The future of brands is female
Over the past 10 years, technology and the internet have allowed consumers to change the status quo of the most valuable brands in Brazil, putting those that best represented them at the top. These are brands that have allowed each individual to amplify their voice, empowering individuality and groups that share the same vision.
Consumer communication with brands is now more direct and individualized: people seek out that which exactly meets their emotional or rational needs. They respond immediately to what has been proposed and what has been delivered; their opinions have a voice and echo among their closest collective, and arrive with the authority given by their peers.
Messages therefore need to identify with individuals as well as social, ethnic and gender groups; there is a need to escape stereotypes and focus on spontaneity.
Top 3 show how it’s done
One of the highlights of 2019 for Kantar Brazil was the analysis of the role and representation of women by brands; we launched several reports on the subject, including “Ad Reaction - Getting Gender Right”, and “What Women Want”.
We found that 76 percent of women believe that their portrayal in advertising is out of touch with reality. Our Ad Reaction 2019 study found that men speak seven times more and appear four times more in advertising than women. Despite the apparent rise of feminism and equality, many brands remain rooted in old stereotypes and have been missing an opportunity to become allies of women.
“What Women Want” revealed that some categories in particular, such as beer and financial services, still portray situations that are far from reality for most women. And this is due, in many cases, to outdated or stereotyped representations.
Women are taking back and amplifying their power. They are demanding that brands genuinely understand what makes them tick and the things that are important to their empowerment, but we can see that the journey is still long. That is because brands not only need to reflect the diverse interests of women in their communications, but also show through their business practices that they believe and act on what they preach.
The three brands at the top of BrandZ Brazil ranking, however, show the power of diversity and fair female representation. Bradesco bank, the number one brand in our ranking, dedicated itself in 2019 to creating events aimed at women, such as #MulheresParaFrente (women forward), focused on the challenges women face reaching leadership positions. The bank also new products, including car loans and car insurance, aimed at women.
Itaú bank (second place in the 2020 ranking) launched a program to inspire, train and connect entrepreneurs, including a video manifesto with stories of female entrepreneurs from various industries, including journalists, chefs, administrators and web developers.
The third brand, Skol, launched a campaign in 2019 to celebrate the achievements of Brazilian women rather than just their physical attributes. The brand created a series of online profiles about remarkable women and encouraged people to share them.
There are still other steps brands should take to increase the diversity of their communication, but strategies aimed at a “minority” group as large as the country’s women are the starting point for brands embracing the plural universe we live in.