My name is Maggie Maitriborirak and I am the founder of Asian Wellness Academy (AWA) in Bangkok, Thailand. I engaged with Eunsook from DARAMJI earlier this year for my visit to Seoul during which our discussion expanded to how DARAMJI can help AWA grow to reach new customers outside Thailand.
AWA is a Thailand-based social enterprise and our vision is to promote Thai traditional healing through our organic Thai herb product such as herbal compress massage balls and Herbal soak sachet which are made by local village communities. We also have training courses aimed at preserving long-established folk wisdom soon to be vanished from Thailand.
With the Thai beauty/cosmetics market almost saturated, we are turning to target international markets. Korea is an obviously important market for us, with trend-savvy customers with sophisticated needs that are closely followed by customers in other bigger markets.
This was my second visit to Korea. And I chose to work with DARAMJI because my first market research visit to Korea felt somewhat limited. For such a big city like Seoul, making the most out of my short visit was difficult. My itinerary-planning was constrained by information I could gather on the internet. I ended up going around touristy places without a real understanding of cultural backgrounds or consumer needs.
So I was really glad to find out DARAMJI. My brief to them was to come up with a plan to give me insight about Korean market, from consumer’s buying behavior to pricing patterns and the latest trends. And they certainly delivered, well beyond my expectations.
We began planning my visit to Seoul well in advance, and they remained very responsive and informative throughout the process. For about two weeks after my initial contact, we engaged in an in-depth discussion of my business needs which was in itself very useful. DARAMJI brought a great deal of market insight into this planning process so that we could finalize an itinerary that made the best use of my limited time in Seoul.
DARAMJI suggested that we visit different parts of Seoul all with different consumer concentrations; so we went from Myungdong to Shinsadong and Cheongdamdong, covering a truly wide range of consumer groups. We also visited a great number of retail outlets, all handpicked by DARAMJI to sample the diversity of distribution of channels each with different characteristics. Needless to say, all of this was accompanied by DARAMJI’s insightful guide service. They even offered to write me a market trends report after my trip as a summary of what we saw together which would serve to inform my decisions about next steps forward.
All the while, they also made sure to cater to my personal taste. I’m a foodie and love cooking. DARAMJI took notice of this and arranged a special opportunity for me to experience authentic, real homemade Korean food with a private cooking class which was arranged just for me.
Moreover, they even took care of my spiritual needs. As a devout Buddhist, I was deeply moved when I saw that their itinerary suggestion included visits to Buddhist temples and shrines where I could savour moments of spirituality.
My trip to Seoul with DARAMJI was a tremendous success. While it is perhaps only natural that we find challenges in expanding our products and service into an unknown territory, essential for turning those challenges into opportunities is accurate and insightful expert advice to help us understand the new market and build tailored strategy. I am so happy to be able to share that we found just one such expert in DARAMJI with whom we are happy to continue long-term discussions for the future!