Story behind individual group member success in idol groups

In Korea, young idol groups have naturally become a culture. Their birth and strategic planning by their management companies now go hand-in-hand. The companies would debut a group with the characteristics that the media wants and what the fans crave for. Then subsequently, they are marketed through the various media to the market. From their debut, idol groups already have a strategic plan in place, including marketing them to overseas markets, all these are under the control of the management companies all along the way.


Korea idols groups are all created with market research as the base. From their songs to their fashion clothing, all of them are determined through extensive market research. To put it bluntly, all the songs, dances, fashion, areas where they are active in, etc are all determined by what the fans would want to see and then put in place by the management companies. To get more fans, they are inclined to meet their wants and needs. Korean management companies are now placing an emphasis on systematic idol groups grooming. An example of this would be Super Junior and Girls Generation under SM Entertainment.

Some management companies in the midst of grooming idol groups usually places an emphasis on certain members whom they feel are outstanding or with potential. In this way, if the group does eventually disband, there would be some of them who are able to stay in the industry instead of just fading away. This would also ensure that idol groups are not just mere fads once disbanded. But then again, there are always exceptions in that certain group members who are being groomed get lost along the way and subsequently exit the industry.


Wonder Girls is an extremely good example. Before they were formed, JYP Entertainment stressed that Wonder Girls only existed because of Min Sun Ye. Be it their “Irony” MV or their public performances, Min Sun Ye would always be placed in the center and the spotlight would always fall on her.


But later on, Ahn So Hee gradually began to make a name for herself and Min Sun Ye was not the one forever standing in the middle. When Wonder Girls was filming the Baskin Robbins Ice Cream CF, So Hee was placed in the most strategic spot. And then later on, when So Hee’s debut movie became a success, her fans even gave her the nickname of “Korea’s Little Sister.”


It’s the same situation with Wonder Girls biggest rivals, So Nyeo Shi Dae. Even way before they debuted, YoonA was already appearing on our screens through CFs and MVs. She even had a role in MBC drama, “9 End 2 Outs” plus often appearing by herself on variety shows. During public performances, YoonA was always placed in the middle despite not being one of the main vocalists.


Later on, fans started taking notice of Tiffany who was always standing at the side during public performances and often fell accidentally. She also managed to show how multi-talented she was during variety shows.


Then it was another Girls Generation member, leader Tae Yeon who managed to increase her popularity thanks to her solo track, “If” for “Hong Gil Dong” drama. Most often then not, Girls Generation would often appear on variety shows with the pairing of either YoonA & Tiffany or YoonA & Tae Yeon.


No matter what, all of them have been through a lot so we should be supportive of them and not bash them unnecessarily. They do not have it easy like you think and we just don’t see how much hard work they had to put in.

Source: Sina China (some additional information added by me)


23 thoughts on “Story behind individual group member success in idol groups

  1. This article is so true!

    Well I like wonder girls and SNSD both, they both have their own charms.

    wonder girls-sexy at the same time cute charisma, sexy is their concept(see their dances, songs, style)

    SNSD-cute charisma, cuteness is their concept(songs, style)

    Their both good, it’s just when you look closely..

    WG has better talent(singing and dancing) but SNSD has better appearances(I know! their surgeon is really great!)
    Just saying my opinion…not bashing…

    Thnx for posting this!!

  2. sohee is my favorite<3 even though she may not be the strongest singer in the group, shes amazing in dancing and so so so cute and dorky<3
    sohee and wondergirls<3

  3. i notice JYP make a song that give spotlight to one member & suit their image
    Irony – Sun Ye
    Tell me – So hee
    So hot – Yoo bin
    Nobody – Ye eun
    Sunmi not yet maybe next song
    i hope JYP produce song will showcase sunmi voice..

  4. I like SoHee, SunYe, and YooBin in the group

    and yeah, SNSD is becoming more popular
    but SNSD has so many antis than Wonder Girls 🙂

  5. wow this was very well written. i totally agree, each group has a few people that the limelight is always focused on and they are usually the ones who have something to offer the crowd, regardless of whether its pure singing talent or not. idol groups are sold as a package, not because of one particular talent. it has to be singing, dancing, personality on shows, shows. yoona was def. the one i noticed the most out of snsd.

  6. #6

    I’m aware than SunYe was in the spotlight for a long time, but the thing is, she is the most hardworking one with the most perservering skills. SunYe had the most experience in training. 6-7 years I believe.

    It would be unfair if a newbie got more spotlight time.

    JYP, I believe, said that SunYe basically formed Wonder Girls.
    Her leadership and comprosmising skills are a must for leaders. Especially of girls.

  7. hmmm… i love WG but if JYP only made the group for Sun Ye, why not just make her a solo artist? She’s trained the most years out of everyone in Wonder Girls…

  8. well when i first saw wondergirls i liked sunye and yoobin, but eventually u start to like the others. oh and for snsd the very first person i liked was taeyeon way before her solo. when her solo came out she became my fav handsdown. but this article is so true these companies know what theyre doing with all that research and adapting their original plans and such cause yoona isnt the center of attention anymore. i think it sorta spread out within the 9 member group

  9. i wish we saw more of ye eun though… but i can`t complain as i love all the members…

    well its like with all groups.. it be in korea or the US… Destiny`s Child is a good example of it… Beyonce was the “it girl”… or boybands… In N*sync Justin was the main guy… B2K you had Omarion… So its nothing new…

    But I wonder why the companies choose the people they do.. In the case of Sun ye its understandable, because she is talented, a great leader, generous, nice, ambitious etc…. but in the case of yoona. what was it?? Not bashing, just wondering if she has something that perhaps Seo Hyun doesn`t? or any other girl in the group….

    anyways best of lucks to bothe groups

  10. this article is too true, i think sunye was too spotlighted in the beginning. I mean dance wise: hyunah was better, vocals wise: ye eun is better. Though I love Sohee most, I adore the other girls just as much. They have pretty balanced love from me unlike SNSD…

    I don’t know why, SNSD just screams for individual love… perhaps because they all have diff projects on hand?

    My #1 is Tiff is adorable! Its so true, her popularity has grown strong. I notice she is in the centre a bit more now. I think we need to give more credit to tiff, most of the girls have been in training for 6+ years, except for taeyeon with almost 4yrs before their debut.. tiff only 2.7 years.

    #2 is Sooyoung, who is not the prettiest member but is slowly gaining popularity from variety shows with her fun personality.

    I love both groups, so hwaiting and thanks for postin this article!

  11. Heh when i didnt know much about SNSD i knew about YoonA
    but now i love SNSD too =)

    SunYe has always been my fave in WG and she looks really nice and natural in that pic she took of herself

  12. this is so true and it applies to EVERY group in the industry. it kind of sucks that it’s like that, but most of the time, the main reason for debuting a group is not really to give people talent, but to exploit that group’s talent for the company’s own material gain.

  13. they make it sound like sunye has no attention at all .__.
    she’s my favourite member ~
    haha i actually want to see more of her 😡

    love you sunye! ❤

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