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How Havaianas became a valuable and global brand

Jun 23, 2017 / Brazil
How Havaianas became a valuable and global brand
Havaianas, a Brazilian footwear company, can be an inspiration for many footwear entrepreneurs who are looking out for ideas and opportunities to be successful in their business
Havaianas is a Brazilian rubber flip-flops brand. It started more than 50 years ago with the idea of offering poor brazilian workers shoes for a cheap price. For many years it remained like that, a flip-flop for the poor. But in the 1990s the parent company, Alpargatas, decided to change the marketing position of Havaianas. A shift was made, and Havaianas became an aspirational high-fashion product. Or at least, this was the desire of the group.

From a commodity to a premium product

For consumers to see Havaianas as a premium product, marketing communication and advertising wouldn’t be enough. After all, Havaianas were still rubber flip-flops and it was necessary to add features to the “shoes” so that consumers would perceive them as valuable. To do this, the company hired the best designers available.

A change started to happen, and the brand was no longer just creating basic flip-flops. It started creating more colorful and attractive Havaianas that would please the eye and people would really like to wear. Naturally, the changes in design came with an increase in prices.

Soon consumers started seeing Havaianas as a premium product, especially after celebrities endorsed them. Sales increased and net profit as well.

Stagnant sales

For many years Havaianas enjoyed increasing sales. However in 2007 top executives realized that one of the biggest challenges would be to continue to grow since Havaianas was very focused on the local market, Brazil. It was highly saturated and having “Havaianas” wasn’t that premium anymore.
The group decided it was time to take Havaianas to the rest of the world and turn it into the first truly global Brazilian Brand.

Havaianas went global

To enhance the internationalization strategy Havaianas partnered up with local importers and distributors in most countries, except for Europe, where it decided to establish its own operations.
Alongside the logistics, the group focused on adapting marketing campaigns to each country always transmitting a message of Havaianas as a colorful, joyful and simple product.

Havaianas is now a global brand able to reach annual revenue of 1 billion euros (4 billion Brazialian reais).

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