Why UK brands must go to Brazil


Marketing Week (MW): Why should UK-based brands be interested in Brazil?

Thomas Fabre (TF): The size of the country and population alongside a growing medium-income class is creating strong growth of consumption.

MW: Which UK skills and industries would be particularly transferable to Brazil?

TF: Both countries have a fantastic sense of humour and even if it is very different could become an amazing combination. When Havaianas paid tribute to Royal Ascot by creating stylish hats, British people really welcomed it.

Even if Brazil has fantastic fashion designers, the British style is unique and so elegant, so that is a good selling point in Brazil. From a marketing perspective, the UK’s digital skills would transfer well to Brazil.

MW: What are the pitfalls that marketers should be aware of when launching their brand in Brazil?

TF: The size of the country, language barriers, cultural differences, pricing complexity due to the uncertain inflation rates, distribution complexity, inverse seasonality compared with Europe and protective barriers.

MW: How is your brand activity different in Brazil to the rest of the world?

TF: Brazilian strategy is bottom-up and European strategy is top-down. Our brand awareness in Brazil is 100%. Most of our marketing is focused on new product stories using mainly TV and press campaigns. We also use out-of-home or brand consumer experiences and events, such as make your own Havaianas, to connect with consumers in a more friendly and warm environment.

In Europe, the brand is younger and has started from the top of the consumer pyramid at the end of the 1990s. Havaianas is creating a lot of storytelling highlighting the emotional part of the brand thanks to the Brazilian spirit. This Brazilian spirit is a direct link to what every European consumer loves about Brazil – vibrant colours, joy, fun, positivism, simplicity and sense of humour.

MW: How will major sporting events like the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games influence your brand activity?

TF: Havaianas is not directly linked to sports, but it is linked to the Brazilian spirit. We will be looking to jump on the opportunity that Brazil has with its spirit in the spotlight of the whole world. It will allow us to connect our brand DNA in a strong and more impactful way with the world.

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