“Gamechangers” in South America
September 22, 2014
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This autumn’s world tour kicked off in South America, now fully into the “Gamechangers” theme … The book is written, edited, and waiting to be printed (somehow it still takes publishers 9 months to turnaround a manuscript, I have no idea what they spend the time doing!). Actually its appropriate to start down here, because there’s a great number of Latin American case studies in the book. Brands you might not have heard of, but could learn a lot from – like Beauty’in that combines cosmetics in food and drink; like Graal Bio that turns urban waste into useful energy; like Juan Valdez that moved from commodity to brand experience; like Chile AIC that does some of the most amazing innovation.
Today its Buenos Aires … As I fly in over Montevideo, the huge city glints white in the sunshine. The classic buildings and wide streets seem more like a mix of European capitals, rather than Latin American. I stand in the main square, the cathedral where Pope Francis preached just months ago, and where Eva Peron, and more recently Madonna stood on the balcony of the rose palace, imploring the people to follow her. Today, Argentina lives through turbulent times. Inflation is high, growth is low, life is clearly not easy. Yet the natural wealth, through minerals and farming is there, if only they could sort out their politics.
Part of the ongoing “Gamechangers” project involves running competitions in each different region of the world … Local people voting to find the most disruptive innovations in their local markets … In this way we keep discovering new brands to learn from, and to take to showcase around the world. So the top three in the Gamechangers Argentina awards were:
- Taragui Mate Listo … “mate” is Argentina’s favourite non-alcoholic drink, so the leading drinks brand has given it a twist, easy to make and take anywhere
- Maracado Libre … an online marketplace, similar to eBay, but localized to Argentina, and also became the leading retailer and outlet store
- Globant … is South America’s leading software business, and one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in 2014