America out of the spotlight abandoning stereotypes of Made in Italy

Sep 21, 2023 811

BY: Davide Ippolito

In the collective imagination that identifies the American market, New York, Los Angeles, and Miami loom large as icons—the golden gates that provide access to the economic Eldorado across the ocean. Yet we often overlook that other America that, away from the limelight, offers a less saturated market ripe with opportunities, especially in an era of growing appreciation for "Made in Italy."
 
I was invited by Allegra Baistrocchi, the Italian Consul in Michigan, to present a report created in collaboration with Umberto Mucci, partner and co-founder of the IARL (Italian American Reputation Lab). Our study measured how Italy's reputation in Michigan has changed before and after last year's "LoveITDetroit" event. The impact has been significant: a 21.7% increase in reputation and a shift in narrative that increasingly associates Italy with technology, aerospace, and the metaverse, moving away from negative stereotypes and food.
 
This second edition of LoveITDetroit stands out for one surprising element: a metaverse designed by Ludovica+Roberto Palomba with Wedoo. The intent is to capture international attention, integrating sustainability with the essence of Made in Italy.
 
But it's not just the aesthetics that strike; it's the sustainability, guaranteed by the contribution of DTE, Michigan's energy company. With carbon emissions offset, the event aims for zero environmental impact.
 
During the event, we had the opportunity to present our report as a localized version of Italian American Future Leaders, a visionary event led by John Viola and Basil Russo, prominent figures in the Italian American community. Their goal? To value Italian heritage among young Italian Americans—a generation often unfamiliar with Italy, yet viscerally connected to it.
 
The importance of events like LoveITDetroit cannot be overstated. These are the events that not only influence statistics and percentages but change perception and attitudes towards an entire nation. In addition to opening new avenues for Italian business in America, they provide the platform for a deep and constructive dialogue between the two cultures. And so, away from the spotlight of the coastal metropolises, in America's industrial heartland, Italy shines with a light all its own. These initiatives are the calling card for an Italy that wants to be known not only for its history but also for its future.
 
For all the details, the report is available on the IARL website (www.iarl.org).
 
Measuring the tangible effectiveness of initiatives is now more crucial than ever. We live in an era where narratives can easily be distorted, and once established, stereotypes can be hard to eliminate. But it is precisely with data that we can defuse these stereotypes, presenting a narrative based on reality and not on prejudice. This isn't about conducting preliminary research to see what the audience wants and then giving it to them; the task is subtler and more ambitious. We must be capable of conceiving and implementing initiatives that meet real, perhaps not yet fully manifest, needs and then use analytical tools to measure their impact. In doing so, we not only validate the success of our actions, but we contribute to forging a new narrative, based on evidence and not on preconceptions.
 
Italy and Detroit are building a bridge, a connection that goes beyond economics and culture, looking forward to a future of mutual respect and cooperation.

You may be interested