SEOUL, May 30 (Korea Bizwire) – The government plans to develop a common label that can represent all quality products made by South Korean small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that can facilitate marketing for exports, officials said Tuesday.
The idea is similar to the “cross” label that is used on products made by Swiss companies that pass state quality tests, according to the officials. The Small and Medium Business Administration and the Korea Federation of SMEs will be working together to develop the unified label, they said.
“The brand power of SMEs is too weak, and the companies’ efforts to find a sales route is limited to serving as an original equipment manufacturer,” an official at the federation said.
A survey in February by the federation showed that 83 percent of the 109 SMEs polled experienced limitations in their marketing activities because of the lack of brand recognition. Nearly 28 percent said they would be able to raise their product prices by 6 to 10 percent if their brand is better known, and 98.5 percent answered their exports will increase if they have brand recognition with foreign buyers.
Efforts to promote SMEs so far have mostly stopped at the regional level, with provincial governments each seeking to build their own unique brands.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office, there were some 17,000 such brands as of the end of last year. The efforts, however, had not drawn expected marketing or advertising results, officials said.
“We will be listening to the opinions of specialists and study examples of other countries in developing the label,” the federation official said.