The South Korean market is an excellent opportunity for Visa to introduce new products, communicate a new facet of its brand, tap into the lucrative East Asian economies, and partner with many successful multinational Korean firms. Not only is credit card use prevalent in the country but the advanced technological infrastructure and adaptability of the culture to innovation sets the stage for Visa to introduce new products and even improve the brand. In a mature market like South Korea, Visa must set itself apart from competitors through innovative product offerings and partnerships. Where in Brazil and Russia Visa will have to focus more on brand recognition and product trial, instead Visa will have a chance to work on a facet of its brand that it wants to improve: innovativeness. In a country where more than half of private consumption is settled via credit cards; the government encourages its citizens with tax break incentives to use them; and, businesses in a wide range of industries offer promotions for the specific use of credit cards, many are educated about what electronic payments are and interact with Visa products on a daily basis.
Partnerships will be extremely important to set Visa apart from its competitors as well as engage with users through merchant incentive programs. With cards everywhere, the challenge is choosing the right mix of partners in a wide range of industries to tap into their incentive programs as well as differentiate the Visa brand. The first company we recommend partnering with is the major conglomerate, CJ Group. The company comprises of numerous businesses such as biotechnology, home shopping and logistics, food and food services, and entertainment and media. Within these businesses, the company owns hundreds of different retailers that reach millions of consumers on a daily business. For example, Tous les Jours, a bakery chain, can be found all over Asia and even the United States. In addition, CJ’s entertainment and media business produces Korean films as well as manages many of the K-Pop stars that appeal to young adults and teenagers around the world. Like the Walt Disney partnership, partnering with CJ gives Visa access to a powerful Asian entertainment business. CJ’s global reach is comparable to VISA’s and with a partnership; Visa will have a presence in a wide range of industries and markets to target consumers and offer incentives. The second company we recommend Visa partner with is Samsung. Samsung is known for its high standard technology products and most recently its mobile phones which are Apple iPhone’s biggest competitor. However being on the Android system Samsung phones are equipped with a chip known as Near Field Communications (NFC) which is the medium for mobile payment capability. If Visa truly wants to communicate that it can also be an innovative company, partnering with Samsung to introduce a mobile payment app or product is its best opportunity. Launching a mobile payment product with Samsung, at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea would be a timely move for Visa to expand and innovate. As mobile payment options are arising and challenging the card system, Visa can move into this space and stay equally dominant as it has in the last 10 years. Partnering with Samsung would communicate Visa’s initiative to be more innovative as well as tap into the global reach that both companies have. Third, we also recommend sponsoring one of South Korea’s popular teams to show the country and the people that Visa supports them at a personal level as well. The team or athletes we recommend Visa sponsor are the speed skaters. They are the most likely to win in their sport and are possibly the most popular to bring home gold for South Korea. When the country watches hopefully for their favorite speed skaters to win, Visa will get the airtime for sponsoring the team and athletes. Finally, South Korea’s geographic position is also an...
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