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The British are coming — to learn marketing the Kellogg School way
A long partnership between Kellogg and the British Consulate has helped narrow some trans-Atlantic business gaps

By Rebecca Lindell

The British firm Sabeti Aerospace was finding the North American market a tough nut to crack.

The 20-year-old company, which designs and manufactures airline upholstery systems, had been trying for years without success to gain clients among major U.S. carriers.

Then director Paymen Sabeti was selected by the British government to attend an executive marketing program at the Kellogg School. The course focuses on understanding and tapping into the dynamics of how companies create value for other companies --- and helps participants better understand American business culture.

Sabeti retooled his approach, returned to his prospective clients and soon signed a contract with a large U.S. airline.

"The course was excellent for my purposes," says Sabeti. Among his new insights: that price is not always the deciding factor in winning business in North America. "It is the value that you give your customers that is most important," he says.

Sabeti is one of scores of British executives who have benefited from this unique partnership between the Kellogg School, the British government and the Ellis Goodman Foundation.

The U.S. Marketing Scholarship Programme, as it is called, brings 20 British executives from U.K. firms to Kellogg for a one-week Executive Education course. The executives spend the following week interning at a leading U.S. company to observe American marketing practices in context.

The courses are aimed at senior managers who influence strategy at their companies. Their tuition is covered by U.K. Trade & Investment, and the U.S. Marketing Scholars Fund (formerly the Ellis Goodman Foundation); their airfare is paid for by British Airways-Chicago. Hundreds apply for the scholarships each year. "It's been an extremely successful venture," says Ellis Goodman, the former chairman and CEO of Barton Brand Ltd. and a co-founder of the program, now in its 11th year. "It's led to all sorts of new businesses in the U.S. and the U.K. and has helped increase the understanding of other cultures."

The companies that host the scholars often find their horizons expanded thanks to the British executives.

"To be able to look at your own business through the eyes of someone who doesn't market like an American is huge," says Susan Snowden, senior vice president, new business at R.R. Donnelly, which has hosted a half-dozen British executives over the years.

For more information on hosting a British executive from the U.S. Marketing Scholarship Programme, contact Richard Knox at the British Consulate General of Chicago at or Nicole Schneider at Kellogg Executive Programs at

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University