Female Empowerment in Brazil
08 Jul 2014|Added Value
At the time when the FIFA World Cup keeps us up all night with its matches and related media avalanche, we’ve decided to look a bit more closely at the country and the people who are hosting it; we’ve selected for you some insights and inspirations, food for thought for your brands.
While becoming better educated, wealthier and more informed, Brazilians are also becoming more aware of their impact on their future and the future of their country.
One of the most significant examples of this new awareness is the ever increasing empowerment of Brazilian women. In 2010 the country elected its first female president, Dilma Rousseff, who announced in her inaugural speech that “Yes, women can.”
It might seem wishful thinking when you know that men continue to dominate economic, political and cultural might, with the very few women in the elite and legislation slow to impact the mainstream. Also, gender remains a mostly black and white area: the masculine and feminine roles in the family are well defined and separated and, unsurprisingly, machismo and hyperfemininity loom large.
Yet, a new reality of female empowerment is emerging.
In only two generations, the fertility rate has dropped dramatically to 1,9 children per family, which is below the level at which a population ‘replaces’ itself. The prevalence of female sterilization in Brazil is one of the highest of the world. As a saying among Brazilian women suggests, “la fabrica esta fechada” – ‘the factory is now closed.’ Interestingly, this new limited family model can be found across social classes and geographic zones.
At business level, things are also moving. The digital revolution is shaking business standards in women’s favor: 49% of new entrepreneurs (companies created less than 3 years ago) are women, far above the global average of 37%. In contrast, women’s presence at the top of established companies is dramatically low: only 3,4% of CEO and 3,9% of board members are women.
News for beauty brands.
Beauty is extremely important in Brazil, with Brazilian women spending an average of 240USD on beauty products per year, matching or even outspending mature markets like US and UK.
Certainly being feminine & sexy continues to be important, but today even more so when coupled with a strong, powerful, independent, determined attitude to life.
Dove or Rexona have managed to skillfully leverage this.
Furthermore, as beauty ideals slowly become less rigid, the beauty offer is likely to become more differentiated.
Local brands like Boticario and Natura are extremely strong and own the territories of naturalness and local provenance; but despite the strong grip of these local brands on the market, foreign brands are gaining traction amongst Brazilian women, with a premium and diversified approach to beauty, as shown by the recent success of Sephora.
Beauty brands can take advantage of the recent wind of change in women’s condition and give credit to women for their achievement, show support and understanding of the growing complexity of their lifestyles, in a positive way. They can break free of the “Gisele” stereotype and propose and encourage personalization and diversity, all the while supporting their confidence and connoisseurship in beauty categories. They should propose more choices, more novelty, more specific products and services. And of course, they shouldn’t forget to make them dream!
Written by Camilla Guimard, Project Director and Marina Cozzika, Public Relations.
Image Credits: National Geographicprev next