For Brazil, the first half was a runaway, with economic growth rates averaging 4% and peaking at 7% in 2010. The charge cooled, though, and the country that owned the game looked for a while like it might have burned itself out. Inflation spiked and the real stumbled to 2.35 to the dollar. Some said the Portuguese-speaking team could not avoid facing a punishing recession.
There are some promising signs for the future. The last quarter of 2013 showed a surprising 0.7% increase in the growth rate. Inflation backed down to 5.7% from a high of 6.7% in June 2013. The overall growth rate of 2.3% was also boosted by a 6.3% increase in investment. Consumers pending has remained strong as well, and the increasing technological sophistication of Brazilian customers has driven web localization. During the boom, a mass migration to the middle class introduced millions of Brazilians to eCommerce and social media.
Not all of the opportunity in Brazil is online. International franchise expansion in Brazil promises to quicken the pace through 2014. U.S. brands such as Benefit (cosmetics) and Mathnasium (education) are preparing to speak Portuguese, as are non-U.S. brands such as Japan’s Uniqlo (clothing), the U.K.’s Clarks (shoes), and France’s Sephora (cosmetics). Much of the strategy in Brazil centers on luxury brand expansion in major Brazilian cities. Young entrepreneurs in Brazil still see the franchise model as a viable way to start their own business while mitigating risk as well.
The rise of any young superstar is accompanied by the fear of an inability to transition to a mature player, but there’s great hope the country will leave behind boom-and-bust cycles for a more measured tempo inthe coming years. From Acclaro’s view, Brazilian Portuguese remains one of our most demanded languages intranslation and localization projects.
Regardless of who wins the World Cup this year, to take Brazil out of your global expansion bracket might be a costly mistake.