The purpose of this paper is to investigate upon a diversification strategy through market creation of CJ Group, which has contributed in positioning of the firm as one of the leading conglomerates in South Korea. With such objective, the background of CJ Group, followed by its business diversification strategies were explored, with reference to several case studies. The history of CJ Group began with establishment of CheilJedang Industrial Corporation in 1953, as the first domestic sugar producer and exporter of South Korea. The corporation gradually expanded its business ever since at both national and global level, to include the fields of food production, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and life chemicals. Later, CheilJedang (CJ) Group was established as an affiliate of CheilJedang Industrial Corporation. With such independence, extension of business has been witnessed across the industries of media, entertainment, finance, information technology and distribution. Thus, the current CJ Group pursues to define itself as a progressive global living culture company with four major business categories from food and food service, biotechnology, entertainment and media, and logistics. Despite its success in today`s market, CJ Group underwent hardships in its business diversification in 1990s due to indiscreet management, along with the Asian financial crisis. Here, many firms overcame the financial difficulties by taking advantage of the exchange rate for overseas expansion. Though, CJ Group tried to differentiate itself by focusing on the domestic market by creating something out of nothing. Hence, CJ Group takes a unique position among many cases of business diversification and their categorization. In an effort to identify and classify the types of growth experienced by the top 30 companies in South Korea, the firms were categorized into four groups according to their diversification strategies adapted after the Asian financial crisis. Based on the mode and time of entry, corporations were identified either as the ‘Explorer’, ‘Invader’, ‘Venture Capitalist’, or ‘Assimilator’. Here, the majority of the firms showed the qualities of Invader, entering mature markets through large-scaled mergers and acquisitions. However, CJ Group was the only firm that was categorized as an Explorer, for its focus on the newly emerging service sector in culture-contents industry. This diversification strategy through market creation is worth examining, due to its contribution in generating simultaneous growth between the market and the company itself. Diverse brands of CJ Group have been referred to as case studies in this regard, from ‘Hatban’, ‘Cine de Chef’, ‘VIPS’ to ‘CJ GLS’. These four businesses, each to represent processed food, film, restaurant service, and logistics industries respectively, show CJ Group`s effectiveness in creating a whole new category of goods and services that are innovative. In fact, such businesses not only contributed in advancement of consumers` wellbeing, but toward generating additional value and employment. It is true that the diversification strategy of CJ Group requires long-term capital investment with high risk, compared to the other strategies mentioned in the paper. However, this model does create high employment and additional values that are positive to both the society and the firm itself. Therefore, the paper comes to a conclusion that the diversification strategy through market creation conveys the most positive impact relative to the others.
Jeong, Jae Seok; Kim, Nam Jung; Lim, Hyun Joo; Kang; and Moon, Jung Hoon
"Diversification Strategy through Market Creation,"
Asia Marketing Journal: Vol. 15
, Article 1.
Available at: https://amj.kma.re.kr/journal/vol15/iss4/1