BRIC is more than a simple acronym symbolizing the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China. It’s often a business imperative to sell into these countries, where the population increasingly has income not only for lower-priced commodities, but also for luxury goods. Let’s focus on Brazil.
With an estimated 201 million inhabitants and a land mass nearly equal to that of the U.S., Brazil is a huge player in the global marketplace. It has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with an average annual GDP growth rate of over 4% in the past five years and purchasing power of over $2 trillion. Economists estimate at least 7% growth for 2010. Much of this is due to a quickly emerging lower middle class of 95.4 million people who are snapping up cars, cell phones, new homes and all the items needed for these newly-built homes — commodities and discretionary products that American companies produce and sell.
So is now the time to start offering your company’s products and services to Brazilian consumers? Absolutely. Here are three reasons to start tapping into the potential of this market:
1. The economic future is bright. Thanks to the prudent fiscal and monetary policies of President Lula and his economic team, Brazil was shielded from much of the fallout from the global financial crisis of 2008-09. Though growth rates slowed, the overall impact was minimal, and the country emerged in 2010 to lead South America with sustained growth, strong exports, moderate inflation and decreasing unemployment. It is predicted to become one of the five largest economies in the world in the decades to come.
As an American company, breaking into the Brazilian market is not as much of an obstacle as in other countries. Since Brazilian independence in 1822, the U.S. and Brazil have enjoyed relatively friendly, active political and economic relations. Currently, the United States is one of the largest exporters to Brazil, representing nearly 16% of their $128 billion imported goods and services, followed closely by China.
2. Translation – easy! Unlike countries with high-growth economies like India that have multiple official languages plus an incredible amount of dialects, Brazilian Portuguese is fairly straightforward. When translating your websites, documents and software for the Brazilian market, it’s not necessary to create multiple versions with different vocabulary and grammatical formations unless you are purposely targeting consumers in a specific region or cultural group. Though Brazil has a highly diverse population, with immigrants from Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan, Poland and the Middle East, more than 99% of the population speaks Portuguese. Mass media penetration, such as national television networks viewed by the majority of Brazilians, help to further diminish the need for linguistic variations.
In addition, due to an economy closely aligned with the States, expert, professional translation from English to Brazilian Portuguese is relatively inexpensive and easy to accomplish.
3. There are clear opportunities in particular industries. Among the E7 countries, Brazil is ranked the third most attractive consumer electronics market, as the emerging lower middle class shops for mobile phones, TVs, DVDs and other new gadgets. Their disposable income is also being directed toward purchases of home goods such as washing machines and freezers.
Read about two additional reasons why Brazil is the right place to market your products and services.