The winds of global uncertainty have been buffeting economies, consumers and brands right across Latin America in the past year.Economic growth has continued to be sluggish; the result of depressed oil prices, currency fluctuation and lackluster demand in some of LatAm countries’ key export markets. Major political changes in several markets have created uncertainty that has proved
less than conducive to government and business investment. And, with inflation running as high as 30 percent at times, consumer confidence and household budgets have taken a bit of a battering.
These are indeed challenging times, yet they also present brands with unique opportunities to build strong, meaningful relationships with consumers.
In this report, we draw on nearly a century of WPP company expertise in LatAm, working with some of most valuable and iconic brands in the region. We couple that with more than a decade of BrandZ™ global brand valuation research, which has tracked over 100,000 brands in 50 markets to identify the key drivers – local and global – of long-term growth in brand value.
These learnings are especially pertinent at times when business budgets are tight and there is pressure to deliver volume sales in the short term. Brands need to know that they are not simply spending on marketing, they are investing in connections with consumers that pay long-term dividends.
The brands that top the BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands this year are those that are deeply anchored in consumers’ daily lives. They’re about friendship and family; they’re dependable and authentic.
What is clearly evident from this year’s rankings is that, even in difficult markets and categories, you can maintain a strong position – and grow brand value.
In Peru, for example, where we have expanded our ranking this year from the Top 10 to the BrandZ™ Top 20 Most Valuable Brands, there has been an overall decline of 12 percent in brand value. Yet the performance of individual brands has been hugely varied. In fact, while several strong Peruvian brands have endured double-digit declines in the past year, others have grown brand value by more than 50 percent.
In the pages ahead, we analyze the unique demands and opportunities for brand builders in each of our featured markets. The picture across the region is varied. In Colombia, there is peace after the long-running civil war but inflation is at record highs. Argentina is adjusting after elections that ended 12 years of rule by the Kircher family, and in Peru, there is hope that the new government will kick- start much-needed investment.
But there are some common threads that run through the countries, rankings and analysis:
The value equation is shifting
Householders are spending more carefully, making more frequent shopping trips, but spending less on each visit. They’re looking for brands that offer great value. That means not just a good price and dependable quality, but also a promise to deliver beyond function and provide an emotional benefit.
Consumers want reasons to trust
There is a strong desire for business transparency, and this extends to people’s experience of products and brands. When conditions are unstable, consumers are seeking brands that are honest and open with them – and that do what they say they’ll do.
There is much positivity
There is caution but also a lot of optimism that things will soon get better. There’s an entrepreneurial spirit and ‘can-do’ attitude prevailing in many markets. People are still buying their favorite brands, even if a bit less often.
There is an opportunity to link creativity and data through digital media
Smartphone penetration continues to rise across the region, giving brands
the chance to be both more timely and increasingly relevant to consumers. When digital technology, consumer data and brand creativity are united, that essential emotional connection is easier to achieve.
We know, through experience in this region and around the world, that brands that invest in maintaining and building relationships with consumers during difficult times bounce back faster and higher when consumer confidence returns. Strong, valuable brands also deliver superior shareholder returns.
I hope this report helps brands in LatAm learn from the past and build for the future.
This report is a collaboration by leading brand experts from WPP companies around the LatAm region. Their insights and Thought Leadership essays provide strategic understanding and tactical advice for brands seeking to grow their presence and improve their brand value.
WPP companies have been working in Latin America for close to 100 years. Within these companies are specialists in advertising; insight; branding and identity; direct marketing, digital, promotion and relationship marketing; shopper marketing and e-commerce; media investment management and data investment management; and public relations and public affairs. All share a passion and determination to use their creativity and resources to establish and build strong, differentiated brands that deliver lasting shareholder value.
Collectively, our experts bring global knowledge based on our WPP experience in 113 countries. By connecting this talent and wisdom, we explore global trends and insights that help our clients in unique and useful ways.
The backbone of all the intelligence in this report is the WPP BrandZ™ database, the world’s largest, customer- focused source of brand equity knowledge and insight, and the BrandZ™ brand valuation methodology of Kantar Millward Brown, a WPP company.
Other titles in our industry-leading BrandZ™ resource library include: The BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2016, the BrandZ™ Most Valuable Indonesian Brands 2016 and the BrandZ™ Top
50 Most Valuable Indian Brands. To download these and other BrandZ™ reports, please visit www.brandz.com. For the interactive BrandZ™ mobile apps, go to www.brandz.com/mobile.
To find out more about how we can help brands across the LatAm region, please contact any of the WPP companies that have contributed expertise to this report. They are listed in the resources section at the end. Or, feel free to contact me directly.