Cultural notes on Brazil from Ricardo Mello


Back in May, I emailed a friend of mine from Brazil, about the graph below and asked him: what is up with Brazilians?!?!?

His response is as follows:

  • Brazil had an early start adopting the internet and in fact, over the years developed a strong internet culture and environment. It has local internet companies and probably around 80,000 million people with Internet access (Brazil’s active internet population is bigger than any european country…).
  • A continental country with lots of traveling and long distance relationships (families, friends).
  • A culture that loves to show off (just look at Carnival), to tease and also, a culture that loves to be ‘modern’ – good ingredients for social media activity…
  • Very important and probably the number one reason: extremely young population, 15-30 years are the huge majority !!
  • “Relationship” in general is a very natural state for Brazilians… parties, going for a beer, happy hours and gatherings with friends and families are almost obligatory in the society, Brazilians LOVE to be social… So, naturally, I believe, when using the internet you will also show some of these qualities there..

One more thought about the Brazilian market in general. Although strong in the internet for social media, Brazilians don’t shop as much as Americans for example. Don’t get me wrong, Brazilians love to shop and the strong economical development in recent years  would give Brazilians plenty of reasons for a boom in internet sales … but not really …

The 2 main reasons, in my opinion are: Fear of having your credit card stolen and the post office system. Having your credit card stolen was until recent years the number one for me. I believe we are starting to leave that behind. My friends, when I ask about it, are less concerned about it these days.

So . . .the post office system is more complicated. In fact, its a fairly good system delivering the good – a little bit more expensive than the US . . . but actually we don’t have something that makes shopping through the Internet so easy.. you wouldn’t believe that power of the delivery at your doorstep. People don’t realize how much impact that has on shopping in the US.

In Brazil, if you leave a box in your doorstep, I bet 5 mins would be enough to make Dave Copperfield look like a kid… the box will be gone with the wind. There is a certain magic behind that. Makes it really virtual, arriving at home and having your box there waiting, safe for you. Because as you know, since the box can’t be left at your doorstep, it will be delivered to the postoffice … Guess what ? Post offices are not everywhere and they are usually located in the commercial district . . .  If I have to go out and get my car, get thru a traffic jam, get parking . . . well . . . better go to the actual market and do it myself, no risk, no fear and I might even get a discount if I buy something else also.

I am sure people will go the extra mile for goods you can’t buy in your city. But that is way smaller market…

My friend’s name is Ricardo Mello and he’s an amazing Spanish guitarist in the band Duoba.

Update: This is a post Ricardo recently did on the same subject matter. Great info!