SSAM Company

SSAM Company, the consulting business of Chang-Sik SEOL in Seoul, Republic of Korea, specializes in city branding, perception and reputation of cities, relationships among stakeholders in city development, and operational strategies of destination marketing organization.

Especially small and medium-sized cities in South Korea, which are his focus, need a strategy for city branding and for development of their tourism industry.

Based in Seoul, South Korea

Five hashtags which best describe your work:

#citybranding #destinationmarketing #perception #reputation #storytelling


SEOL Chang-sik studied business administration at DongEui University in South Korea, majored in marketing at the same university graduate school, worked as a marketing and brand strategy consultant, and founded SSAM-Company in 2014. He developed a CRIM (city reputation index model) on the condition that the city’s good perception helps attract tourists, and is conducting ongoing research in this field. CRIM measures the perceived levels of cities according to six areas (pride, asset, participation, perception, experience, promotion).

When you’re not working….

I love my wife and son. I usually try to spend a lot of time with them. Also, I like running along the beautiful Han River. I constantly motivate myself while I’m running. I also enjoy meeting friends in different fields, and to exchange information with them.

Your latest projects:

So far I have mainly consulted on tourism marketing in small cities. I’ve been diagnosing the achievements of cities that have completed city development for the tourism industry, and offering alternatives for revitalizing them. As a representative example, I supported Hampyeong, South Korea, with the new planning and management of tour packages to promote tourism.

While carrying out tourism marketing projects in small and medium cities, I find that the competitiveness of small and medium cities is very weak. So I studied how to solve these problems.

In order for the tourism industry to develop in small and medium-sized cities, I found that consumers should have a good perception of each city. A good perception of a city can arouse consumer interest, and ultimately help attract tourists.

In addition, the DMO, which can push for and manage the tourism industry, has not been activated in many small and medium-sized cities. Many of the cities’ tourism industries have failed to achieve productive results due to political stakeholders. How to solve these difficulties is also a focus of my work and research.

3 key insights from your work you’d like to share:

Perception – The key to city branding lies in public perception. Cities that have secured good perception from the public and tourists will find it easier to pursue a variety of objectivees, including attracting tourists.

Experience – Consumers’ desires change all the time. The desire of tourists also changes. Considering the situation in South Korea where I work, it is necessary to provide a beneficial experience for tourists to attract a variety of tourists.

Assets – Each city and place has geographical, historical and cultural heritage and a unique lifestyle. When utilizing the key assets that each city has, differentiating and sustainable development is possible.

Connect with Chang-Sik Seol through LinkedIn