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MySpace is Cyworld in Korea

Posted: July 17th, 2006, by Yunho Chung

Cyworld or simply CY (Similar to Blog but more close to the concept of Web 2.0) has been one of the most successful merger of SK Telecom (or SK Communications if to say accuratley) has ever made so far and it actually creates ‘substantial’ revenue.

CY has been a really interesting social phenomenon in Korea for last couple of years and made huge impact to both general customer and businesses. Creating attractive CY was one of the highest priorities for the FMCG companies and the word ‘CY Marketing’ were newly created which can be interpreted as ‘marketing activities utilizing CY’. Even the politicians or celebrities use CY to communicate with their supporters and fans.

It is like having you home not in physical location but in online space Mini Homepage or widely known as Mini HomPy, where CY users are putting their efforts to decorate it more nicely than others.

‘And here come the secret of making money using CY.

Koreans (In Fact every one in the world) wants to differentiate themselves with others. It is why luxury goods, good costumes, jewels and many more items are sold in high price. But in order to differentiate youself with others you need something, say money, intelligence, degree, class, which is not easy to get instantly. You have to invest such as time, effort, hard working in order to get this.

But CY allows you to have this at least in virtual space with relatively cheap price with shortened period of time. You can be attractive in virtual space and differentiate yourself with mere efforts. It is like having Starbucks or consumable luxury not in real life but in on line. CY will not work exactly same on other countires as it has been in Korea, and there are more than ‘the instinct of questing differentiation’ to explain ths success of CY such as the growing importance of social networking.’

But in business wise, how Cyworld made money? Cyworld saw the businss opportunity (each individual wanting to differentiate themselves in a easy way) and allowed them to achieve that instinct (using digital items to decorate their personal online territory). It is classic business strategy. Find the business opportunity, and using smart STP (especially 10s, 20s) to lure the customers.

This is quite simple version of the success of Cy which is purely my personal view. I am happy to receive more open discussions/questions/ideas.

You can read more detail on CY from recent Business Week article…

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