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HAIER: “Beat the Heat”

Ian Michael (Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Meerah Ketait (Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Sarah Al Qassimi (Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Azza Al Nuaimi (Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Publication date: 1 October 2011

Issue publication date: 1 October 2011


Subject area

Marketing, brand management, promotion management and corporate social responsibility.

Study level/applicability

Undergraduate and postgraduate.

Case overview

How does the “country-of-origin” issue affect brands, and what do brands need to do? The case of unique and small corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs and their impact on creating brand awareness.

Aamer Khan, Managing Director Hafet Electrical LLC, the sole distributor for of Haier in United Arab Emirates (UAE) was reviewing their half yearly results. Among the more unconventional strategies they had adopted was one where they used community engagement to get an insight into the local market and develop brand awareness as a caring top quality brand. The CEO of Haier, Zhang Ruimin stressed that “quality is and will remain the essence of business sustainable, whether in the past, present or future”. Aamer was evaluating the effectiveness of the strategy and considering its impact. Should he use a similar strategy next year?

This case deals with the “country-of-origin” issue, an important aspect in branding a key strategy of marketing. The Haier brand and its country-of-origin were investigated among the Emirati (UAE nationals) consumers. This was done as part of a capstone research project by Meerah, Sara and Azza at Zayed University, Dubai. Further, the group created a unique CSR program for the Haier, whereby they invited people to join them in a Walkathon to raise money for a charitable cause. Haier donated various products like refrigerators, air coolers and air conditioners towards this charity. By creating this event, the group raised awareness of the Haier brand among the local population.

Expected learning outcomes

What is:

  • “Country of origin” (coo) in marketing and its effect on brands?

  • The role of CSR in corporate marketing communication?

  • The role of small events in building brands?

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes.



This case was written by Dr Ian Michael, Azza Al Nuaimi, Meerah Ketait and Sarah Al Qassimi. It was prepared using company information and interviews and its intention was to provide material for class discussion through publication. The authors do not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The author may have disguised certain names and other identifying information to protect confidentiality.


Michael, I., Ketait, M., Al Qassimi, S. and Al Nuaimi, A. (2011), "HAIER: “Beat the Heat”", , Vol. 1 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © Michael, Al Nuaimi, Ketait and Al Qassimi (2012)

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