How to make it big in Latin America

To keep a close watch on half a continent is quite a challenge. But for Tatiana Künsch, Marketing Activation Manager LatAm at The Absolut Company, it’s home turf.

We had a chat with her on what makes the brand tic for her consumers – all the way from the banks of the Rio Grande in the north down to shores of Patagonia in the south.

How’s Absolut doing in Latin America?

I’d say it’s doing great as a whole. However, Latin America is a very big and diverse cluster of markets where Brazil only is as large as the whole of EU, so it’s huge. And it’s a very Absolut friendly market where the brand is seen as a premium and cool on the same level as Apple.

Which markets are you responsible for?

All markets in South and Latin America – from Mexico to Uruguay. But my main markets are Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the Caribbean. Absolut’s image is very similar in all markets. We’re perceived as very premium and progressive and just about every big city in my market is big on Absolut, which kind of makes my job easier.

Are there any big differences?

For sure. In Mexico, they have an affinity for tequila that differs quite a lot from most other markets. Argentina is more European – almost like they were a part of Italy. They drink wine and aperitif. In Brazil, where I’m based, most people drink cachaça, which in general is considered a low tier spirit – even though there are some premium brands. Otherwise, Brazilians love to drink whisky. We actually consume more whisky/capita than the Scotts! But vodka in general and Absolut in particular is very popular in all markets.

Why’s the brand so successful in your part of the world?

I think it’s a combination of product quality, the instant brand recognition due to the iconic bottle, the legacy of the brand and the fact that it is seen as very innovative. Our marketing initiatives are usually very impactful here when we use the global campaigns but tweak them to suit our consumers. We localize assets and use our specific traits. Bruna Marquezine is our main talent here in Brazil. She’s very influential and relevant to Gen Z. All her flights perform very well. I think this approach, to be a global brand and to always have a local approach to our activations, is what makes the magic. 

We always need to generate insights on consumer behaviors and other things and there are some very noticeable differences between the markets

What’s most challenging with your job?

Most complicated is to work in different time zones. With HQs in Sweden, I’ve only small four-hour window to make contact. It’s great to be able to work independently, but it’s also a bit tricky at times. It’s also challenging to be responsible for such a vast and diverse market. We always need to generate insights on consumer behaviors and other things and there are some very noticeable differences between the markets. So, it’s hard work to stay on top of everything that happens when you’ve got so much ground to cover.