Brazilian professor talks business strategies

Adelle Whitefoot

A business professor from Universidade Federal de Lavras in Brazil gave a presentation at Northern Michigan University on Brazil’s business approach to marketing and other aspects business.

Daniel Carvalho de Rezende spent a decade as marketing director of Laticinios Serrabella, a Brazilian company that produces specialty cheeses.  Rezende’s presentation on Tuesday, March 15 covered multiple topics about business ranging from the evolution of consumption and consumerism to major trends in marketing.

“One of the major challenges for Brazilian marketing is consumption,” Rezende said.  “Because the Brazilian companies have a tradition to be created and structured to (advertise) toward the upper classes which are classes that can really buy things.”

There is one exception to that rule which is a company called Casas Bahia, Rezende said.  Casas Bahia is one of the biggest retail stores in Brazil and in just a decade, they jumped from having 250 stores to having 500.  Casas Bahia started granting a line of credit to customers so they could buy a product and pay on it over a certain amount of time before adding interest, Rezende said.

“What Casas Bahia did was (use  the) understanding of the emotional needs and buying habits of low-income clients and (made) the dream of consumption through the access of credit,” he said.

Rezende went on to talk about the media habit in Brazil and changing trends of how businesses advertise.  The main mean of communication is TV, whether it’s paid TV or unpaid TV, Rezende said.

“But nowadays we must include other things because the Internet and direct mail campaigns are becoming important and, depending on the product and the target audience, you can have success on all platforms,” he said.

With Brazil hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Rezende said that there could be an opportunity for growth for Brazil.  Rezende said that the biggest concern and weakness right now is infrastructures in Brazil.

“We need a huge investment from either the government or from private companies on airports, railways or roads,” Rezende said.  “We have to do this or we’ll be shamed worldwide, and Brazil would be in trouble.”

Rezende’s presentation continued with major trends in marketing.  He said that the population is aging and the average age will rise to above 65 years old.  Rezende also said that education will rise in the future as well.

“The people that are moving to a higher class will be able to pay for a better school, and the hope is that the education will be better,” he said.

Rezende has been serving as a visiting international scholar at NMU since March 12 and will be here until March 18.  He will give classroom presentations while he is visiting.