10 trends in Latin America Warc Trends
10 trends in Latin America
Latin America is embracing technology, education and entrepreneurialism and consumers are welcoming brands
asagentsofsocialtransformation.ATrendwatching.comreportfromitsSoPauloofficegivespointerstoanybrand operating, or planning to, in the region
The consumer market is growing rapidly throughout Latin America. And one thing has been rising faster than income for
consumers in South and Central America, and that's their expectations. Fuelled by rising incomes and greater access to
information, the region's rapidly emerging and expanding consumer class is demanding, yet optimistic, about new brands,
products and experiences. Here are 10 trends to consider when catering to these enthusiastic, yet expectant, Latin
In the coming years, digital goods, services and data will bring more of Latin America's poor into the consumer arena thanks to
reduced costs, improved access to finance and better information. Brands in the region should think about how to accelerate
the process, and help customers get on the right side of the digital divide.
Brazilian telecoms company TIM launched a project to empower entrepreneurs in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The TIM
Plural Conectados web platform features 'Seu Trabalho' (Your Work), a space where users can set up a profile and find
freelance work; and Seu Bolso (Your Wallet), a personal budgeting tool. As part of the project, the telecoms brand organised
free workshops for registered customers to receive professional training within the favelas.
2. Sin sombrero
Many of Latin America's creative business minds are turning inward for inspiration; having the confidence, curiosity and pride
to explore the region's culture and history in fresh, modern ways. This is spurring a new breed of brands, products and
campaignsthatmovebeyondculturalclichsbyincorporatingexcitingcontemporarytechnologyordesign.Traditional,yetstylish; popular, but also brilliant, consumers in both Latin America and the rest of the world will lap up updates to formulaic
and outdated relics (no more sombreros please). Nobrand is a Buenos Aires-based design company that creates stylish, non-
3. Puerta a puerta 2.0
Direct selling remains a giant force in Latin America, with more than 10 million direct sellers and sales of over US$28 billion.
Title: 10 trends in Latin AmericaSource: Warc TrendsIssue: October 2013
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Latin shoppers appreciate and trust the personal touch (especially useful for consumers entering new categories), while
sellers are attracted by the promise of supplementary income. Now, this channel is adapting and accelerating with the
introduction of digital technologies and proliferation of social networks.
Juv&You, a social selling platform for jewellery that launched in Brazil in October 2012, invites women to sell accessories for
an average commission of 20%. Each seller has an online sales page, but is also encouraged to organise sales gatherings
(similar to Tupperware parties) where they show the products in person or with a tablet.
4. Bright is beautiful
Smart is the new status symbol. Historically, education hasn't been an overwhelming priority for much of the region's
population, seemingly out of reach (due to the cost) and not always relevant (in day-to-day life). But now Latin consumers are
re-evaluating education, with many feeling more inspired and able to invest in themselves and more confident that knowledge
will result in a better future.
Mexican bookstore chain Gandhi launched a campaign, Sigue Leyendo (Keep Reading), to encourage people to read more.
Mexicans read less than a book a year on average, while many view foreign language films in cinemas. The book retailer
installed counters in several movie theatres that displayed the number of words shown in the films' subtitles. At the end of the
feature, the audience was informed that they had read the equivalent amount to a novel by a famous writer. The viewers were
urged to keep reading and offered a 30% discount from the bookstore.
Filled with energy and confidence, and tired of waiting for government action, civic-minded consumers in Latin America are
coming together and engaging in projects to restore the cities they inhabit. By highlighting flaws, if not initiating solutions,
these 'Civicsumers' are doing what they can to improve urban life.
UrbanismoenLneaisafreemobileappfromColombiathatallowscitizenstodenouncealackofsignage,brokenstreetlightsor sidewalks in poor condition with geotagging. Users can add photos, videos and text about the problem to an online map,
and follow updates on whether it is solved. Available for 14 Colombian cities, the platform works like a game. Depending on
the number of tags the user makes, and how many people report being affected by that tag, they can earn badges such as
'handyman', 'official handyman' and 'master handyman'.
The high value placed on friends, family and strong personal relationships means Latin consumers are some of the most social
in the world, spending 56% more time on social networks than the global average. Which explains why, in September 2012,
Italian car-maker Fiat launched the new Punto in Brazil with a feature that lets drivers access their social networks while
behind the wheel. Fiat Social Drive enables drivers to set up an account online and register which friends and news sources
they wish to receive updates from. Messages, alerts and updates are played through the vehicle's speakers; responses can
be sent through voice commands.
7. For your eyes only
The luxury sphere in Latin America is changing rapidly. Alongside an explosion in traditional luxury goods (Bain forecasts
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Brazil's luxury market growing at 15-25% a year for the next five years), many of Latin America's most discerning shoppers are
now embracing inconspicuous consumption.
As the number of people with access to previously-out-of-reach goods and experiences increases, the desire to remain ahead
of the crowd will mean that offering a luxury experience that is truly exclusive (and, at times, virtually private) will be a smart, if
subtle,move.BrazilianluxurytravelagencyMatuetstartedtoofferaUS$10,000six-day trip to Minas Gerais, departing from SoPaulo,includingprivatehelicopterflights,andaprivateviewingoftheInhotimInstituteofContemporaryArtandBotanicalGarden.
8. Cojones inc.
The tone of voice has changed in many Latin societies. Themes that once were pushed under the carpet, such as gay
marriage or abortion, are now being openly discussed (and with passion). Faced with endless new choices, only brands that
are straight-talking, that push boundaries, that say something controversial, provocative, exciting, funny, but most of all,
interesting will stand out. In May 2012, Argentinian credit card company Tarjeta Naranja ran a marketing campaign called
Financieramente Incorrectos (Financially Incorrect) that encouraged consumers to enjoy frivolous spending on others.
Tarjeta Naranja: encouraged consumers to enjoy frivolous spending on others
9. Safety net
Many consumers in the region remain fearful of issues such as urban violence and crime. Which is why consumers will
embrace new technologies that help them stay safe and in touch with family or friends, wherever they are and whatever has
ReleasedinJuly2012,trackTripsisafreemobileappcreatedinBogottohelpvictimsofwhatColombianscall'PaseoMillonario' ('express kidnappings'). Many kidnappings occur when people get into what they believe is a taxi. Users enter the
taxi's licence plate number and the estimated time of arrival. After the elapsed time, the app asks the passenger to answer a
question to confirm they arrived safely. If the question is ignored, or the phone is turned off, a pre-defined group of contacts
are notified with details of the taxi route.
10. Branded government
Latin consumers know that governments won't be able to solve many of the region's pressing issues, which is why they will
look to progressive brands to step up and become effective agents of civic and social transformation: brands that work with,
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and, in some cases even replace, governments. Deloitte reports that 57% of Brazilian consumers believe that it is 'totally
acceptable for a business to profit from an innovation that might positively impact society' (this compares with 24% in South
Korea, 34% in Singapore and 39% in the UK).
In 2012, Brazilian beer brand Skol partnered the non-profit organisation Rio Eu Amo Eu Cuido (Rio I Love I Care) to improve
Rio de Janeiro's beaches. It launched limited edition Skol cans and pledged to donate 100% of the profits from sales towards
projects to improve amenities at the beaches. Consumers could vote online for which initiatives they wanted the money to be
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