The Founder and Facilitator of ‘The Business Bridge’; BIASSA, is me, Carlos Alexandre Alves Monteiro and I am based in Odense, Denmark.
I am a native Brazilian and a graduate in Business Administration from the Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP) and I immigrated to Denmark and stand at the forefront of both Biassa and
DenmarkBrazil will inform you and supply the knowledge, while Biassa will deliver the results.
There are numerous challenges you have to be aware of, most importantly, cultural understanding, social diversification, brand positioning, taxation among others, but today I will be exploring tactics you can use if you want to find a local partner in Brazil .
The tactics you will find represents solely the results I have achieved and my own experience.
I sincerely hope this guide will add value to your life and your business, firstly through the comprehension of the major challenges when doing business in Brazil, but above all, to help you overcome those challenges by sharing my own experiences and giving you practical and useful ( I hope) advices.
Establishing a company in Brazil can be a nightmare.
In my opinion, it makes sense to establish a company in Brazil, only after you have already successfully entered the market and you are able to understand most of the challenges that Brazil will pose to your business. Be sure; the learning curve can be steep.
One of the best ways to kickstart your business in Brazil is by finding a strategic partner, competent and reliable, who will save you time and money while granting you faster access to markets that would otherwise take you a long time to understand and conquer.
There are basically 5 Effective Tactics I apply to develop a Nordic Venture in Brazil:
#1. Using All avaible Resources
When doing business in Brazil it is paramount to speak Portuguese (preferably Brazilian Portuguese)
The same “rule” applies when you are performing a Google Search.
Some relevant facts to be aware of:
- for any Business progress in Brazil, it is paramount to employ the local language, Brazilian-Portuguese, verbal and written as well as the need of a strong local network.
- Only 5% of the 200,000,000+ Brazilian population have a practical mastery of English.
It all starts at the research phase. If you want to start in Brazil with the right foot, you have to start your research on your specific niche correctly.
Google by default is set automatically to the country where you are doing your research from.
Ex: Say you in Norway and you would like to do research about the Oil & Gas market in Brazil.
When you open your Google screen, you will be automatically be using Google.no. In other to maximize your results, you should use Google Brazil.
When I was doing research for one of the Danish companies I have been developing in Brazil, I was using google.dk, and for some reasons I knew the results I was having for that specific sector were weird…Somehow I felt there was information missing.
Only when I came across an article that explained I could use Google from other countries to optimize results for my research that I started using Google.com.br, and I saw an increase in my results of approximately 67%. Furthermore the results I was having from that moment onwards were much more realistic and in accordance to the Brazilian reality.
Another detail I would recommend would be that you perform searches in English as well, if only to complement your research material. There are often excellent PDF files from Brazilian companies or even governmental bodies that have published material specifically in English.
Here are some helpful sources you can use to start your research on the Brazilian market:
Elance.com :in case you have a tight budget and would like to find a freelancer to do a job that you would like to outsource. Great for market research, translations,etc.
Google Translator: The engine is getting better and better
Google Trends: Just type the keywords, select the country and check how are the trends for the keywords you typed. Great tool to check where some markets are located as well as seasonality in some niches
Linguee.com: Great tool to translate and find words. Linguee translates whole sentences as well.
#2. Brand positioning in Brazil?
Over the past 15 years Brazil has experienced dramatic structural changes, which ultimately resulted in positive social and economic developments.
To give you an idea, more than 36 million people have risen from the lowest rungs of society, and they are now able to purchase what they could only dream of before.
It is important to understand that in Brazil, just like elsewhere, people have different stories, motivations, upbringing and backgrounds. The bottom line is: People come from different realities. Equally then, consumption patterns tend follow those realities.
In order to increase your chances of success in Brazil these are some very important items to which you should pay specific attention when doing research:
If you want to learn more about the Brazilian middle class, their power of consumption and behavior or other useful information, please check the article I wrote on denmarkbrazil.com about this topic onhttp://localhost:8888/Denmarkuncovering-the-new-brazilian-middle-class-for-danes/
i) You have to understand how the Brazilians consume whatever service or product you intend trading in in their Country. How can you do this?
Biassa is able to test your products in the Brazilian market; learn how:
ii) Investigate the prices of similar products in the same category, already available.
iii) Determine the landed cost of your products in Brazil (be certain to determine all relevant taxes), as well as the retail price to the end consumer.
This will give you a clearer picture of the strategy you will have to use.
Should you appoint a local partner, or perhaps establish a local limited company?
In which case you may still require a local manager.
**FIND AND TALK TO A LOCAL SPECIALIST IN YOUR FIELD, based in BRAZIL WHO UNDERSTANDS YOUR MARKET**
Talking and learning from a local specialist represents an enormous competitive advantage.
#3. The ‘Guerilla Tactics’.
Establishing personal relationships will be your key to success in Brazil, but how do you achieve this?
Possibly the best tactic I have used, which has proved to be extremely successful is to enroll in a local tradeshow. That is what I call, “The Guerilla Tactics.”
I hereby describe the method I have been using to Nordic businesses in Brazil thorough the “Guerilla Tactics”.
- Researched all major retailers’ websites (high, mid and low-end) to determine the description and prices of the products.
- Biassa introduced THE DANISH Productto a wide number of people in my network, such as my personal friends as well as some friends of friends’ and asked them for their opinions
- Introduced Danish products specifically to a wide number of Brazilian professionals in their respective sector and asked for critiques and endorsements.
- Introduced The CEO of the Nordic Company Biassa has been developing to a CEO in the local market, to gather information and exchange knowledge.
- Arrange meetings at a relevant tradeshow in Brazil
- Went to the tradeshow with the Danish company exports manager
- Established relationship with key decision makers in Brazil
- Selected potential partners
- Started negotiations
- Selected partner
GO TO TRADE SHOWS! Talk to Decision Makers and Increase the Chances of success for your business in Brazil.
BIASSA can help you. Contact us now. (biassa.com)
#4. Bypassing Hierarchy
If you already have a list of Brazilian prospects, you will benefit a lot from this effective tactic. Bypassing hierarchy and talking directly to those who make the decisions in the organizations in Brazil is a must to increase your chances of having success in the Brazilian market.
I will share with you an effective email tactic I always use when I present a Danish company to a Brazilian Decision Maker.
There are a few rules you have to follow to get more attention from a prospect, to get your message across:
1) Send an email in Brazilian Portuguese to a prospect, unless you have already established communications with that prospect in English previously, perhaps at some tradeshow.
2) Always send the email to, at least, two different senior people in the organization. This maximizes your chances of having your email read.
For example, what to do, if you want to present your company to a Brazilian partner in the fashion industry.
What I would do, to start a conversation with a Brazilian company within the fashion industry would be:
i) Determine who are the purchasing and procurement directors and the head designer of a specific company
ii) Only after determining who they are, would I start sending out emails.
iii) Whenever I would send a message I would use an eye-catching Headline.
The more personal the emails are, the better your chances will be to have your email opened, and eventually start a conversation with the targeted Brazilian prospect.
Now the time has come for some real hacking:
The first example I want to share with you is how I present myself to a particular decision maker, both in Brazil and in the Nordics on LinkedIn. Personalization is KING!
After getting a list of potential leads on LinkedIn or Business hubs and associations, I send customized emails to my prospects. They have worked really well for me, and I believe it could be of great help to you too.
The e-mail structure:
1)The most important thing to pay attention to is the headline. A dull headline is equal to an email going straight to the BIN. If you want to increase your chances of having your email given attention, write something stunning and somewhat eye-catchy.
A headline I often use, whether I’m establishing a relationship to Brazilian or Nordic Decision Makers is:
[ Your Company Name] & [ Your prospect company’s name] Agora No Brasil!)
This headline stimulates the curiosity of your prospect to open the email and read the content.
2) The second step now is to ensure you have a great and exceptional content. Something that your prospect is not really expecting. There are still no guarantees, however, that the prospect will answer your email.
The emails I write to my prospects for the first time, look more or less like this:
” Caro [Name of Prospect],
Me Chamo [Your name]. Moro em [Country you live in] e sou o responsável pelo desenvolvimento das atividades da [Company Name].
Estamos entrando no Brasil neste momento. Já exportamos para mais de [Number of countries you export and/or do business with] e agora chegou a hora do Brasil .
Gostaria de saber se podemos agendar uma reunião com o objetivo de apresentar [ whatever it is you would like to present ] .
Por favor, acesse nosso site em www.whateveritis.com para conhecer mais sobre nossa empresa e nosso produtos e serviços.
Creio que nossos(as) [ your product service] tenham grande potencial dentro dos segmentos [segment you want to reach and that you consider potential segments in Brazil ].
Estarei presente junto com nosso CEO na [tradeshow that will happen during the year] deste ano. Acredito que seja uma excelente oportunidade para nos conhecermos e estreitarmos nossos laços.
Para me contatar por favor, envie um e-mail para [your email]
Segue um link com um vídeo com nosso conceito para que vocês possam conhecer um pouco mais sobre algumas vantagens de nossos produtos.
Muito obrigado pela sua atenção,
NB: I recommend that you include a link with endorsements from your clients. This is important as it represents a social proof of the value of your presentation, which will also increase the opening rate of your emails.
LinkedIn in Brazil…
Another great tool you may implement, to bypass hierarchy and determine who matters the most to your business, is Linkedin.
A significant fact about Brazil & Linkedin is, Brazil approaches 200 Million inhabitants and already 100 million are connected to the internet.
From the 100 million internet users, 15 million Brazilians are already connected to Linkedin.
Brazil, after USA and INDIA is the third largest country for that platform, but as you can see, there are still a lot of Brazilians who are not connected to the platform.
I wouldn’t consider this as a “downside”, rather that you should know, LinkedIn isn’t the only tool to use to connect to decision makers when doing business in Brazil.
When you do use LinkedIn, avoid their standard messages, use some creativity and use something like the following, which has brought me success, which I use for Brazilian prospects when I want to initiate a conversation with them:
Meu nome é [ Your Name] e sou responsável por [ Your function or what you are responsible for] na empresa [company name]. Chequei o site de sua empresa e acredito que temos alguns pontos de sinergia em comum. Gostaria de me conectar com você para estreitarmos os laços e eventualmente conversar sobre possibilidades futuras de negócio.
Por favor visite nosso site: www.whaterveritis. com
The message says:
My name is…. and I’m the responsible person for….. at..[company name]… I have checked the website of your firm, and I believe some interesting synergy exists between our Businesses.
It is my wish to connect with you, so we can strengthen our ties and eventually talk about future business opportunities.
Please visit our website: www.whaterveritis. Com
Important tip: When you write messages on LinkedIn, it DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO INCLUDE YOUR WEBSITE. THEREFORE, WHEN YOU READ MY EXAMPLE, NOTE THERE IS A SPACE BETWEEN THE FINAL DOT ( .) and the word COM.
This fools LinkedIn which cannot “understand” that you are “cheating” its system.
#5. You have now finally reached the stage of export. How can you optimize your time?
Exporting to Brazil can be very challenging, especially if you do not have the right export partners and information upfront.
For each sector, you will find a particular regulation.
For this I can only reccomend you to have the right export & local partners.
I hope this small guide has been of use to you.
Again, this guide was created solely based on my experiences and it should not be taken as the only form to do business in Brazil.
Would be great to hear your thoughts 🙂