SiteConfigurationfortheBrazilMarket-01There are a number of hurdles global brands face when entering the Brazilian marketplace. And unlike tough but manageable problems like lower demand or local production challenges, immovable issues like exorbitant tariffs and taxes are harder to overcome. This is why Brazil’s luxury market, in particular, has been such a hard sell for even the most successful brands in the space. Despite this, many have taken on and thrived in South America’s largest economy–and in our latest Digital IQ Index: Brazil Prestige report, we assessed just how successful their digital efforts there have been. One of the most persistent obstacles to reaching the local audience is language—despite its growing middle class and westernizing middle and wealthy classes, Brazil still ranks in the bottom 10 of 54 countries rated for English proficiency. Of the 88 global brands we looked at in this report, just about half localize content through a .br domain (47 percent) or provide some level of Portuguese translation (53 percent). Within both of these customizations, however, there is wide variance in quality. Translated content specifically tailored to the Brazilian consumer is even less common.

While the average number of online videos watched by Brazilians grew 18 percent last year–six times the worldwide growth rate–global brands make few concessions for local audiences. Less than one-third of prestige brands link to local YouTube channels, and only a quarter of on-site videos are aimed at the local market, with an even split between Portuguese subtitles and voiceovers. Although global luxury brands are growing their presence in Brazil and improving in all areas of digital as they do so, the reality is that there are reasons why local brands are so dominant in this market, and they cannot all be attributed to economic barriers to entry. Given that Brazil’s top local luxury brands (Melissa, Natura, et al.) excel at Brazilian-targeted digital, that their global competitors still lag in this area only widens the local lead.

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