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Subject Brand management becomes a major trend in local areas
No 48 Name IP_Park Date 2006/03/23 16:47:19 Homepage

- Local governments meet the era of brand management -  

According to Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO, Commissioner JUN, Sang Woo), the enthusiastic trend of brand management is not only hitting commercial companies, but also local governments. In order to revitalize the local economy, local governments are branding their local names, products, and handicrafts.  

The number of applications made by local governments (including public enterprises) last year was 1,387, showing a high application rate over 1,000 for three consecutive years.  

With 243 applications, Jeollabuk-do filed the most, followed by Jeollanam-do with 205, Gyeonggi-do with 196, Chungcheongnam-do with 177 and Gyeongsangnam-do with 143.  
In Jeollabuk-do, Wanju-gun filed more than 100 applications to brand “Kongjui-Patjui (a Korean fairy tale similar to Cinderella),” and “EAU de ROSEE (an excellent wine).” Also, taking advantage of its natural environment, local products and studio for the famous drama “Everlasting Admiral Soon Shin Lee,” Buan-gun filed 40 unique brands such as “Welcome to the Winds of Hope,” “Buan-ppong,” “Baram-ppong,” “Dining table of Chosun General, Chosun Navy and Choongmogong,”. The application rate from Jeollabuk-do has increased drastically by these two local governments. In Jeollanam-do, Gwangyang-si filed 46 applications to emphasize local image (Gwangyang, the city of flowers and forests), to promote tourist’s village (Dosunguksa Village), and to brand local products (Sumgingang Toad, Honey dried Persimmons, and dajungdagam).  

Since local products are mostly foodstuffs, 517 (37%) applications were related to sweets/foods/beverages, followed by 374 (27%) related to local service, 99 (7%) related to furniture/kitchenware, 80 (6%) related to fabric/clothing, and 67 (5%) related to chemicals/medicines/cosmetics.  

Recent success in brand management has created a title of  ‘Superstar Local Government.’  

Jangseong-gun, Jeollanam-do, raised “Hong, Gil Dong” as its representative brand. Through tourism projects, such as construction of an exhibition center and holding a festival, Jangseong-gun attracted 180 thousand tourists last year. It generated revenue worth KRW 200 million (USD 204 thousand) through royalty fees from licensing contracts.  

Hampyeong-gun, Jeollanam-do, raised “Nabi (butterfly)” as its representative brand. “Nabi” symbolizes the image of an unpolluted environment. During the past five years, the local government generated huge revenue worth 50 billion KRW (51 million USD) through “Hampyeong Nabi Grand Festival,” and another KRW 3.8 billion (USD 3.9 million) through its “Nareda” brand, a depiction of “Nabi.”  

Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, also raised a brand “Clear Water  Yangpyeong,” to symbolize the image of an unpolluted environment. The local government granted user rights for agricultural families who practiced environment-friendly measures. Such efforts for high quality has made “Clear Water clear Yangpyeong” recognized as a brand for top grade products. The brand now represents more than 280 products, including rice, cucumber, cabbage, and eggplant, and the total sales for these products is more than KRW 1.5 billion (USD 1.5 million) annually.  

Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do, developed mud cosmetics using its foreshore in 1996. Last year, sales reached KRW 1.7 billion (USD 1.7 million).  Through the idea of “Mud Festival,” the brand value of “Boryeong Mud,” has increased rapidly. The economic effect of  “Boryeong Mud” is estimated to be about KRW 30 billion (USD 31 million).  

None of these areas has uniquely different local products or abundant tourism resources. However, as local governments developed and raised their unique brands with entrepreneurial mind, they accomplished great success with good ideas and good products. They are now recognized as successful local governments benchmarked by others.  

The increase of applications during the past 3 years seems to be a result of the support from KIPO toward local governments, such as opening a presentation. From 2003 to last year, KIPO opened a total of 117 presentations for local governments.  

KIPO is planning to open local presentations on “Securing rights for brand/designs,” starting this March. Professors, patent attorneys, brand consultants, and KIPO examiners will be included among the instructors to reinforce professionalism. Also, by hearing the inquiries of local residents in advance, KIPO is planning to provide total service related to brand development, securing rights, and management strategy.  
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