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In the spring of 2017, I was awarded a GRIP (Global Research Incentive Program) fund from the University Small Grant Program in the amount of $3,550 for a project entitled “From Made in Italy to Made in Montana: A Guiding Framework.” This proposal is a joint collaboration with business and economics faculty from our partner university in Milan, Italy, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (hereafter Cattolica), to investigate and translate the worldwide success of the “Made in Italy” certification and brand to the Montana Department of Commerce’s “Made in Montana” designation. “Made in Italy”, a merchandise mark by the Italian Trade Commission used to designate products that are planned, manufactured and packed in Italy, represents the most successful international certification of authenticity initiative for design, quality and craftsmanship. From pasta producer Barilla to global fashion brand Armani to Illy, maker of premium espresso coffee, these brands have leveraged the “Made in Italy” association and endorsement in expanding globally. The project aim is to examine and understand the “Made in Italy” certification requirements, governing guidelines, campaign strategies, and branding approaches in select Italian industries and, subsequently, to translate our findings into a prescriptive “best practices” framework and related case studies to help enhance the “Made in Montana” program for Montana-based companies seeking to enhance their national and global competitiveness.


© 2018 Michael Braun