The gold misses in South Korea: Icons in marketing to Gangnam

Publication Type


Year Completed



The case deals with an increasingly important economic, demographic and social phenomenon in Asia –the emergence of career-minded women who are impacting how products are marketed in that region, especially South Korea. The title of the case borrows from the viral video sensation, Gangnam Style that pokes fun at materialism in that country.

The case begins with a “Big Picture” of the economic change that has taken place especially highlighting how women are attaining higher education than in previous generations. This has resulted in women opting for careers and delaying marriage. The main body of the case revolves around the iconic “Gold Misses” which is an updated term for “Old Misses” who shun long-standing cultural norms such as getting married in order to pursue personal achievement. They become role models for wannabes such as the “Doenjang Girls” who aspire to the same lifestyle but do not have the means. Therefore they emulate their opinion leaders only in superficial ways such as by drinking the brand of coffee favoured by Gold Misses. The case also introduces segments in other Asian countries that are analogous to the Gold Misses.


Gold Miss, Gangnam, Consumerism in South Korea, South Korea, East Asia, Asia, Doenjang Girls, Materialism, Gender, Luxury Goods Marketing, Affluence


Advertising and Promotion Management | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Marketing

Data Source

Published Sources


Luxury Goods

Geographic Coverage

South Korea

Temporal Coverage


Education Level

Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate


Singapore Management University

Case ID



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