Curitiba Sweets 

How we helped the world leader in the wheels and casters market to increase its Brand Awareness in 500% in the Brazilian market. 

Top 5 in Brand recognition in the segment
Curitiba Doces   Curitiba Doces 

Curitiba Sweets

In 2017, it was one of the best-known companies in the Sweet Distributors segment in the Curitiba region. However, in 2014, the company led by João Carlos S. dos Santos presented a challenge: how to expand its sales and increase its market share, in the hyper-competitive sector of small cash and carry stores.

Consultancy carried out between 07/2014 and 10/2017.

Curitiba Doces – business model and history

Wholesale store opened by businessman João Carlos in 2008, the company is dedicated to selling: sweets, food service, gastronomic supplies, packaging and party items. Always dedicated to a great relationship with the local community and the neighborhood where it is located – Boqueirão region, one of the most populous in Curitiba.

Like so many other small family businesses in Brazil, it started its operations in a small store. It based its performance on the quality of its commercial location 50 meters from the Boqueirão Terminal, an important public transport hub in this highly populated region.

Added to the businessman's extensive experience in the sweets trade, its excellent location and excellent family service, the company had a financial result sufficient for the family's subsistence with some comfort.

However, there was a major business challenge: the competition in the Sweet Distributors segment is enormous. And the company had difficulties in making itself visible and relevant even within a few blocks of its location, in addition to presenting several operational difficulties in service and stock.

Therefore, recommended by other clients of ours, the businessman chose to invite our company – Burlamaqui Marketing and Strategy Consulting – to set the Strategy and the Processes that would take the company to a greater market share.

Challenges we encountered

At the beginning, the company lacked the most varied elements of Effective Management to progress in the market.

Considering the aspect of Trade Marketing and Point of Sale, its structure did not encourage permanence and a greater volume of purchases, in addition to making it difficult to visualize the more than 10 thousand products available in the company.

The commoditization of products is in the nature of this business model, as the same products are supplied by the same industries to all competitors in the market. Tough price competition is also in the nature of this business model.

And on top of all this, there is a huge range of direct and indirect competitors offering the same products in the city's main neighborhoods.

Therefore, we scale our challenge into the following points:

  • Implement the fundamentals of Effective Management.
  • Enable the automation of a large part of administrative operations.
  • Define a competitive Brand and Market Positioning in the category.
  • Structure end-to-end Marketing operations.
  • Training for more effective purchases, enabling the optimization of the low price policy.

Walk to success

Step one: Organizing the house

Being responsible for enabling the growth of Curitiba Doces, we dedicated our initial attention to consumer analysis: besides the low price, what motivates your purchase? Why choose one establishment over another? What motivates them to travel greater distances instead of shopping in their own neighborhood? What product mix does the customer demand most?

Internally, we use data collected about consumers. And so we provide a series of guidelines for the entrepreneur on the requirements that the point of sale should meet, without giving up fundamental symbolic and cultural elements for its consumers – guidelines that were used in the renovation and first expansion of the point of sale.

Furthermore, we mapped a unique opportunity for the entrepreneur: based on ethnographic research and suggestions for new brand positioning, we suggested changing the company name.


Step two: Renaming the company – naming as a strategic process.

Previously the company was called “Palácio dos Doces”.

Using ethnographic, behavioral and comparison analyzes with other companies in the market; we came to a sad discovery. Such a name was perceived as personalityless, generic and devoid of pregnancy. In addition to having other companies in nearby neighborhoods with identical or very similar names, making it difficult to remember the brand and access the company.

Therefore, within the processes of Branding, we created the name Curitiba Doces.

It may seem like an obvious and even silly name from the point of view of those who were not involved in the process, but the greatest qualities of this name are two: Obviousness and Digital Marketing.

As a local, small and family-owned company, there is nothing better than highlighting its localism and ties to the community through its own name. Sound enough to be remembered, but simple enough to remain in the context of popular consumption.

Furthermore, the domain was incredibly available and this choice of words optimized the organic performance on Google (SEO) for most of the searches carried out in the segment.


Step Three: Strategic Design

Defined a new Brand positioning, we defined all the processes and elements in the company's Design Management, now renamed Curitiba Doces.

As the company is focused on the consumption of audiences C, D and E, as well as having a low price among its Values, we carried out an extensive study of the visual language and semantics of consumption at the base of the pyramid. In fact, the work with Curitiba Doces was our biggest school in terms of Marketing for the base of the Pyramid.

Therefore, we deliberately abdicated the main references of elegance in Design and Communication, aiming to build rapport and empathy with our low-income consumers. It was a fundamental strategic choice to give up what we learned at great universities, in favor of what was more suited to our client's success.

All visual communication, point-of-sale communication and promotional material were designed following this guidance – so we were hugely successful in generating Brand Remembrance in its category.


Step four: Digital Marketing

In 2014, we identified that the absolute majority of competitors did not have effective Marketing operations as a whole, but particularly in the field of Digital Marketing.

A fact already previously mapped in the development of the name Curitiba Doces, we developed solid strategic planning and subsequent execution, with the aim of filling digital gaps previously unnoticed by the rest of the market.

Thinking about operations according to the client's operating and investment capacity, we structure lean but high-impact processes.

Integrating Trade Marketing, SEO, SEM, Social Media and Customer Service 4.0 tactics, the company began to have a representative volume of sales through digital orders from customers who were purchasing wholesale, a market of greatest interest to businesspeople. This success was achieved without an e-commerce structure itself.

Furthermore, through visibility and relevance on the internet – in addition to effective integrations of trade marketing and social media – more people began to travel from distant neighborhoods to make purchases at the company.


Step Five: Purchasing Strategy

Being a market of commoditized products, price is highly relevant in consumer preferences. Therefore, we articulated strategic processes for purchasing analysis, aiming to eliminate stock shortages that ended up reflecting costs in the products actually demanded.

All of this was done through analytical processes that were made possible through management automation, using an ERP system.

Results achieved

  • Increased revenue by 80% in the first 12 months.
  • From anonymity to Top 5 in Brand recognition, in the Sweet Distributors* category.
  • From zero to more than 50 monthly quote requests made remotely.
  • 1st organic place on Google, for “Sweet Distributor in Curitiba”.
  • 1st organic place on Google for more than 40 keywords related to products sold by the company.
  • Market opening in event companies, direct marketing agencies, schools, churches and associations

Key information from the Business Strategy built for the client was not mentioned here, aiming to protect sensitive data.

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