Your customers are people, your employees are people, your suppliers and your stakeholders are people…people do business with people; not with systems, processes or contracts.
No matter how elaborate a marketing scheme or how robust an analysis of a country or niche market, success really comes down to how people feel about your product and your company and your “people” (employees, brand ambassadors, agents, suppliers etc). Are they willing to buy it even if it’s more expensive or harder to find because of the way it makes them feel?
If there is no context or “feeling” to your business relationship then business becomes highly transactional and potentially replaceable; even for the large players with endless resources.
Most countries in Latin America are considered high context; where the feelings around a sale, where you rank in hierarchy, the strength of the relationship, are often as important as the substance – what it is you are selling.
When you are a monopoly, substance can rule. Systems, processes and contracts win out. When you are trying to make yourself part of the lives of Latin Americans, why not start with getting the people part right?
Focus on people – and on what you mean to people – and business will follow.