Published On: Thu, Sep 2nd, 2021

The Missing Brands

Rodrigo Fonseca

Why So Much Beloved Brazilian Brands Are Barely Seen in Foreign Markets

Boca Raton, FL – Because of our occupation, we are obliged to travel around the world frequently. What is impressive is the absolute absence of Brazilian brands abroad, especially in retail. Apart from the Havaianas and some brand of animal protein, you do not see anything. This is for a country that has a powerful and super-productive fashion industry, that is, however, practically nonexistent abroad (we are 33rd in the world, but 5th in size).

We are one of the largest jeans manufacturers in the world, yet abroad nobody knows a Brazilian brand. Finding a Tramontina silverware at a restaurant in San Antonio, Texas, is a revelation. Is a pleasure. But they are very rare.

Even in Argentina, after 30 years of common market integration, if you enter an Argentine supermarket, you will not find a Brazilian product or brand. Take the test for yourself. This cannot go on. What we do in promoting our brands’ exports is little, uncoordinated and lacking in creativity.

Do not blame Governments for that. Creating a brand is costly and time-consuming, in addition to needing strategy and market knowledge. Only the private sector, an industry associated with commerce, can generate such results. Japan and Korea are an example to follow. What they have done in recent years has been spectacular, beating powerful international competitors.

Kazakhstan: how many entrepreneurs in Brazil know that the country is rich in oil, dynamic and with a population the size of Chile, with a higher per capita income. A civil construction market that does not stop growing. Do you know how many Brazilian companies are in that market? Virtually none, apart from a few representative offices. What we sell are commodities, via foreign trading companies. Is that right? We simply do not know the markets.

Another example: Guyana (capital Georgetown). Fastest growing country in the world, with 20% this year. We have a border extension with them, however, no paved roads and direct air flights were only created in 2020 and suspended because of the pandemic.

Anyone who knows Moscow knows that commerce in that city is fantastic nowadays. Luxury shopping centers with prestigious brands from all over the world. Do you know what is surprising? There are no Russian brands. Go to a mall in Brazil. 90% of the brands, at least, are national. Why are we so strong nationally and we don’t exist abroad? We repeat the motto: this cannot go on.

Brand is prestige, status, lifestyle, economic power, right job, economic income of foreign exchange, among others. We urgently need to pursue this goal. Brazil has a very positive image in the world, despite itself. Projecting our great image depends on work and creativity. Let’s go for it: it is everyone’s duty to sell our brands abroad.

In Florida, particularly, this goal of giving visibility to our own brands is even more pressing. Here are many of the influencers and procurement leaders who will pave the way for the Brazilian products and services to gain market share in America. This state, our gateway to the U.S, has become throughout the years a natural showcase of brands such as Bauducco, Ofner, Artefacto, among other well-succeeded cases. That is why Brazilian companies and Brazilian brands must persevere in this effort, proving that they represent quality, sophistication and state of the art design, produce and service.

Luis Fernando Panelli is a career Diplomat and former director of In metro (Brazil’s Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality). Rodrigo Fonseca is the Head of the Economic and Commercial Affairs Office of the Consulate General of Brazil in Miami ,their views expressed here are solely the author’s own and their views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the Brazilian government. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Brazilian government entity.

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