100 while maintaining its brand strength rating of AA+. Driving the brand’s performance was its strong positioning in the nation which led to improved reputation and familiarity among the general populace.
Meanwhile, SK Group experienced a slight drop in its BSI score, which decreased one point to 68 out of 100 along with a corresponding brand strength rating decline to AA- from AA. The brand however rounded off the top three most valuable brands in South Korea with a 2% increase in brand value to USD23.1 billion. This growth was attributed to general brand value and BSI score increases across its various subsidiaries, comprising but not limited to SK Hynix, SK Networks and SK Discovery.
In the time period between this year and the last, all three brands sought to either augment their products with Artificial Intelligence (AI) or invest in other aspects of technology, demonstrating their stewardship in technological innovations.
While teasing features of Galaxy AI – a new comprehensive AI experience for future devices – Samsung unveiled Samsung Gauss, its own generative AI model last year. Touted as an alternative to ChatGPT, the model aims to help improve productivity as it can perform tasks such as writing emails, summarising documents and translating languages.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Group announced the production of IONIQ 5 robotaxi, the world’s first fully-integrated driverless vehicle to be mass-produced on a smart, flexible cell-based production system. One of its features is a rider-focused human-machine hardware to allow passengers to intuitively interact with the vehicle during their ride, for instance, directing the robotaxi to make an extra stop during the journey.
More recently in January 2024, SK Group’s subsidiary SK Networks, revealed its plans to invest KRW25 billion in Upstage, a Korean startup focused on generative AI solutions. This investment is part of the brand’s strategic expansion of its presence in the field of this emerging technology.
Alex Haigh, Managing Director – Asia Pacific of Brand Finance, said, “South Korean brands remained resilient and demonstrated growth in Brand Finance’s Global 500 rankings despite the onset of challenges such as global economic downturn and rising inflation.
“Samsung is commendable for securing its title as most South Korea’s valuable brand, along with Hyundai Group, which is the fastest growing South Korean brand in terms of brand value. These achievements are attributed to their pioneering technological innovations and endeavours.”