You know, what impresses me most is that we are so close to the nation (we are part of it), but what is our contribution (personal and professional) to taking it to where we dream? Anyone who works with branding knows that the (re)construction of a positioning happens over the long term, with the set of impressions that people have in relation to their experiences with the brand. Where every decision we make can lead us to success or lead to negative repercussions with a crisis to manage. But what if we shift this analysis to understand the transformations in our own nation? Did Brazil deliver a clear and coherent positioning in 2023 or is it another example of a brand that needs to reinvent itself? I’m not “just” talking about politics. But from all of us who make up this brand.

Year in and year out, something that is very clear: Brazil is seen as a happy, party-loving and creative personality, regardless of the problems (and even the record high temperatures).

The study ‘Branding Brasil – The value that the country generates’ also points this out: from the survey with more than 2.5 thousand respondents and social listening with more than 600 thousand tweets, it was found that the main positive attributes are: party animal (59%), cheerful (58%), welcoming (55%), creative (55%), strong (54%) and hardworking (54%).

On the other hand, a third of respondents have negative perceptions about the country, mainly linked to a profile of profiteers (36%), scoundrels (34%), opportunists (33%) and dishonest (22%). This “Brazilian way” is a point to be reviewed as it also represents an old way of advertising – something that almost made me abandon my career in the mid-80s and 90s.

It was a time when pejorative and prejudiced jokes were used freely to generate sales and, of course, helped with this impression/cultural formation. Although this has left traces in the Brazilian identity, the market is going through a gradual transition with the relevance of conscious and sustainable positions.

Over the years, I have tried to make my contribution to bringing balance and positive Brazilianness. Which brings me to an extremely relevant topic: 92% of Brazilian leaders recognize the importance of ESG for the future of business, although only 16% have complete knowledge on the subject, according to data from studies by Data-leaders, developed by Data- Makers and CDN. In other words: despite the prominence, the ESG agenda moved slowly during 2023, with a lot of talk and little practice.

The big issue is the superficiality in which the topic ends up being addressed, since much of this interest in adopting such practices is due to motivations to improve brand image (85%) and corporate reputation (65%). But positioning happens with the unfolding of decisions taken that go beyond what is disclosed. In this sense, although it is a hot topic to generate value for brands, care must be taken not to fall into empty speeches and demonstrate inconsistencies.

But ESG is a fact. Look at the art. The 35th Bienal de São Paulo brought together artists from different origins and contexts in the “Choreographies of the Impossible” to call into question the old isolation of cultures and give space to a plural collective. The Biennale is over, but if you can, go to MASP (São Paulo Art Museum). You will see the Indigenous Stories exhibition. Do you know Masp’s traditional red ramp? It won an intervention by the Mahku collective, the first intervention since the 70s. Do you think it’s niche? No! It is being inserted into the culture. Art is trying to bring the issue of diversity to life.

So, I invite you to realize the importance that your daily life in advertising (in all its forms) has. Just as happened in the case of the “Brazilian way”, we can now bring the reality we want into our daily lives. If you bring diversity into your company, into communication, you will transfer to the common life something that should have been there for many years.

Brazil has great potential to become a reference in diversity, as a country with the greatest miscegenation in the world, as well as in sustainable initiatives due to the global importance of the Amazon Forest. There is also a lot of space to work on the hospitality and joy of the Brazilian personality in favor of its protagonism in the market.

With the collaboration of brands, we will bring the diverse country we have into everyday life, without forgetting joy and hospitality. Quite the contrary, the rebranding that Brazil needs is to look at the street itself, at the people and value the value they have. We only do this during the World Cup and Carnival, for example. Let’s do this with rice, beans, on trips, at the bank… Let’s do this with everything in our lives.

I believe in the transformative power of communication. And this brings me, once again, to the importance of our role in the country’s culture. The Brazil we have seen so far shows that it needs to undergo a rebranding to combine the Brazilian essence that we love with more consistent positioning to become a reliable brand with great global impact. All that remains is to show your value so that the “Brazilian way” can be given new meaning.

*Rui Piranda is a founding partner of the agency ForALL


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