The Credibility Crisis & Brazilian Brands

12 October, 2015 Share socially
Brazil is going through a phase of great credibility loss: our country has suffered discredit as perceived by other countries, the international financial community, organizations and institutions in general. Even concerning global media and foreign nationals that visit, or only hear about us, the damage to our reputation over the last 12 months is pretty clear.

The conversion rate of Brazilian reais into US dollars has skyrocketed, stories of corruption scandals and investigations are circulating wildly across the globe, Petrobras stocks are in free-fall, and the president gained a disapproval rating of 62% vs 13% approval – a mere 4 months after her re-election.

Last April The Economist Magazine had already run a provocative article “The 50-year snooze” which criticized our economy and our culture in a way that offered compelling – and accurate – examples of low productivity, suggesting that we are submerged in a state almost completely deficient of efficiency.

Well, for those who are looking closely from the inside, all of this is rapidly devaluing the image we have of ourselves, of our country and most of our institutions. This doesn’t only and exclusively refer to the lack of confidence many feel regarding the value and behavior of politicians – in reality this situation is not unique to Brazil, but experienced in many countries – but also to a profound disappointment and concern held by a significant proportion of Brazilians today when we reflect on our future, and even on our way of being and living.

The answer to this gigantic challenge is not trivial, and most probably is still to be found – via discussions encompassing social, economic, political, historical, and cultural considerations.

In this dismal scenario, it is possible to visualize an important, and in some senses new, potential role for leading brands. They should seek to diminish the credibility void generated by this crisis and the widespread loss of confidence, by demonstrating their relevance, transparency, truthfulness, and ethicality.

Obviously, no one is suggesting that these brands will fill the vacuum left by the near absence of respected public institutions – it does not make any sense and in any case is an illegitimate idea, as it is not their place to occupy such roles. However, the brands whose value propositions embrace the future and sustainability will undoubtedly have the potential to develop strong rational and emotional connections with their stakeholders, approaching the role of a reference point in the communities in which they are present and even in society as a whole.

In a period of growing digital inclusion and the broad impact of social media, this movement could result even more successfully in the presentation of positive results and long range market penetration, very quickly.

Finally, if this projected scenario does not serve to eliminate the challenges Brazil faces, it may certainly modestly contribute to their solution, by reaffirming the commitment [of each of these brands] to a better future.

In doing so these brands will be paving their way to becoming the Future brands of Brazil.

Crisis can be opportunity!