Graciana Méndez
Graciana is a Senior Regional Consumer Insights Analyst for Latin America at Mintel. She is responsible for developing research plans, analyzing consumer and market data, writing research reports on how consumer trends are evolving in the region and presenting insights to clients.

As discussed in Mintel’s 2016 Brazil Consumer Trend Occupy Brazil, brands are falling in line with Brazilians’ quest for fair practices. Currently, as the country goes through a political crisis, Brazilians are taking to the streets on two fronts: against and pro-government. The fight against corruption and for democracy has set the tone for population uprisings. And we see that Occupy Brazil has, in fact, become extremely relevant and resonates as brands adapt their messages to better reflect and support consumers’ current demands.

In the light of recent events, several brands have decided to stand up and publicly express their support. Fast food brands like Habib’s and Ragazzo decided to support the 13th March anti-government rallies handing out posters and green and yellow (the National flag colours) pins to demonstrators. On top of that, the fashion brand Reserva released t-shirts with messages in support of the same event. By contrast, the online store Bate Panela (Banging pans), which apparently sells pans to be banged (a from of protest that became popular in the last few years in Brazil), but in reality when the person is about to do the check out, finds out that money actually can be donate for a social cause. This action takes advantage of the community feeling raised when people get together.

Within this political context, it’s been clear that companies are putting themselves in the shoes of everyday Brazilians in an effort to better connect with consumers. Thus, there are opportunities for brands as consumers demand a more open dialogue and a better reflection of their interests.  

Transparency should be the main focus of companies that seek to gain the trust of Brazilians. If consumers are to become ‘real’ partners, brands must be open and allow people to see inside the company. Forward-thinking brands will align with consumers’ quest for fair practices, taking corporate social responsibility to the next level by granting power to consumers and allowing them to be the drivers of positive change within the community, as well as to be more active in the decision-making and creation process of their businesses.

At a time when Brazilians are coming together to express their distrust against the government and the media alike, more and more companies will help consumers to raise their voices and spread their messages. We are well on the way to seeing brands increasingly take on non-traditional roles and make bolder decisions in terms of how they want to be reflected online.  

Graciana Méndez is Mintel’s Trends Analyst for the Latin American Region. She has worked as a trendspotter and content writer for over 10 years, in companies like The Futures Company and JWT Intelligence. Having lived in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, Graciana has a multicultural approach on cultural insights as well as on consumer and social trends.