Take it the Next Step

Brazil’s online presence is huge and continually growing. With 197 million people, about 68 million are on the Internet. In a recent survey, Brazilian web users are now spending more time on the Internet than their US and Japanese counterparts. That screams POTENTIAL. The study showed that Brazilians went online for an average of 70 hours in June.  So for brands looking to tap in this scene, the opportunity is there.

Well where and what are Brazilians doing online? Many Americans are virtually clueless and uninterested in Google’s Orkut social network, however, in Brazil Orkut has 79 %market share. And fortunately for any brand, they’re shopping. A article in 2008 reported that Brazilian online consumers would spend about 5.9 billion (US dollars). If they are shopping, who are key Brazilian targets? It looks like the Brazilian consumer market show that women are the dominant spenders.

Well that is probably why one of Brazilian leading manufacturers and marketers of skin care, solar filters, cosmetics, perfume and hair care products is Natura Cosmeticos. Natura, is Brazil’s biggest cosmetics company and has a very unique story. In 1974, it adopted a direct sales model, going door-to-door. In 2008, it had more than 800,000 ‘consultants’ or sellers of their brand. The company operates throughout Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Mexico, and Peru.

Natura has ambition to build a global brand and in April of 2005, opened its first store in Paris. This decision arrived because France is the world’s number one cosmetic-consuming country and retail is the main way the French buy cosmetics. Interestingly, enough in their aims to globally expand, they have ushered in some key components to tap into an online market.

Natura have definitely made some social strides to embrace the online craze hitting Brazilian streets. In a step to revolutionize online marketing, they have employed Wunderman, a communications agency to upgrade their website. This has led to their door-to-door sales stepping behind the screen and allowing consumers a streamline process to buy their products. With guidance they have even stepped on the social networking scene. They have 491 Facebook fans, 2Orkut friends, and 684twitter followers. Although, these numbers don’t jump out, they do uncover some key elements that Natura could capitalize from.

How to sell their products better. If Natura is going to impress Brazilians in the social world, they are by far going to have to increase their presence on Orkut. This is the leading social media network in Brazil, so it’s a shame that they only have 2 friends. Second, they are going to have to commit to being plugged in socially. They can’t just post new products and videos and think consumers are going to want to buy their products. Consumers understand gimmicks, and if you’re just on to be on, then it’s really not a beneficial usage of your time. Twitter, is a place to introduce your new products, but they have to form a better relationship with their followers.  Commercials are a way to advertise your brand, but it’s obvious that more people in Brazil are online rather than watching television. So why not post your commercials to the website or social networking pages. Lastly, Natura is committed to being a company that manufactures, distributes, and commercializes sustainable products. Going back to their history, they built their reputation through the manufacturing of cosmetics from seeds and other natural materials provided by Brazilian ecosystems. The company has a serious invested interest in the Amazon communities of Brazil, and have been taking a role to secure the future of sustainability in their country. These are stories behind the products, a place where consumers can connect and feel a sense of loyalty to the brand. This is the company around the corner, the small-town success story. This is the conversation Natura could benefit by posting on twitter, Facebook, Orkut, and YouTube.


3 Responses to Take it the Next Step

  1. I really love several things about this post. First of all, you start with some strong data to set up the point that you’re going to make later in the post. You talk about a large (and unique) Brazilian brand, and use your research to take us inside the brand and to familiarize us with it before you start to share specifics on social media. Right after you drop the bomb that they only have 2 friends on the most popular social network in Brazil, you rightly hone in on that and start making your recommendations there for what they could do. And what I liked best about this post was that nearly half of it was devoted to your thinking and suggestions for what they could do better (most of which were spot on, by the way). Excellent job improving week to week and coming up with a great post this week. (4)

  2. mintybeth says:

    Nice post, but I wish you had tackled and offered more solutions related to Orkut. When doing my class research, I looked for Natura on Orkut and stumbled upon many Natura-named users and communities. It was next to impossible for me to determine which one was the “real” Natura. I truly believe that this online clutter has confused potential Natura friends out there. How can people participate when they don’t know which one is a company site and which one is just for fans? This means the company needs to do more to set itself apart and stand out from the crowd. There is much room for Natura to make social media improvements and I think you just hit the tip of the iceberg.

  3. perezb says:

    I really liked how you tied your suggestions to a specific product/company, and how they can use social media to improve their relationship with the public and increase sales. I did not come across Natura in my Brazil research, but after reading your post, I’m intrigued and would like to find out more about them.

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