The Tabor School of Business strives to push Millikin students to achieve above and beyond what they initially thought possible. This was the case for one small group of students in Dr. Munoz’s ET 410 course, International Business Consulting.
What began as branding the providence of Imbabura, Ecuador, quickly transformed into a global brand strategy for the entire country. The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador has been in the process of rebranding and strengthening their global image.
As soon as they heard about Millikin’s providence branding project, they jumped on the opportunity. With the recent success of their first tourism campaign, Ecuador Love Life, the Ministry was ready to delve into a full global brand.
With some general guidelines and a few objectives, the students set out to enhance Ecuador’s global image in terms of tourism, trade, and investment. The overarching goal was to align Ecuador’s strengths with international market demands, while minimizing weaknesses and external threats.
Before creating the global brand strategy, extensive research was required. The students spent countless hours learning about Ecuador’s culture, geography, political landscape, economy, and tourist destinations. However, in order to stand apart from standard research, the students conducted several rounds of primary research.
Branding experts, investors, diplomats, and well-traveled executives were interviewed to gain firsthand insights on brand strategies, global trends, and perceptions of Ecuador. Additionally, two surveys were conducted – one for U.S. consumers and one for Ecuadorian citizens – to compare U.S. perceptions of the country to those of its residents.
After sifting through the research and reporting on major trends and perceptions, it was time to put together the country brand strategy. The students utilized aspects of SCRUM methodology by breaking down large themes into smaller actions.
With only a couple of weeks before presenting their research and global brand strategy to government officials of Ecuador, the students faced crunch time during the heat of finals. Despite the pressure, they persevered and put together a comprehensive report with a long-term branding vision.
One of the presenters in the class, Olivia Brewer, stated “We believed in the project and the fact that it was a bigger project than most undergraduates have the privilege to do, that kept us going.”
On the morning of May 22, 2019, all of their hard work paid off when they impressed the Trade Commissioner, General Consul, and other government representatives with their thorough research, in-depth report, and global branding vision for the country.
This class showcases the incredible talent of Millikin’s Tabor students that is brought out by experienced, dedicated professors. The students got real-world experience as consultants for an entire country. They learned valuable, transferable skills, such as breaking down large goals and themes into small, attainable steps.
Loren Agee, another presenter in the class, explained how “It did a lot for my confidence [and] it developed my presentation skills to create something for an entity as large as the Ecuadorian government.”
Moreover, creating a global branding vision with a small team of peers illustrates collaborative performance learning that is fostered in Tabor. International Business Consulting represents performance learning at its finest, providing students with the necessary tools, skills, and confidence to realize their future goals and dreams.
By: Olivia Brewer, Hina Mizukuro, Elizabeth Shipman, and Mya Walker