Olympic Sized Branding Opportunity

By Jestelle Irizarry The countdown to the 2016 Olympic Games is on, and Rio de Janeiro is preparing to welcome millions of people from around the world. The Olympics are a global property, reaching over 180 markets through TV and digital broadcasts, making the games not only the ultimate competition for athletes but for brands, too. Given the obstacles to overcome, getting in front of consumers can be as tough as walking away from the Games with a medal. Although no advertisements are allowed in the stadium, nor may any logos be embellished on the athletes’ clothing, the Olympics are a huge branding opportunity. While the Olympic Partner Programme represents globally recognized brands, TOPs are not the only brands that have the chance to receive attention during the games. With the right creative strategy, any brand can take advantage of the opportunity the Olympics provides. Bulova reached out to the San Jose Network (SJN), the largest independent network serving Latin America, for such a strategy. FIFA, like the IOC, has strict regulations while broadcasting the World Cup. SJN developed an advertising program that purposely omitted media placement at the stadiums (as they were not official sponsors), but rather leveraged high event attendee traffic flows at locations such as international airport terminals and airport access roads during the duration of games. Bulova was therefore able effectively target affluent men and women traveling to Brazil for the event. As the official timekeepers of the British Premier League’s Manchester United, Bulova—with the help of SJN—was also able to leverage its sponsorship in strategically placed advertisements so World Cup supporters would associate the watch company with the game of soccer and the event. Fourteen Manchester United players from eight different countries took the pitch in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, including England’s Wayne Rooney. Not only did the advertisements add tremendous value to the brand, the brand strengthened its relationship with Latin America. The same opportunities are available to brands that act early for the 2016 Olympic Games....

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Latin America: The China of 2020 and its Growing Labor Force

Latin America is a notoriously progressive region. By 2020, it will represent 10% of the global population and a total market of 670 million consumers. However, what most don’t realize is that Latin America is home to a young population. Approximately 280 million young adults between the ages of 15 to 35, many of whom are part of the working population, reside in Latin America. Over the next decade, analysts project significant growth in the Latin American labor force. In 2010, the working population between the ages of 25 to 59 amounted to 255 million. By 2020, this population is expected to rise to 296 million while the United States labor force will only increase to an approximate 105 million from 103 million in 2010. Latin America’s growing young labor force possesses sizeable disposable income, raising consumer demand and spending. The growth has favorable implications on the region’s economy. The size of the young working population translates to a larger share of consumption by these groups. Similarly, the entrance of 100 million women (who are young), into the workforce by the end of 2012, signifies the financial independence and increased decision-making power over household consumption by the young generation. Latin America’s young population is not only growing in terms of size, but also in terms of annual total gross incomes. In Brazil, people between the ages of 30 and 39 accounted for 18.4% of the population with an annual gross income that is equivalent to over $150,001. Clearly, the young demographics expect to see further increases in their average gross income over the next ten years and a corresponding increase in leisure and consumption. Similarly, in Colombia, those in the 15 to 37 age bracket will see their gross income expand over the next decade along with an increased purchasing power. The emergence of a new generation of high-income, young adults will mean more spending in categories such as household items and family-related goods. Business interested in investing in the young, consumer-friendly Latin American...

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Latin America: The China of 2020, Sizing Up the Opportunity

Size does not really matter …well, sometimes. In terms of sheer size, China, with its 1.4 billion residents who speak 120 officially recognized languages, stands as the most populous country on Earth by far. However, they are not consumers of most of the products and services we buy and sell here in the U.S. Thus, for companies looking for the next market to expand to, Latin America shines as the new frontier of opportunity for market growth and expansion. Aside from the obvious logistical advantage due to its proximity, these 21 independent countries have more in common with themselves than the single country of China.  For starters, the infrastructure is already in place for getting products and most services to nearly all Latin American markets, consumers are easy to reach, communication materials need only be in Spanish and Portuguese and the numbers are there to substantiate the effort. The Latin American consumer base has grown to 170 million customers that purchase products and services as we do here in the U.S. Of utmost importance, this number is growing by double digits every year. Yes! 170 million strong and growing. At the current pace, there will be a total of 260 million consumers like us by 2020, out of a total population of about 670 million. So when we look for the future labor or consumer markets to come, our own back yard has the best upside potential yet. I do admit it could be challenging for the typical American company to try to set up a beach front in Latin America, but here again, if you know what you’re doing, it always tends to be easier; if you do not, it is always going to be harder.  Latin America stands to yield a much better opportunity for North American companies looking for a quick and very cost-efficient way to grow their sales, protect their global market share from European and Asian products that have already made great inroads and possibly even achieve brand leadership...

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Latin America: The China of 2020

Practically every time I discuss the future of global business opportunities, specifically when it comes to new emerging international markets, China always finds its way into the conversation. It does not matter whether the conversation is with a potential client looking for new growth or a fellow international veteran currently exploring how to do business in China or on the brink of initiating his/her expansion in the region. In any case, they feel that they have missed out on the benefits that a market of this size can yield in terms of global revenue and market share growth. All politics and bureaucracy aside, there seems to be three main categories that U.S. companies fall into: (1) Those who got an early start, did it right and are now enjoying the fruit of their pioneering spirit; (2) Those that missed the earlier opportunities or did it “their way” and are still struggling to figure it out; (3) And those that are just now looking into the Chinese market. Simply put, everyone is talking about it. The Chinese economy has eclipsed the U.S. and European markets consistently over the past ten years. So of course it is a very hot international topic…but that was then. Consider this: the Chinese economy is currently stagnant, the U.S. has flat lined and Europe is in total disarray. There is a new yet not-so-new player in the arena, and if you are looking for the next emerging market opportunity, the next middle class boom (as we had in the U.S. in the ‘60s), this series of articles in my upcoming posts will explain why I believe the emerging double digit growth economies and middle class populations of Latin America will be the China of 2020. Stay tuned for our Latin America: The China of 2020...

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How to make the Consumers “Nice” List—2013 Multicultural Holiday Shopping Trends

Companies have made and locked down their 2013 holiday campaigns, but they should check them twice in order to make this 25-day-long holiday shopping season a profitable one. The National Retail Federation projected this year’s holiday sales to reach $602.1 billion (a 3.9% increase from 2012). Despite the traditional holiday season lasting seven days shorter than last year, a number of stores have worked to extend it by beginning promotions the day after Halloween. Brands must keep in mind consumer shopping trends affecting purchases this year. Thanksgivukkah Hanukkah begins early this year, coinciding with Thanksgiving. Therefore, some holiday gifts will be purchased in advance of the holiday. Black Friday falls on the second of the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah. Online and Mobile Purchases The convenience and growing simplicity of online shopping make it a continually surging trend. Cyber Monday purchases last year were almost double that of 2011. Savvy Americans benefit from using online shopping for early deals, and free shipping is essential for online purchases. According to emarketer.com, 39% of companies plan to offer free shipping. This year, online retail should exceed $50 billion, of which $8 billion will be from mobile devices. Multicultural consumers overindex on making purchases through their mobile phones: 60% of Hispanics mostly access the internet by mobile phone compared to 43% of African Americans and 27% of whites. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, mobile online sales are up 35% from 2012. Hispanics spent $5.15 billion online mobile shopping the last holiday season. Social Media Influence Social Media acts as a key component to holiday brand strategy. Brand presence and awareness through social media sites are high despite low purchases resulting from advertisements placed on social media. The tech savvy Hispanic consumer demographic also overindexes on social media usage, with 80% of Hispanics using social media vs. 70% of the general population. Special Deals Since the economic recession, consumers have placed an importance on specials. Continuing this trend, Marketers are promoting specials early this year. As early as...

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Brands doing it right

By Cassandra Bremer, Content Manager and Developer at The San Jose Group Each September, a growing number of marketers celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, recognizing the growing Hispanic American community. Introduced by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and later expanded to cover a 30-day period by President Ronald Regan in 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) celebrates the history, culture and contributions of Latino Americans. According to the 2010 census, one in six Americans identifies themselves as Latino. While Hispanic Heritage Month gives Hispanics a chance to embrace their roots and connect with their favorite brands on a more intimate level, they know the difference between obligatory campaigns and true public relations efforts, so to succeed, brands must do it right. “Hispanic Heritage Month offers brands a grand opportunity to really capture Hispanic consumers’ attentions,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer of The San Jose Group. “Often though, marketers forget about Hispanic Heritage Month by October, having filled that marketing quota in September.” This case is especially evident in social media where the hashtags #HispanicHeritageMonth and #HHM have dwindled in usage from brands since the second to last weekend of September. Naturally, one would think that targeted social media posts would be on the rise since Hispanics over index in social media use (Pew Research Center reported that 80% of Hispanics use social networking sites vs. 70% of white, non-Hispanics). While some marketers have missed opportunities to reach these consumers, a number of brands are truly making the most out of Hispanic Heritage Month. This year, for instance, PBS planned a full calendar, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, including a new six-part series embracing Latino contributions ranging from arts and entertainment to journalism and politics entitled, Latino Americans. According to PBS, this series, narrated by actor Benjamin Bratt, is the “first major television documentary series to chronicle the rich and varied history of Latinos.” Supporting the project as a major corporate funder, Ford featured...

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