Guía Vulevú: Helping Latin American Women Fall Back in Love with their Cities

guiavulevu

In 2002, French entrepreneur Anne-Sophie Dutat shifted her gaze towards Latin America. Her 10-year career span in marketing and business – more specifically, in the construction of luxury brands like Cartier and Lancôme – led her to focus on Brazil, a market with huge potential for fashion brands.

Dutat landed in Buenos Aires in 2009 and embarked on a project to consolidate a media group directed at the niche market of Latin American women (initially concentrating on Argentina, Chile and Brazil). Publications to emerge from her idea included Guía Vulevú and Hello-kitchen.com. Her inspiration? Editorial endeavors like DailyCandyMy little ParisMerci AlfredDaily Secret and Yo que vos.

Her standout project proved to be Guía Vulevú, which in 2010 won Buenos Aires Emprende (Buenos Aires Startup) and is currently working with Startup Chile. The publication is an exclusive and sophisticated online guide for Latin American women over the age of 30. It already boasts 50,000 subscribers to its Buenos Aires, Santiago, Sao Pablo and Mendoza editions.

The online guide publishes weekly articles: one with the purpose of breaking up the readers’ weekly routines, and the other featuring unique opportunities to rediscover their respective cities. “I love strolling through Buenos Aires and discovering places, people and projects. The guide’s objective is to give women a new way to fall back in love with their cities,” Dutat explains.

The guide is complemented by a newsletter, where readers can access secret places, small pleasures and exclusive places deemed “the surprise of the day.” It is, essentially, an escape from typical outings and predictable places.

Voulez-vous, the translation of which is “you want,” sums up the project’s spirit, which is to allow one’s self to be surprised by the unusual places in each city, keeping the French free spirit in mind.

CH: What kinds of articles can one expect to find in the guide?

Dutat: Vulevú features all kind of issues, ranging from fashion to food and even the environment. Cities have so many spaces to offer that not even those living right next to them are aware of, so we do the work of finding such spaces for our readers. The Vulevú team is composed of a group of writers located in each of the cities we cover. We concentrate on high-end lifestyle tips and recommendations.

CH: How would you describe your business model?

Dutat: Our exclusive content is aimed at women in the ABC1 market segment, with not-to-miss deals and offers on the brands these women love. Luxury brands connect with potential buyers, and GV acts as a permanent platform for these brands to discover and attract clients who eager to find information on new products and services.

CH: What leads you to affirm that these types of platforms represent a renovation of traditional advertising models?

Dutat: No one wants to be bombarded with advertising. A brand’s storytelling ability is what matters – it’s what creates connections and later affects buying behaviors. It’s easier for brands to work with an entity that’s already got the attention of the audience they’re trying to reach and that introduces them to a receptive audience.

CH: How does publication generate such synergy?

Dutat: The content and storytelling implemented facilitate relevant and complex conversations, both online and off. A simple way to integrate business with content is through deals with affiliates, where a post includes a link to buy the product being described. This may also imply an eventual union between media sites and collective buying pages.

Guía Vulevú will soon open operations in Bogota, Rio de Janeiro and Lima, and it is also in the process of launching a mobile version. “Guia Vulevú was conceived as an evolutionary business for all of Latin America,” Dutat concludes.

This text has been adapted into English from its original Spanish publication.

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Emily Stewart

Originally from the United States. Degree in Comparative Literature & Society from Columbia University. Background in marketing and communications, including copywriting, translation, editing and content creation. Localization experience. Twitter @doblackshoe