Trends

Twitter goes mainstream in Brazil

As Twitter goes increasingly mainstream in the UK, as witnessed in its increasing use in radio phone-ins on the BBC it looks like its about to do the same here in Brazil. Or is it? This weeks Epoca magazine devoted it's cover to the rise of the phenomenon here in Brazil. However, we're asking a few of Brazil's most prolific Twitter addicts what this means for the application here.... more to come shortly

...oh and as if you don't yet know what Twitter is...

The inactive and the hyperactive in Brazil

The headlines that we read in the Brazilian press stated that one in five Paulistas (residents of the State of Sao Paulo) are sedentary although the findings seem to throw up some other interesting trends in terms of excercise and phsysical activities in Brazil.   According to a recent study on behalf of the State government and The Brazilian Health Ministry, 19.4% of respondents did not meet the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the accumulation of 30 minutes of physical activities, at least five days a week. However there appears to simultaneously be a divide between those who do little or no excercise and those who are extremely active - where nubers have grown since 2006. Result from Sao Paulo were replicated in the control sample of Curitiba where those doing minimal excercise grew from 3.9% to 9.8% and the very active rose from 11.8% to 16.8%. The research showed also that women remain more physically active than men.

The results come from research conducted in 2008 with 2,600 people of both sexes, over 14 years, of different ages, education, social classes and occupations in the city of São Paulo and 13 other regions of the state.

Class C and the Credit Crunch Crisis in Brazil

As noted frequently on this blog, recent years have seen the expansion of the middle class (Classe C) in Brazil. At the end of 2008, this "slice" has already totaled 53.8% of the population, according to research from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), which, with a greater purchasing power, began to consume more and helped the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Brazil to record a 3% growth over the past four years. But this Sunday (15), which saw the celebration of World Consumer Day, with credit tighter and unemployment on the rise, evidence seems to point to the fact the Brazilian is "tightening their belt." And it is exactly this new C class being forced to make more adjustments in their spending. The consumption of durable goods within this class are seemingly increasingly competing with the basic household budget. In February, according to the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), the consumer confidence reached its lowest level since the survey began in 2005. "Lack of trust has influenced the pattern of consumption or habit that is Brazilian," says Professor Mark Luppi, Retail Management Program (Sample), the Fundação Instituto de Administração (FIA). According to experts, the time to put the foot on the brake "on spending, the first things to cut within the budget are of greater value, where the purchase is greater dependence on financing", especially where payment is in installments. Changes are likely to be reflected not only in the quantity but also relations to specific brands purchased - especially in non-durable goods. Some have argued that for the new class C that change does not come easily, arguing that as they created new habits, incorporating consumption, it is more difficult to abandon. If before they consume a premium brand, will look similar brands at cheaper prices. Other product areas likely to be hit may be where products are considered unnecessary: such as meals outside the home and leisure but also in areas such as telephony.

Women are the highest earners in 30% of Brazilian homes

International Women’s Day yesterday saw the annual collection of articles across the Americas about the role of women in society. In Brazil, Folha de Sao Paulo reported the findings of a number of different studies which emphasise the implications  the changing position of women in society, the workplace and within families and the household.  Increasingly women are becoming the dominant breadwinner within homes. Cases where the income of women exceeds that of men in the home are still in the minority, but in the last 25 years, they more than doubled, as shown by figures released by IPEA (Institute of Applied Economic Research)

From 1982 to 2007, the proportion of households where the income of women exceeded that of their partner grew from 3% to 11%. When one adds to this homes where the woman lives without a spouse, the percentage of houses where they were the main or only providers more than doubled, going from 13% to 30% in the last 25 years.

Another fact that demonstrates the advances made by women is the finding that women's contribution to the total income of households in Brazil has already reached 40%. In 1982, this proportion was 23%. The changes have been explained mainly because of improved female education and the reduction in fertility rates. Today, the IBGE has shown that education of women between 20 and 59 years exceeds that of men. In 1982, the situation was the reverse.

If women's participation in the labor market has changed considerably in recent years, the same can not be said of the division of household chores. Even in households where both work, most of the responsibilities in the home are still left to women. In 2007, 90% of women were busy taking care of household chores. Among men, the percentage was only 50%. They also spent on average more than twice the number of weekly hours to these activities than their partners: 22.2 hours, compared with 9.6 for men. The unequal division of domestic tasks is really common even in cases where women have higher income than the man.

Meanwhile in Lima, the headlines in El Comercio related to a survey conducted in Peru found that 78% of women believe that they have the same opportunities as men. The report from the International Labor Organization (ILO), states that women show almost the same level of labor force participation as men (except in construction, transportation, manufacturing and domestic service) and almost the same unemployment rates. In terms of payment, 53% of women answered that there is no wage gap between women and men. However, this is more a wish than a reality, as according to surveys, the gap between the incomes of men and women for the execution of the same work stands at 30 %. At another level, an overwhelming 97% of Peruvian women stated a desire to work. Of this, half prefer to work part time (predominant sector being married women in social class E), while 49% want to work like men (single women predominantly in the classes A and B). Furthermore, 91% believed that women should be independent entrepreneurs.

Beware the Brazilian Teenager!

This weeks Veja magazine has devoted a large segment to a report on today’s Brazilian youth. Whilst the report contains some interesting background and insight on young people – much of which relates to trends observable in young middle class people (not just limited to teenagers) across the globe the general tone of the piece is in some ways as confusing as the young people it identifies. Confusing in that whilst the net is seen as creating a generation more informed than their parents, less tribal and less prejudiced, it is simultaneously seen as central to a number of ‘problems’ affecting young Brazilians.

The report is somewhat akin to a soft ‘moral panic’ stating that young people who are kings of the digital age are costly to keep, pragmatic, lacking idealism and generally lost or confused in a world of endless choice, much of which is bought on by their being endlessly online. The internet and social media is in part blamed for young people’s lack of reflexivity and a ‘look at me’ culture, meanwhile the growth of social contacts via Orkut has fuelled increased party attendance and this is blmed for increased drinking and drug taking amongst Brazilians.The article however also seeks to criticise teens for having lost the sense of revolution that their parents exhibited, worrying only about getting into stable employment and receiving a good salary. The shift in power relations due to adoption of technologies is also seen as a factor behind how young people now increasingly control household spending behaviour and the fact that young people are now 5 times more expensive than 30 years ago. The article which starts by drawing comparison to Holden Caulfield’s crisis of 2 generations ago ends with a list of recommendations to parents on how to raise their children with reference to such issues as – how to get them to answer the phone, or stop exposing too much of their lives online!

If you would like to know more about our own extensive and less sensationalist research report into Young Lives across South America - please click here

Nova Lima

We've been busy in Peru for the past few weeks looking at some of the social and cultural trends in Lima and beyond. We are in the process of creating a micro-site with more detail on the New Peruvian Consumer, interviews with young Limeñas and a host of visual images from around the city. The site will be up and running soon but in the meantime...

Young Lives : Vidas Jovens

TWRAmericas have recently completed a major study of Trends among young consumers (ages 15-19) in Brasil across various cities and with youth of a variety of ages.

The study looked at a range of issues inclusing young peoples values and influences, the role that media and new technologies play in their lives, as well as the role of brands and advertising within their own youth cultures.

The research involved a wide range of qualitative methodologies - from focus groups to online interviews and digital ethnography

If you would like to know more about the project or to see some of the findings please get in touch and we'll send  a copy of the Vidas Jovens DVD Report to you.

81% of Brazilians have had a good year (or Brazilian attitudes to the Economic Downturn/Crisis/Crunch)

According to a report out last week, depsite growing appreciation of the global economic crisis, Brazilians perspectives for the year ahead are largely positive. Either the study reveals a nation in serious denial or as we would expect more likely goes to show the severe limitations of attempting to understand a populations attitudes and understanding of the issue through such quantitaive on-street questionnaires.

The report - Perspectivas 2009, conducted by IBOPE, states that 81% of Brazilians have in general had a good or a very good year and that 74% of people believe that next year will be better. If anybody knows whether such figures are universally consistant we'd be interested in knowing more. The real issue with the research is that it then goes on to look at attitudes to the current global economic crisis, as if the two issues can be closely correlated. 86% of those surveyed believe that there is an economic crisis and 59% of Brazilians are worried or extremely worried about the consequences of the crisis. Most interestingly most respondents seem to feel that the problems of inflation and unemployment are already affecting the country but not yet their immediate families. In terms of changes in personal behaviours - the biggest impact is likely to be seen in less personal borrowing (48%) reduced leisure spending (40%), putting off of travel plans (29%).

click here to download a copy of perspectivas_2009_site_giro

For more detail on the study click here

New Business Communications Event

We're busy planning for the NBC event being organised by The Future Department.The event takes place at SENAC in Sao Paulo on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of October and has some interesting looking speakers and attendees. More information and some of the material we have been generating for the event will be appearing here soon. The official event site sits here

Changing Consumer Tastes

We've posted here at blogamericas a number of times about the rise in coverage of the new Brazilian consumer. We found a nice TV report (in Portugues) about some of the current trends that are resulting from a more affluent society. The report argues that the one time 'ice cream cone' consumers (those who went to the mall for an ice cream and some window shopping) are increasingly now active consumers. Whilst some have argues that there is an emerging middle class. the statistics contained in the article also indicate an increasing gap between the haves and have nots. The number of families with more than 4 times the average income has now reached nearly 50% and consumers are expected to spend this year alone R$450 Billion (280 Billion US$). A greater level of sophistication is clearly evident in the number of more specialist boutique stores. The report discusses the number of chocolate stores that are now replacing supermarkets as the primary purchase location.  As a result of this heightened sense of discrimination by consumers, stores are having to become more consumer focused.

Brazilians happier in church than at the match or in bed

The popular image of Brazil as a nation obsessed by football and sex are potentially challenged by the findings of a recent study by a social research institute based in the country. Whilst the media have focused on the low ranking of sex and football perhaps more interesting is the fact that the most popular responses to what brings Brazilians happiness. The fact that the church and travel score so highly are indicative of both broader established cultural trends and more recent shifts in the economic and cultural perspective. Religion continues to play an important role in the life of Brazilian society and thus its importance at 51% should not be surprising, reflecting its role as a social and community center. The fact that travel ranked as the second most popular response at 38% is perhaps more indicative of the increasing wealth and broadening horizons of an emerging Brazilian middle class.  This might also explain the fact that Concerts (27%) and Restaurants (25%) came in at 3rd and 4th with sex in 5th followed by TV viewing and participating in sport. Attending a football match was left lagging behind at just 10%.

taken from topix.net

Green Marketing and Consumers in Brazil - 5

To mark the UN Environment Day, TWRAmericas undertook a series of discussion groups with Brazilians to look not only at the issues as they relate to consumers in Brazil but also broader issues of sustainable development and ethical consumerism. The groups approached a broad range of subjects including current behaviours and responses to a range of 'green' advertising and activities by brands. Their are a series of 5 video clips with the thoughts of the participants. Please feel free to add your own own comments or thoughts on the issues discussed.

In this third section of clips respondents discuss a range of green advertising and its influence on their behaviour as consumers.

Green Marketing and Consumers in Brazil - 4

To mark the UN Environment Day, TWRAmericas undertook a series of discussion groups with Brazilians to look not only at the issues as they relate to consumers in Brazil but also broader issues of sustainable development and ethical consumerism. The groups approached a broad range of subjects including current behaviours and responses to a range of 'green' advertising and activities by brands. Their are a series of 5 video clips with the thoughts of the participants. Please feel free to add your own own comments or thoughts on the issues discussed.

In this third section of clips respondents discuss a number of Brazilian consumers and their green activities.

Green Marketing and Consumers in Brazil - 3

To mark the UN Environment Day, TWRAmericas undertook a series of discussion groups with Brazilians to look not only at the issues as they relate to consumers in Brazil but also broader issues of sustainable development and ethical consumerism. The groups approached a broad range of subjects including current behaviours and responses to a range of 'green' advertising and activities by brands. Their are a series of 5 video clips with the thoughts of the participants. Please feel free to add your own own comments or thoughts on the issues discussed.

In this third section of clips respondents discuss a number of issues surrounding their own behaviour and what might influence this in the future along with some potential measures which governments might adopt to better assist consumers act in a more ecologically sympathetic manner.