In today’s globalized world, companies are always on the lookout for professionals who know how to market, manage, and launch international business ventures.
Businesses that go global must carefully target their offerings for each market, consider developing mutually beneficial partnerships, and take into account several additional legal and regulatory complexities. From differentiating products and services according to cultural differences, to meticulously navigating exchange rates, there are many considerations that international business professionals need to keep in mind.
Here’s a quick look at some of these top concerns – and how students learn to negotiate them during their international business studies.
1. International Businesses Need to Be Culturally Sensitive
As students soon learn, breaking into a new market is no easy task – especially when that market has a different culture and different values. Walmart, for example, failed to expand in a few international markets because it didn’t properly account for cultural differences.
In Germany, the company’s staunch anti-union policies gave it a bad rap with local buyers. Then, to make matters worse, Walmart failed to realize that German customers often felt insulted when cashiers bagged their items for them – seeing the friendly gesture as an unwanted invasion of their privacy.
Germany wasn’t the only country that Walmart struggled to expand into. In Japan, Walmart’s bulk deals didn’t appeal to urban customers who wanted to buy smaller quantities of their favorite items. And, in addition, local cultures often equated low prices with poor quality – making Walmart’s business model a tough sell.
An ideal way for students completing their Bachelor of Arts in International Business to develop a nuanced understanding of these types of cultural differences is by studying abroad in an international environment. By studying and living in a multicultural environment abroad, they soon gain a keen sense of cultural awareness – and sensitivity – helping them approach other cultures with understanding and respect. John Cabot University offers undergraduate degrees and study abroad programs to English-speaking students from over 70 countries across the world.
2. Students Pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in International Business Learn Market Research Skills
Besides being culturally sensitive, international businesses need to understand the intricacies of local supply chains, natural environments, and human relations. Not doing the proper research could easily land a company in hot water – as was the case when Nestle marketed its baby formula to developing countries in Africa and Asia.
While the company saw potential in marketing its infant formula to new markets abroad, it failed to take some important considerations in mind – like the safety of local drinking water. As a result, many mothers gave up breastfeeding and ended up feeding their children formula mixed with unsafe water. This led to a public health crisis that deeply tarnished the company’s reputation. Even today, many consumers still boycott Nestle as a result.
Students at English speaking universities in Italy learn to carefully examine case studies of past business failures and successes. As a result, they come to understand which mistakes to avoid and how to help a company expand profits without damaging its public image.
3. A Bachelor of Arts in International Business Teaches Students to Keep Currency Fluctuations in Mind
While even domestic companies can be affected by currency fluctuations, international businesses are much more vulnerable to dramatic changes in currency values.
That’s because a sudden change has the potential to quickly wipe out profits, raise the cost of imports, or discourage potential international customers.
An American charity with a branch in Canada, for example, might be negatively affected by a lower Canadian dollar. That’s because even if Canadian donations remain constant, those donations wouldn’t be worth as much in American dollars – resulting in lower revenues.
Interested in expanding your understanding of international business at one of the most unique universities in Italy?
Discover what sets John Cabot apart by visiting our website or by speaking with one of our friendly admissions counselors.