Using Product Positioning Strategies to Establish National Images: An Exercise Using Current International Events in the Marketing Classroom

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Journal of Marketing Education




This article introduces a novel method of demonstrating product positioning in the classroom through discussions of current events on an international scale by creating and managing national images. Existing national images in the minds of students are assessed and then used to discuss national strategies from the framework of traditional product positioning strategies, the various tools that can be used to influence these images, and alternative national imaging strategies. Nations, viewed as products, are promoting ideology, credibility, physical goods and services, technology, and military cooperation using the entire gamut of promotional options, including advertising, public relations, sales promotion, and personal selling. Potential buyers include investors, political allies and opponents, military allies and opponents, tourists, and trade partners (particularly consumers of the nation's physical products, services, and technology). Various tools for creating and managing national images are presented, ranging from terrorism to the exploration of space. This exercise is illustrated with data provided by Hong Kong students.