Brazil – the issues UK marketers need to know about

Import tax
Brazil is a protectionist country. Many brands get round this by manufacturing in Brazil or partnering with local companies, but this takes time, research and investment, especially as manufacturing laws are complicated and the minimum wage is high.

Long-term commitment
Launching in Brazil often requires a long-term commitment, as business is very much based on relationships.

Difficulties for small brands
Economic issues and a preference for well-known brands may make it difficult for small businesses wanting to set up in Brazil. Brewdog co-founder James Watt, who is in the process of taking the craft ale business to Brazil, explains: “Import taxes will always be a challenge. We have grown 280% since starting in 2007, and retailing outside of the UK still works out very lucrative for us. Brazil is a very obvious contender minus the taxes and manufacturing laws.”

Brazil is a Portuguese-speaking country and marketers shouldn’t think that English will see them through in all their business meetings. UK Trade & Investment director for Brazil John Doddrell warns: “You will almost certainly come up against business colleagues, often very highly educated contacts, that don’t speak English.”

Conservative media market
All media buying in Brazil is done by creative agencies. The country’s largest media owner is Globo, which controls around 75% of ad spend in Brazil, according to an Ebiquity report. Outdoor advertising has also been illegal in São Paulo since 2007, which is another reason that many marketers opt for digital campaigns.

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