The attention of management and marketing scholars for the so-called "Country of Origin Effect" has increased in recent years thanks to the growing importance of internationalization strategies. The dialectic between globalization of markets and the role of local territories has prompted companies to evaluate the role of the perceived image of their country and to use it when convenient. Many companies, in fact, demonstrate to be able to build a branding mix between company brand and country brand in order to differentiate their product offering. The paper, deriving from the introductory speech at the 2012 Annual Conference of Società Italiana Marketing that took place in the University of Sannio, analyzes the global impact of Made in Italy in relation to the studies on Country of Origin Effect. Particular emphasis in this regard is given to the results of a research project born within Società Italiana Marketing on the topic "International Marketing and the Country of Origin effect. The Global Impact of ‘Made in Italy", involving twelve study groups from twenty one Italian Universities under the supervision of the authors of this paper, with a specific intent: bridging the gap in the international literature in order to better understand the Country of Origin Effect on purchase intention of Made in Italy products of consumers from emerging countries. Finally the paper outlines the implications for managers as well as policy makers.
Keywords: Made in Italy, Country of Origin Effect, International Marketing, Entry Strategies