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Location, Location, Location
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Sometimes the premise for a brand is based on a need; an empty space within an industry where there is potential for success. Other times brands are born out of a location. The fact is that there are certain distribution challenges that don’t make all products available everywhere. This again produces a need, and if done correctly, can create a successful brand that grows from simple supply and demand. However, these brands don’t grow sans challenges but rather expect the unforeseen when stepping into new territory.

Kimball Thomas was doing the ordinary but in a new country — buying diapers in Brazil — when he discovered an opportunity for a brand. Having trouble finding access to diapers on vacation, he and his partner Davis Smith created baby.com.br. It may seem straightforward and clearly needed, but this simple idea was unlocking more than diapers in a different country. The brand (a spin-off of diapers.com in the U.S.) is needed in more than one way — it’s online and it provides access. As much as the Internet is a standard in the U.S., Brazil has a much different story.

Currently only 40% of the Brazilian population is regularly connected to the Internet. Hello, opportunity. With over 60% of the people not using the Internet there’s huge potential to create new brands in Brazil that force customers to go online, and in a good way. With many infrastructure hurdles with standard brick-and-mortar companies, brands are starting online and hoping to provide benefits for the population. If a brand can provide access to products consistently and fulfill a need in the country, that’s definitely a building block for success.

Of course it’s not all smooth sailing building an online brand in Brazil. There are challenges of finding talent and keeping the top players is expensive and competitive. And there are government tax issues that produce higher operating costs. But with all of this, baby.com.br is still succeeding as a brand, changing the game of diapers and how to get them in a country where this was never done before.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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