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Havianas Rebranding Takeaways Essay Sample

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Havianas Rebranding Takeaways Essay Sample

As Brazil’s economy began to improve in the early 1990s consumers deserted the “cheap” Havaianas slippers, which were seen as something worn by maids and construction workers. This development also coincided with the entry of new unbranded competitors in the domestic market. > Consequently, Havaianas’s sales suffered, dropping 35 per cent in 1993 to 65 million pairs. The loss in sales forced the Alpargatas management to radically change the way it thought about the simple rubber flip-flops. It was clear that Havaianas needed a marketing push and could no longer survive as just a commodity. > The company revamped the brand by introducing new colours, new packaging and displays and investing heavily in promotional campaigns. Over time, customers came to associate Havaianas with a relaxed and irreverent attitude. This perception was driven by a series of funny advertisements that depicted artistes wearing Havaianas outdoors – at the beach, while shopping, etc. Simultaneously, a media campaign was launched with celebrities endorsing the product. These advertisements caught the attention of consumers and helped reinforce the new brand associations.

The Havaianas range grew from just two models to over 25 (and many more, later), in a variety of colours. While the cheap, commoditised mass model was retained, the new ones were priced five to six times higher. The premium products were packaged in boxes similar to those of shoes. Soon, the slippers began to appear in display windows. > In 2007 and 2008, the company launched the Havaianas brand in New York and Paris, respectively. The brand was positioned at the higher end, as there was an abundance of low-cost competitors…The company has taken great care to identify Havaianas with the Brazilian spirit. This is in line with what consumers love about Brazil: vibrant colours, youthfulness, sensuality, joy and fun, among other positive characteristics. > Since Havaianas was being marketed as a high-end item in the US, it was restricted to chains such as Saks Fifth Avenue. As sales increased in the US, Havaianas opened its first retail shop in Huntington Beach, California. The sleek 1,250 square foot store featured the brand’s largest US selection, with over 150 styles.

Cultural branding
Alpargatas faced well-entrenched incumbents and its answer was to employ cultural branding. > There are several positive cultural meanings that consumers around the world associate with Brazil: vibrant colours, sensuality, youth, joy, fun, and a sense of humour. Alpargatas used this identity to gain a global advantage. It was able to transfer these cultural associations to Havaianas with a cleverly designed marketing strategy. > Havaianas has done with flip-flops what brands such as Harley-Davidson, Nike, Ray-Ban, and Levi’s have done with American cultural connects to gain a unique point of differentiation in the global arena. The Brazilian brand now has an edge that cannot be copied by the Chinese. In turn, this allowed Havaianas to boldly attack the prejudice that emerging market brands sell only at a low price – Havaianas’s pricing starts at $16 and extends all the way up to $200.

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