Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Made in Brazil
Whilst I think the opportunities in Brazil for European brands are exciting, the creativity coming out of Brazil itself is more so.
Staying with the Walpole seminar from the last blog post, Ferrerinha said that luxury Brazilian hotels enjoy an average occupancy rate of 92% compared to the 50% of other global hotel chains which have a presence in the country. Among those is the Fasano, a hotel chain in Rio and São Paulo that is apparently looking to export its luxury concept. Using the Fasano as an example, Ferreirinha praised Brazil for being “a very creative country” but said that home grown brands are not yet familiar with exporting themselves.
Compared to other countries this could be true to some extent, but look at brands like Brahma, Havaianas and Melissa. The latter two have managed to penetrate a hugely competitive footwear market in the UK that has seen some of its own creations – Dolcis, for example – disappear altogether from the high street.
And these brands are actually a lot more interesting than Fasano. The hotel in Rio is great – and for such a cool, sexy city, Rio could do with a much better offer of hotels – but I’m not convinced there is enough to differentiate it from luxury hotels in other countries. It stands out in Rio because it has no competition.
Melissa, on the other hand, has managed to make plastic shoes cool with innovative designs and collaborations with designers like Vivienne Westwood. The shoes are even scented (like the ones pictured)! Aside from the quirkiness, it’s a practical idea too. That way, you’re not embarrassed to slip them off. And it’s amazing how many people will smell your shoes and be pleased with doing so afterwards.
Havaianas is offering its Selfridges customers the chance to customise their flip flops in store.
Brazilian brands should take confidence from the success of their peers and believe in their originality. A great concept or product is what really matters; the rest is comparatively more straightforward. If you’re a Brazilian brand and would like advice on exports, just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org