Country-of-Origin and its effects on International Marketing

Global marketing studies have proven time and time again that knowledge of where a product is made influences purchasing decisions. The attitudes and perceptions people have in their minds about a particular country are transferred to products and brands originating from that country. If you don’t believe me, think to yourself: would you rather buy electronics made in Japan or in China? According to research from Futurebrand, a brand’s home country ranks higher than traditional purchasing choice drivers like price, availability, and style (Roll, 2014). This bias is what marketing literature calls the country-of-origin-effect, and it is common in product categories such as automotive, electronics, fashion, beer, and certain food products (Keegan 2016).

The country-of-origin effect presents both challenges and opportunities for global marketers. Marketers need to carefully study the markets where they do business and decide where and if they want to prominently associate their brands and products with their home countries through integrated marketing communications strategies.  On the one hand, positive country associations can generate interest, acceptance, preference, and brand equity; facilitate foreign market entrance; and allow marketers to capitalize by charging premium prices. Germany is a case in point. This country has long been associated with innovative engineering and performance. Luxury car brands like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz have used these associations to their advantage, developing an image of prestige and quality. These brands make sure that customers around the world know their cars are made in Germany. Country of origin can reduce perceived risks by acting as a guarantee of quality (Adina, Gabriela, & Roxana-Denisa, 2014).

On the other hand, negative country associations can be detrimental to a brand. These perceptions can negatively affect demand and make market entrance difficult. Animosity towards the country of origin can lead to product avoidance and sometimes even hatred (Adina et. al, 2014). Negative feelings and associations can come from a history of questionable product quality or nationalistic sentiments. For example, in March 2017, political disputes between China and South Korea over missile defense produced a spur of violence and restrictions for South Korean brands (Doland, 2017). In a video that went viral on Chinese social media, a man smashed an LG washing machine and a TV set with a sledgehammer in front of a banner that read: “We would rather damage these than sell them.” Coincidentally, Chinese authorities also banned imports of South Korean beauty products citing issues of quality and closed dozes of stores owned by a South Korean supermarket chain citing safety code issues (Doland, 2017).

            Country associations are fluid and can change overtime. There are strategies that both countries and marketers can implement to overcome country-of-origin challenges. Countries can build the nation’s brand by emphasizing and diversifying their sources of competitive advantage, being conscious of foreign policy’s impact on popular global brands, publically recognizing their best brands, and improving health and safety regulations as well as intellectual property rights (Roll, 2014). In turn, marketers can focus on making branding and innovation the center or corporate strategy. Brands must pay attention to the smallest details, ensuring that the customer experience is outstanding and well differentiated. Ensuring a positive response to the brand can minimize the country of origin effects.  

What are some of your personal bias for or against products or brands from certain countries? What has a larger influence on your purchasing decisions, where the product is made or where the brand is from?


Adina, C., Gabriela, C., & Roxana-Denisa, S. (2014). Country-of-origin effect on perceived brand

positioning. Procedia Economics and Finance, 23(2015), 422-427. Retrieved from

Doland, A. (2017, March 17). China Is Lashing Out at South Korean Brands; Here’s What Marketers Should Know. AdvertisingAge. Retrieved from

Keegan, W.J. & Green, M.C. (2017). Chapter 10: Brand and product decisions in global marketing. In Global Marketing (9th Ed., section 10.4). Retrieved from

Roll, M. (March 2014). How nations and brands overcome country of origin challenges. Retrieved


Ivy Velasquez is an MBA Marketing student at the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University. She can be reached at

International Business Students Looking to Study Abroad?

Studying abroad is probably one of the most rewarding experiences a college student can take advantage of. You get to see the world, explore, and learn new cultures. Not to mention how AMAZING it looks on your resume. Employers and grad schools really appreciate that experience when they are recruiting for new employees and students. Especially if you are looking to get into global marketing post graduation, you are an extreme asset because you have that experience and knowledge from another country where you may one day choose to do business.

            Over the last few years, Canada has been climbing to the top of the list of destinations where foreign students are looking to advance their education. Many people are looking at Canada because of their immigration policies. Unlike the US and Britain, they offer a post-graduation work permit of up to three years for eligible candidates.  

            New data states that Canada has moved into the top 5 of international study destinations. Typically the US and Britain are the top choices; however, Canada moved into second place last year as a top choice for prospective African MBA students. They also have been creeping up in popularity with students from Central and South Asia, and surprisingly, is a preferred location for students coming from the Middle East and the US as well! It is said that a lot of these changes could be due to the US and Britain’s anti-immigrant policies and the post-graduate restrictions given to foreign students.

            The amazing thing about Canada is that it has also been deemed a safe and secure location for those incoming students. Having been given the option to receive a three year work permit allows enough time for students to apply for permanent residency in Canada. At the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business, two-thirds of the MBA international student population participates in a three-week orientation that allows them to learn about the Canadian culture. Though Canadian schools are looking to capitalize off of the new foreign student interest, they are still encouraged to attend MBA fairs worldwide. The University of Toronto’s School of Management had a 35%increase in African applicants, and they do intend to send recruiters to Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa in the fall.

Image: Canadian Bureau of International Education (2017)


Benefits to Studying Abroad | Study Abroad Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved from

International business students flocking to Canada - The Globe and Mail. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Almetia Whitaker is an MBA student in the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University. She can be reached at

Design Thinking in Global Business

Innovation drives the global business out of stagnation and into continual success in each area of its global strategy.  There is no guarantee on your success, but there are methods to ensure you are on the right track to achieving a specific level of success that outweighs the risk associated with you strategy.

Every part of your global success strategy has to be design oriented.  This means that each goal is a part of a fundamental design process that is applied to your strategy and the innovation that drives it.  It will also give you the fluidity to redesign with ease and timeliness.  This is because design thinking is a repeatable problem-solving protocol that can be applied and proven in each step of your global strategy process.

Design thinking is founded on four elements:

1.      Define the problem

2.      Create consideration options

3.      Refine directions and repeat 1-3 if necessary

4.      Pick the winner and execute

Four of the most common problems when taking a company global are:

1.      Currency fluctuations

2.      Bureaucracy

3.      Innovation

4.      Value Creation

You can create a success path that can be proven and applied for each of your goals, which will give you a better success rate with each of the most common global strategy problems, as well as, any mix of them.

You have to define the right problem to solve.  This means making a list of problems and then defining the real problems.  This will allow you to choose problems that have real meaning and provide a real solution channel.  You have to create numerous solutions, then choose the best one.  You have to create the environment for your solution to be grown and tested, to give you what you want.  If you have a solution that yields a significant probability of giving you the expected results that you want, then implement it.

Image source:, 2017


Fast Company. (2006). Design Thinking… What is That? Retrieved on Jun 04, 2017, from

Naiman, L. (2016). Design Thinking as a Strategy for Innovation. Creativity at Work. Retrieved on Jun 05, 2017, from    

Jabari M. Daniel-Cox is an MBA student in the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, and can be reached at

Marketing: The Twitter Effect of a President!

Long before President Trump ran for office he had a profound effect on the national media through his use of Twitter and social media. He is the first President to speak his mind freely in such a public forum. This has created a new force for the world in regard to Social Media Marketing. His words, rants, or opinions can be seen at any time and by anyone with an Internet connection. Many people even follow his streams directly, getting instant updates of these opinions and thoughts. Is this the wave of the future, will more presidents, leaders, and dictators take to social media marketing platforms to promote their beliefs as a strategy? It makes sense to a degree since President Trump currently has 28M followers on Twitter. That is a lot of marketing power! He currently ranks #42 in the Twitter stratosphere of popularity. Interestingly enough, Ex-President Barrack Obama is #3 with 87M behind only Katy Perry 97M, and Justin Bieber 93M ( With a few swipes of his thumbs President Trump is able to reach an audience that is larger than the highest rated television show typically drawing 12-15M viewers. His tweets have been correlated to a drop in the S&P 500 healthcare index by .54% causing losses for large pharmaceutical manufacturers. After a tweet about Lockheed Martin’s cost overruns, the company’s stock dropped 2.1%.

Without any controls, the President can type anything at any time. Currently there are no controls on what he is saying or doing in Social Media. Along with the tweets about healthcare he has verbally attacked individuals who oppose him, along with news media and companies.

There is seemingly no limit to what the President might say through social media at this point. Ultimately we are yet to see a major effect from any of these social media postings, but as long as the President has a following he will have a platform to market his opinions openly. If this begins to have a tangible influence on people, companies, and politics, the world will begin to change through Social Media marketing more than it ever has or ever was possible. Many companies turn to Social Media to spread its word, so it only makes sense that any individual with enough followers could have enough influence to create change or wreak havoc!

Image sources:

John Weissgerber is an MBA student in the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, where he majors in International Business. He can be reached at

5 Steps to Better Email Marketing

Google the exact phrase “email is dead” and over 180,000 results are returned. Long has been the debate over email’s pulse - or lack thereof. The truth is email is alive and well and while it has gone through growing pains, the health of this communication channel should not shy you away from developing a sound email marketing strategy. This post will give you 5 steps to building a better email marketing strategy. 
Step 1: It begins at the source
An email marketing program is meant to work in conjunction with all your other communication channels. Start by identifying and documenting all possible lead sources. Some examples of lead sources include your website, the physical store location, social media and paid digital advertising. Once you understand where your leads are coming from, you will be able to control how you collect and communicate with your leads. 
Be nice.
For each lead source, ensure there is a straightforward way a person can request to join your mailing list. Your lead form should collect only the most essential data fields (i.e. name and email address). Depending on the source, set expectations by briefly stating the type of content and frequency subscribers should expect. Use a “Thank You” confirmation message after each form completion. You can also encourage your new contact to add your sender email address to their contacts list to ensure your emails are not be marked as spam. Finally, reassure your audience that their contact information is safe and will not be sold or shared with third-parties.
Focus on quality. Not quantity.
One of the keys to a successful email marketing plan is managing your list of contacts carefully. The sooner you realize you are not going to capture every single contact’s attention, the faster you can focus on creating eye-catching content that will captivate your target audience for each source. When gathering leads, be careful when offering incentives for email sign-ups. Although this can increase your list, you may be capturing leads who will not convert to loyal customers. Offer incentives strategically and sparingly.
Step 2: Invest in the right tools
As a business, if you are communicating with your prospects via email, you must abide to all terms found in the CAN-SPAM Act. The good news is that when you use paid email marketing software, you can easily comply with rules and avoid being blocked by your email service provider. Two common email marketing services are Constant Contact and MailChimp. There are pros and cons to each service and both of them offer email templates, list segmentation, and image editing software, key features to creating branded, engaging, and personalized emails.
Step 3: Develop a communication plan
In this step, you must decide on the 3 Ws: what, when, and who.
This refers to both design and content of each of your communications. Email marketing software will allow you to select a pre-built template of upload your own. Regardless of your method, consider these design guidelines:
• Your Call to Action should be visible within 300px from the top of your email
• Use eye-catching images but avoid image-heavy emails
• Opt for responsive design, whenever possible
• Use web-safe fonts only
Decide and write down your general topics. For example, you can use a welcome email, an eNewsletter, highlight a product/service or sales promotions.
Once you have your topics outlined, determine the frequency of your emails. In most email marketing software, you can also assign nurture plans to specific lists. You can view general trends by industry for best day of the week and time of day where average opens are the highest. This can be a great starting guideline but feel free to adjust to your specific audience. Whatever the case, be consistent.
Email software will allow you to segment lists so you can assign your leads to specific categories. For example, you can segment by source (website, social media, physical store), specific demographics, or any many other indicators. Note that you will have to collect this type of information on your lead form.
Putting it all together.
Once you have your 3 Ws, put it all together in a simple spreadsheet.

You can also take advantage of calendar features offered by many email marketing software clients.
Step 4: Know your metrics
Once your plan is in place, it is time to assign some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). These are ways of assessing your efforts. Your email software will provide many performance metrics. Pay attention to the metrics such as click-through rate and unsubscribes. Look for patterns after a particular email topic.
Google Analytics also allows you to generate customer URLs to include additional campaign parameters tying in email campaigns to other paid or organic methods. This will help you see the full impact of your email campaign in conjunction with other efforts.
Step 5: Optimize and repeat
This plan is meant to help you build your strategy. Throughout each step, you may need to make adjustments to fit your resources, market, and/or individual results. Analyze what does and does not work and adjust your plan accordingly.

Image Source: RDM-Rio Digital Marketing, 2017.

Marcia Perez-Del Valle
Marcia is a digital media specialist with 5+ years of marketing experience in the areas of social media marketing, email marketing, website content management, and analytics. She obtained her B.A. in Communication from Nova Southeastern University and is currently pursuing her M.B.A. in marketing. She holds a web design certification and is Google Tag Manager certified. She can be reached at

Five Fun Ways to Boost Social Media Engagement

It would be extremely hard these days to find a company that is not using some form of social media for their business. Well-known platforms like Twitter and Facebook are utilized by big corporations and small business as a way for them to promote themselves. However, just because your business is “on” these platforms, doesn’t mean that you are using them to their full potential.

The key to using social media properly is engagement. If your business is not using its social media profiles to engage with your consumers, then you are really just wasting your time. Engagement allows customers to feel personally connected to your business and builds brand loyalty. Being flat when it comes to social media engagement can truly make or break your business. Here are five ways to boost social media engagement:

1. Talk to your customers, not at them

It is easy to create a post on Facebook. The real talent is turning that post into a conversation. When people post comments on your social media, respond quickly. Give your customers the chance to actually talk to you. Allow your customers to feel like they are talking to a human being, not an automated reply system. You can post all the content you want or send it to them, but if they don’t feel as if they are a valuable part of the conversation, it is pointless.

2. Allow the customer to do the talking:

Sometimes, the best marketing comes the customers themselves. It is perfectly fine to allow people to promote your business. Allow people to share their experience with your business. Whenever you receive a great customer review or testimonial, showcase it or share it to your page or profile. Consumers are more willing to take the word of another people over yours. Welcome the opportunity for customers to comment and share their experience.

3. Host Q &A Sessions:

Giving customers a direct line of communication by hosting a Q&A session is a great way to boost engagement. A great suggestion is to let someone who is higher up in the company answer the questions directly from the customer. Host your sessions on Facebook or Twitter, since those are more than likely your most used platforms. These sessions can be between 30 minutes to 1 hour long. Just be sure to let the customers guide the conversation but not to the point that they are trolling you.

4. Contests

Who doesn’t love winning free stuff? Contests are great ways to boost social media engagement. Contests with great prizes encourage people to participate. Creating a contest that is related to your brand will boost engagement with those who are already followers and can help you increase the number of subscribers by requiring those that don’t follow or like your page yet to do so in order to win.

5. Show your Personality

Not every post has to be about your business. Show that your company has personality. Post a funny picture or video of your employees at work. It’s okay to be lighthearted sometimes. Have fun on social media. Customers will love that you are willing to laugh and that will help them to build a connection to your brand. Just be careful with the content. Make sure that it is appropriate for your audience.

Brittani McCray-Fleureme is an MBA student in the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University. She can be reached at

The Rise of Creativity

Pin it! Snap it! Like it!

It seems that engagement is of high relevance in businesses nowadays, thanks to social media outlets such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Due to the tremendous growth of e-commerce within the past ten years, businesses have invested more dollars in enhancing their brand’s image to tap into the mindsets of X and Y generations with the assistance of creativity.

First, brands must strategically plot the best approach in developing universal communications and summarize what they stand for (Chow & Baack, 2016.) By providing an accurate image, brands portray the solitary nature of the organization and what they sell. Each social media outlet reaches consumers in alternative ways, so it is imperative for brands to select the method to voice their message and build valued relationships. Snapchat, for example, would be an excellent medium for B2C markets since it is used to share exclusive moments of the present within a matter of ten seconds. From a consumer’s perspective, it is valuable to receive the privilege of visualizing what a company does and how it creates value through Snapchat. It also enhances psychological reinforcement, provides a service, and plays with their purchasing power.

Tumblr, on the other hand, serves as a blog where users can post images, intuitive quotes, short narratives, and videos. Account holders range from mid-teens to mid- twenties which gains branding expansion with the youth who is a primary target market for brand longevity (Gahran, 2012.) Unlike Facebook, Tumblr accounts are visible to the public whether they have an account or not. It is imperative for businesses to use generic hashtags and continuous daily postings of content portraying the business to gain awareness. Overall, organizations must create interactivity, delivery, and shape consumer experiences to heighten creative profit growth.


Chow, K. E., & Baack, D. E. (2016).  Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (7th Ed.). New York, NY:  Prentice Hall.

Gahran, A. (2012). A quick guide to using Tumblr for business. Retrieved February 07, 2016, from

Alysse Llerena is an M.B.A. student in the Huizenga College of Business studying the innovative strategies of Marketing. For inquiries, you may contact her at

Astute or Peeping Tom Companies? Embracing Location-Based Marketing

Location-Based marketing is the use of mobile marketing to target mobile users within a certain geographic area. This practice can be used by businesses to send mobile ads, paid searches or other forms of mobile advertising to people who have been located using GPS or cell tower triangulation. For brands using this type of marketing, there a thin line between “astute” and “peeping tom” that they have to cross each day. A survey provided from messaging technology Company Brainstorm and Mobile Marketing Association found that 74% of users are ok with sharing location based data with third parties. But aren’t we still a little creeped out?

As marketing moves towards the future, embracing location-based marketing will be a wise move to engage with consumers. According to Paul Berney, former CMO of the Mobile Marketing Association, a mobile marketing strategy relies on earning consumers’ trust, and to do so, three steps should be followed – transparency, notice, and choice. Consumers must know when their location is going to be tracked, get a notification about it, and consequently opt-in. Well, that’s good news!

Major brands that have adopted location-based marketing argue that this is a two-way street. Do people really want to push notifications walking down the aisle of a store? When does it become intrusive? An approach that seems to be working for some major players is to use verified social media posts from consumers. By using key information and context, brands can have a more informed communication and increase their chances of engagement and interaction. Heineken’s recent @wherenext campaign, encouraged people to geo-tag their Tweets to receive location-based advice on the best places to go near them in real time. This inspires conversation between brand and user and gains a mutual benefit. Cheers Heineken!

So there you have it, consumers, brands, and technology interacting all at once – now that’s the future, so consumers who want to benefit from personalized services and suggestions are already starting to embrace it!

Angela Serna is an MBA student in the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University. She can be reached at

The Reverse Psychology of Mass Marketing through Social Media

With the rise of technology and social media, marketing has been taking a dramatic turn into a new indirect strategy, the so-called reverse psychology of mass marketing. Whether it’s mass marketing or niche marketing, they both simplify and utilize the benefits of mass marketing. Thanks to the Internet and social media, even niche or exclusivist companies are able to put their promotional message out there without appearing to market on purpose outside their official target market.

Customers do know what they want. As many companies committing to the customer experience transformation, they increase their research and investment to understand them. They gather more and more insights on a transactional and relationship level. Getting deeper more frequently insight your customers’ mindset is important, and it carries a sort of consciousness. Having said that, customers now understand their market better, the same way companies do.

What if customers don’t know what they want? It might seem like a silly question, but it’s a critical one, because they don’t know until they’ve seen it. Customers don’t know the product or service they’re looking for until it’s been advertised online, TV or magazines. Therefore, customers provide a great insight into technical experiences that are beneficial to fix problems, improve services, address issues, and thus they take so much credit into defining and segmenting the new marketing era and segmenting their own market, which helps improve the process of consumer self knowledge, although called consumer education.

All things to all people, people choose their preferred things?

With the rising technology of new marketing strategies and social media effect, the majority of consumers know what segment of the market they belong to, a family of five know what kind of car they need. Consumers know that they are loyal to certain brands, but sometimes they might want to go fancy and buy more expensive, exclusive and reputable brands. They know that those brands are out there, since they’ve seen all their ads and posts on social media.

We can say that social media is the new mass marketing era in a very indirect way, which makes it very tricky, especially for companies trying not to blow their cover, by keeping the reputation of targeting specific segments of their market and customers.

While everyone is always talking about social media and the promotional messages that target its billions of users monthly, niche and exclusive companies might also be on the wagon of “the reverse psychology of mass marketing through social media”. High end brands use social media where they see the opportunity of being able to interact with their existing customers as well as potential customers. While they don’t see this as mass marketing, since that can affect their brand positioning and reputation, the bottom line is that every company wants to expand their pool of audience and ultimately grow.


“Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2016 (in millions)”. (2016). Retrieved from

* (2016). Retrieved from (*Image source). (2015). “Do Customers Really Know What They Want?” Retrieved from

Mohammad Mustafa is an MBA student in the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University. He was born and raised in Jordan, and is an entrepreneur and business owner who has worked in many industries. He can be reached at

Marketing legal services on social media

In today’s day and age, it is hard to find someone who is not on social media. The platforms are endless: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Pinterest. However, social media is no longer your teenager's favorite obsession. It has evolved into a marketing tactic and is one of the powerful ways technology is boosting business. But what about the legal industry? Can we really suggest that social media is helpful for building up a legal practice? Which platforms are helpful?

Studies show that general counsel and C-suite executives are more likely to be connected with their outside counsel on LinkedIn, making it the go-to platform in modern legal marketing. For example, a labor & employment attorney who regularly shares articles (both own and third-party) about wage and hour issues, he is proving that he is up to date with the latest developments surrounding key areas of his practice. If that same attorney is connected with the appropriate groups on LinkedIn, who regularly share those articles, that is visible on his profile and just another reason of proof that he is knowledgeable and growing in knowledge about all types of labor & employment issues. Similarly, if a corporate lawyer represents a company acquisition, and shares the news with her connections, she is proving how well-versed she is with mergers and acquisitions.

Another way that social media is effective in the legal industry is with recruiting. The Skills and Endorsements section on LinkedIn, recently approved by The Florida Bar, allow attorneys to hone in on the specific focuses of their practices. This makes it easier for recruiters to specify their searches and strategy.

Other platforms, such as Twitter, can be effective for different purposes. Twitter is an excellent way to bridge attorneys with the media. Regularly sharing content and using appropriate hashtags will gain them visibility with reporters, who could use them for future stories. But LinkedIn is still the proven platform that has been the game-changer for usually traditional lawyers to see the power of social media.

Amanda Velazquez is a student in the MBA program at the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University. She can be reached at

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