Botafogo bay - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Representative survey of the image of German brands in Brazil

  • International communications consultancy globeone surveys the image of German brands in Brazil and other BRIC countries, China, India and Russia
  • Opportunity for German brands to benefit from associating with their country-of-origin, due to the good reputation of Germany in Brazil
  • German brands can exploit Germany’s association with characteristics of quality and eco-friendliness. Germany is also perceived very positively on traditional values such as reliability and performance
  • Volkswagen is the most-known and Nivea is the most-liked German brand
  • Internet plays a major role in spreading information about international brands in Brazil

São Paulo, May 15 2013 – Germany as an origin of a product or service is well-appreciated  by Brazilian consumers in general. Specifically, German brands are  most-liked and recalled by consumers with a higher income. Herein lies the impetus for German brands to strengthen their association with the German country-of-origin and to explore their appeal to the newly emerging middle class in Brazil, which, at 103 million people, represents 54% of the Brazilian population.

These are some of the key findings of an extensive, first-of-its-kind survey conducted by German business consultancy globeone. In total, over 1,000 Brazilian consumers from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Recife and Brasília were interviewed. The Brazil edition is part of globeone’s comprehensive BRIC Branding Survey with more than 4,000 interviews with consumers in the 20 most important cities in Brazil, China, India and Russia.

Results in detail

German brands are spontaneously recalled by 42% of the Brazilian population. This  figure is moderated by the relatively significant differences among social classes in Brazil. Among the classes A and B (the higher-income classes, according to the Brazilian nomenclature), 66% of the consumers can name a German brand spontaneously, while in class C (middle class), only 46% can do so. In classes D and E (the lower-income classes), the figure falls to only 28%. Not surprisingly, across all classes, the most well-known German brands are from the automotive sector: Volkswagen (99%), BMW (94%), Mercedes-Benz (91%) and Audi (78%).

Higher-income classes do not only recall more German brands but also have a stronger preference for them – Germany is the favorite brand origin for consumers from the upper classes. However, among the Brazilian emerging middle class, there is also a strong  preference for local brands as well. The USA and Japan also exerts stronger influence in this class –  Germany only ranks fourth in the preference of these middle-class consumers.

For the higher-income classes, German brands are perceived substantially more positively on traditional values like reliability, durability, quality and performance. This positive direction is also valid among the emerging middle class, although Japanese brands are their favorite for embodying the attribute of quality and innovativation. In general, Germany performs relatively weak  in terms of being close to local customer needs, being good value for money and having good after-sales service. Therefore, German brands wishing to make their mark on Brazil should pay close attention to improving these attributes, together with being innovative and eco-friendly.

Volkswagen is the leading German brand in terms of awareness, being cited by 99% of consumers. Nivea leads in the ranking of preference, with 96% of consumers liking it. Both brands have been in the country for over 35 years, showing the Brazilians their will to develop with and for the local market. Among the top 12 best-known and best-liked brands, five are from the automotive sector: Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche. Sportswear brands Adidas and Puma are the two most purchased brands – although they also enjoy a very strong preference , they feature a  low recognition of their German origin.

Among the BRIC countries, Brazil is the one in which the Internet plays the most important role of spreading information about foreign brands. 49% of Brazilians that are looking for such information use the internet to access search engines, social media and corporate websites. This trend is consistent across all social classes, and for this reason it is important for brands to produce online content that is adapted to the local demands, esspecially local content in Portuguese. Television holds a strong position as the second most important information channel, preferred by 18% of consumers. Finally, word-of-mouth is also a relevant way of finding information about foreign brands for the higher income classes.

“An efficient communication and marketing strategy in Brazil keeps the different customers segments in mind. A company must understand that consumers from different social classes do not think alike and that it is crucial to understand their different demands. Many German brands are successfully reaching the top segment  but do not yet fully benefit from the others”, says Mrs. Ana Helena Szasz, Country Manager of globeone in Brazil.

Read more and download the study here:

 BRIC Branding Survey Brazil_English

 BRIC Branding Survey Brazil_Portuguese