Monday, April 19, 2010

Brand new name

To find or create a name for an organization, product or service is a very challenging and exciting task. Naming is a very important Branding tool. A product name should represent an important feature, an advantage, a value or a good feeling. It should represent something positive to the consumer; it should have a significant meaning. A name should be easy to be understood and pronounced by the target market –
a name that will be memorized.

As time goes on and markets, environment and scenarios change, companies may adapt their names or the names of what they offer. In the 90s, due to the globalization of markets and production supply chains, some companies changed or standardized names to gain economies of scale in packaging, promotion and logistics. Furthermore, since then, people have been more “globalized” as well. More people started to have more access to travel worldwide and yes, it is important to see your favourite brands when you are outside your home country. I still remember how strange was to see the global Milkybar name on one of my favourite Nestlé chocolate bars, which used to be called Lollo - a name that was present in my mind since my childhood in Brazil.

A few days ago, when I saw the Açaí Berry juice Bom Dia on the supermarket shelf here in Toronto I asked myself: Have I read it right? Am I reading words in Portuguese? How Canadians and all other people with international background present in this country would read it? Usually people who speak English do not pronounce nasal sounds like “Bom”. Well, what a challenge to consumers. What a challenge to promote it! There is the authenticity aspect, as the origin of the açaí berry is Brazil, and Brazilians speaks Portuguese – which is interesting. Also, many foreign products here in Canada have foreign names and many of them are – like Bom Dia – not targeted to a niche market segmented by cultural origin.

Let’s see how people will get the message from Bom Dia – which means both ‘Good morning’ and ‘Nice day’. What I know is that açaí gives a lot of energy to spend hours working and/or having fun!

Monday, March 29, 2010

A good benchmark

In my last vacations in Brazil I went to Rio and, after so many years, I was amazed again with its wonderful landscapes, popular culture and how cariocas really welcome the world. On the beach, people say that it is a tradition to drink mate and eat the Globo cookie. I was disappointed that Rio's mayor has forbidden the home made mate on the sand but the cookie was pretty good and made me remember the delicious snacks of grandma`s home.

Back to Toronto, shopping around in the Forest Hill neighbourhood, I had a nice surprise in an organic grocery store: bottles of Rio Mate. And what is even nicer is that they were well positioned on the shelves, on the top, in front of my eyes, all the different flavours and I really liked the labels design – it caught my attention.

On the product website, there is a nice slogan – A taste of pure Brazil. Also, the whole site is cool, with important info about the product origin and nutrition facts. The pictures give a taste of Rio and Brazilian vibe, which is is completed with news & tips about Brazilian touristic destinations, Brazilian events in Toronto, arts, dance...

The other point to be spotted is the distribution. For a niche foreign product I think it is in the right places and the company managed to get a significant number of points-of-sales. Nice work, Rio Mate! I haven’t compared the price with other brands and I don’t know how the sales are going but for sure the branding, promotion, distribution and, of course, the product (it tastes really good!) are well done, on the right way.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cold promotion

Vancouver Olympic Winter Games are on and this blog is back in action! From Toronto since now. The Olympics are not for everyone. They are not affordable for most of people. Or they can't just be appealing for many others. So, what about an Olympic escape? That's what Globe and Mail proposed 10 days ago. Rio (Yes! Finally!) is among the options presented in the newspaper. We know that many Canadians travel during this period of the year to escape the winter. What we don't see very often is Brazil in the getaways' places in the travel agencies ads. The question here is: why? Ok, Florida, Cuba and Mexico have also beautiful beaches and exotic flavours. They are closer to Canada and for that reason are less expensive destinations. But why there are so few offers to go to Brazil in Canadian media? If there was more promotion about tourism in Brazil, we could have more Canadian tourists and this could lead to more affordable packages. In the tourism game, Brazil should not discard Canadian purchasing power but take more risks, which mean to invest.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A little cup of coffee

Brazilians use to drink their 'cafezinho' (little cup of coffee) after lunch, many times during the day at the office, when visiting someone who offers a freshly brewed little cup of coffee at home. You can also be invited for a little cup of coffee at the corner to discuss about a job offer or business. But the business can not be necessarily little. That’s what Brazil is aiming in Canada, trading its internationally renowned coffee.

Canada is already a traditional buyer of Brazilian coffee. In 2008, Canada imported US$ 53.521 million of green coffee (Coffee that has been processed, but remains un-roasted), (19.728 tons) and US$ 17.711 million of instant coffee (1.968 tons). These numbers show a potential opportunity for industrialized coffee (roasted bean or roasted and ground). The Canadian interest on this was confirmed last April, during the SIAL (North American Food Marketplace) here in Montreal, where Apex and ABIC promoted the Brazilian coffee. For instance, the Reseau Laurentides, from Quebec, bought US$ 350 K (around 60 tons) of roasted and ground coffee for the next year.

The opportunities really exist; it is clear when we go to supermarket and groceries stores here. We can hardly find coffee that is marked as from Brazil. At the same time, it is easy to find it from Colombia, Kenya, Costa Rica and many blends from France. For sure many Canadian, American or European brands are selling Brazilian coffee but we don’t know. It is said that the exportation of industrialized coffee from Brazil is a recent activity that has being improved since 2002. So now it is time for Brazlians to offer a 'cafezinho' to Canadians and make deals in order to have more BR coffee brands here. The quality is already perceived. A good example is in the picture above. The Rich Nescafé stamps its Brazilian origin. And below, there is a package of a French brand, that I found in a very small grocery store on the road at St-Irénée, here in Quebec, going to Tadoussac last month.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What is inside the egg?

Picture from Cirque du Soleil website

The Cirque du Soleil is currently presenting his brand new show at the Old Port of Montreal. What is new, besides the creativity, spectacular moves, wonderful visuals, WOWs by the public and all the joy?

It is the first show of the Cirque that is directed by a woman! And guess what? She is Brazilian!
Deborah Colker, a choreographer from Rio, brings her talent to all Cirque fans in the show Ovo (egg in Portuguese). Colker is amazing. I first heard about her and got to know her talent in 2000 when I had the opportunity to create advertising material to promote her show “Casa” in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

To produce Ovo, she counts on the extraordinary work of two other Brazilians:
Gringo Cardia in the scenario design and Berna Ceppas in the musical direction. Bravo!
Canadian critics welcomed Ovo, which tells the love story of a ladybug and a mosquito in the insects world full of life, movement, emotions. It brings the biodiversity and environmental issue to the stage. The diversity is also present in the music, with other popular Brazilian rhythms besides samba, including forró.

In the Cirque du Soleil website, they state:

“When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic object that represents the enigma and cycles of their lives.”

I’m also curious to crack this egg and see what is inside, what surprises await for me. Have a taste of it

Ovo is already scheduled to be played in Toronto, San Francisco and New York. It will be on stage for the next 15 years. Let’s wait the bugs bring this fantastic egg to Brazil.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

“There is no marketing that sustains a bluff.”

Even after 15 years of his death, Ayrton Senna is still one of the most admirable people by Brazilians. The most surprising fact is that he is the greatest sports idol for young people between 15-19 years old. The research was made by IBOPE and Troiano Brand Consultancy. Margareth Goldemberg, Executive Director of Ayrton Senna Institute, stated: “Ayrton became a transgenerational phenomenon. These young people didn’t see him in activity. They knew about him because their parents told them.”

Virage Senna at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada

Senna is still very popular around the world and in Canada it is no exception. At Emporium F1, which is one of the specialized motor racing stores of Montreal, Senna’s Lotus and McLaren’s model cars were rare and used to be sold very quickly. They were always the most expensive, comparable to the model cars of Gilles Villeneuve, the local hero. Two racing legends, two tragic deaths. In 3 Montreal F1 Grand Prix I have been in the past years, many people asked me to take pictures with my Brazilian flag, on which is written SENNA FOREVER.

What is the secret behind Senna’s myth image? His horrible death when he was still young and at the top of his career? His close relationship with Globo, the leading Brazilian TV group? What about his innumerous fans in Japan, were they crazy about him just because of Honda’s promotional campaigns? Yes, all those elements collaborated to improve his good image but as Ayrton once said:

“There is no marketing that sustains a bluff.”

His talent, his charisma, his passion, his commitment with his work, his efficiency and the fact that he delivered great results were the reasons of his success. And they are still the reasons of Senna’s brand success.

A fan hommage to Senna in 1994, at Eau Rouge turn, Spa-francorchamps Circuit, Belgium

Monday, April 13, 2009

Who Knows The Boy From Ipanema?

For my surprise I was introduced a few days ago to The Boy From Ipanema by a Canadian, the renowned jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall. I didn`t know that the most famous Brazilian song – The Girl From Ipanema – has a version for women to sing about a handsome Brazilian boy and its swing.

My surprise was even bigger when I looked for the title on Youtube and found Ella Fitzgerald singing it! Krall recorded this classic of Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes for her new album, Quiet Nights, which is the English title of another Brazilian tune, Corcovado. She even took a big risk singing Este Seu Olhar (also by Jobim) in Portuguese, which was criticized by some Brazilian specialized media. Despite that – and, by the way, I don`t really appreciated most of the critics, like or dislike art is something that I believe is very particular - I was very glad to know that a contemporaneous top jazz artist in the world did this homage to Brazilian music. And I really liked the result.

A DVD is about to be released next month with the show she presented in November of last year in Rio to celebrate the 50 years of Bossa Nova. If you want to have a taste of her breathy and beautiful vocal and astonishing talent on the piano in this new work, here we go:

Enjoy it and leave a comment about her performance, also if you had the chance to be at her new show.