1. Scale Latin America is a big opportunity. The region, including the Caribbean, is home to almost 600 million people living in more than 30 countries that together produce a GDP of around $5 trillion, which would rank the area fourth worldwide, after Japan, in national output.
2. Diversity Latin America is many opportunities— and challenges. It extends from the southern edge of the US to the northern edge of Antarctica. The area experienced a complex history and brand marketers need to be aware not just of national differences but also of regional differences within nations.
3. Markets Brazil, the “B” in BRIC, accounts for more than one-third of the value of BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands. And while Brazil is the region’s largest market, it’s not the only one. Chile, a relatively small nation of only 17 million people, accounts for one-fifth of the Top 50 brand value.
1. Middle Class The market potential in Latin America is not static. The middle class is expanding throughout the region, although at somewhat different rates. The number of people now officially considered middle class improved by over 25 percent since 2006.
2. Confidence Not surprisingly, wealthier people feel more confident about the future—but not by much. Among the middle class, 77 percent feel optimistic. That figure increases a few points to 79 percent for the wealthy and drops for the lower income groups, but only to 67 percent.
3. Price It remains important, which isn’t surprising considering that much of the population has contended with poverty and even the wealthy worry about radical fluctuations in inflation. As a long-term trend, however, more individuals report that their purchasing decisions aren’t always driven by special offers.
4. Credit Credit is becoming more available as banks attempt to add new customers, opening in areas underserved until recently. Retailers continue to be key sources for credit, particularly in Chile.
1. TV The medium generally receives the highest level of investment, but it’s been leveling. TV is expensive and digital is growing rapidly throughout Latin America because of consumer interest and in some cases, like Argentina, government encouragement.
2. Digital Internet investment is still relatively low but growing sharply. PCs and laptops still dominate for accessing the Internet. That’s because of some spotty 3G coverage and the high cost of data plans.
3. Mobile Mobile Internet access is increasing. It’s highest in Mexico where 19 percent of the online users saying they’ve accessed the Internet via mobile in the past four weeks.
4. Social Latin Americans are social. And social media is a good place for brands to find potential customers. Brazilians have an average of 481 friends. In Colombia, Internet users spend about eight hours weekly on social networks, compared with a global average of 4.8 hours.
1. Choice Consumers generally like choice but it varies in Latin America. Argentine economic policy and other factors have produced relatively limited brand choice, while proximity to the US exposes Mexicans to wide brand possibilities. And Chilean consumers can choose the most luxurious European status cars or the least expensive Indian or Chinese imports.
2. Brand Presence Latin Americans generally think famous brands are better. That’s true of half the population in Colombia, and also in Brazil and Argentina where people are most brand conscious.
3. Brand Contribution Retail and beer receive the highest scores for Brand Contribution, which measures the impact of brand alone on future earnings. Beers often receive high marks, retail brands not as often. The result reflects a close bond between customers and retail brands that have played a role in providing credit to people denied bank credit until recently.
4. Loyalty Latin Americans overall say that when they find a brand they like, they stick with it. Mexico measures somewhat lower in loyalty, which may be because in Mexico brand choice is somewhat wider.
5. Growth Categories Luxury brands are discovering Colombia. In Mexico, the growing middle class is tiring of the multi-tasking life and looking for products that save time and enhance personal health. The most represented brands in the BrandZ™ Latin America Top 50 are retail and financial institutions, which comprise about half of the ranking.
6. Social Responsibility All nations are works in progress. But that notion applies most acutely to Latin America. Although more people are entering the middle class, a wide gap remains in income and education levels. Building a brand in Latin America is about investing in the future of a region.