Book titled "People Born in the 1990s Are Coming"

Why Dyson, McDonald’s struggle in Korea

Millennials born in the 1990s are different from their predecessors who were born in the 1970s and 1980s. This is the conclusion of a book titled “People Born in the 1990s Are Coming.

The best-selling book, which was published in 2019, got popular across the country after President Moon Jae-in gave it to presidential house officials as a present. 

Its author Lim Hong-tek claims that the 90’s cohort greatly care about work-life balance and have a desire for recognition as well as incorporate fun factors into the workplace.

As end consumers, they are also distinctive compared to other cohorts – they don’t tolerate any corporations that come up with unacceptable pricing policies to just maximize profits.

As examples, Lim picked two companies of Dyson and McDonald’s. The author noted that the two faltered because they failed to win the hearts and minds of those who were born in the 1990s.

Dyson’s innovative cordless vacuum cleaner, DC62 Motorhead, dominated the Korean market in the mid-2010s with its market share surpassing 90 percent.

Lim argues, however, Dyson tried to exploit its monopolistic status with higher price tags here compared to other countries.

This prompted Dyson’s market share to plunge to below 50 percent. Companies that levy higher prices in Korea alone cannot compete here where the 90’s cohort become main consumers,” he said.

In case of McDonald’s, Lim criticized the franchise’s former Korean CEO Cho Ju-yeon, who he contends prioritizes profitability at the expense of product quality. Cho resigned from the CEO post in early 2020.

Along the same line, Lim said that McDonald’s Korea raised the prices of its products for profitability only to see its sales plummet.

When contacted, however, Lim said that the two companies are basically good corporate citizens.

I believe that they will make better decisions and choices in the future because they have good technological and managerial know-how,” he told The Korea News Plus.