The cre­ative tagline for pop­ular Dunkin’ Donuts tele­vi­sion adver­tising is “America runs on Dunkin’.” But the company’s global pres­ence is a crit­ical com­po­nent of its busi­ness that presents country-​​specific oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges, according to Nigel Travis, chief exec­u­tive officer of Dunkin’ Brands and pres­i­dent of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S.

Travis, the keynote speaker at North­eastern University’s CEO Break­fast Forum on Thursday morning, said Amer­ican com­pa­nies must be resilient, take a long-​​term view and be fully com­mitted when expanding into inter­na­tional markets.

Dunkin’ Brands—which includes Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-​​Robbins and oper­ates on a franchise-model—is present in nearly 60 coun­tries world­wide, with par­tic­ular strengths in more estab­lished mar­kets in Asia and the Middle East. Travis iden­ti­fied Europe and Latin America as great oppor­tu­ni­ties for growth.

To glob­alize suc­cess­fully, Travis said Amer­ican busi­nesses must think of the inter­na­tional market as a series of dif­ferent cul­tures and coun­tries, rather than as one entity. Grasping those cul­tural dif­fer­ences, he said, is cru­cial in making busi­ness deci­sions, from what food selec­tions to offer in a spe­cific market to what time of day to hold an inter­na­tional con­fer­ence call. Hiring employees with inter­na­tional expe­ri­ence, he added, is a smart busi­ness strategy to help nav­i­gate these differences.

Under­standing how the Amer­ican lifestyle is unique to rest of world is also impor­tant, he said. For instance, Travis said none of the Dunkin’ Donuts loca­tions in China have a drive-​​thru, yet 82 per­cent of new loca­tions in the U.S. do have one.

In sum­mary, he said: “Think global. Act local.”

Northeastern’s CEO Break­fast Forums invite leading CEOs to speak to an audi­ence of other CEOs and senior exec­u­tives from the Greater Boston area.

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun noted that in many ways, the company’s tra­jec­tory has mir­rored that of North­eastern by main­taining a local, national and global per­spec­tive. In the last year, the uni­ver­sity has launched regional cam­puses in Char­lotte, N.C., and Seattle, Wash., while Northeastern’s global pres­ence includes experiential-​​learning oppor­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents in 92 coun­tries and research part­ner­ships worldwide.

The thirst for this kind of higher edu­ca­tion that is blending the world expe­ri­ence with the class­room expe­ri­ence is some­thing that is ideal all over the world,” Aoun said.

Mobile tech­nology has been a game-​​changer for busi­nesses and glob­al­iza­tion, said Travis, who during the Q&A por­tion of the event elab­o­rated on how his company’s new mobile app has impacted the brand and cus­tomers’ in-​​store expe­ri­ence. Launched in August, the app allows cus­tomers to use their smart­phones to pay for food, bev­er­ages and mer­chan­dise and send vir­tual gift cards via text, email or Facebook.

Travis said the app has yielded enor­mous ben­e­fits, from shorter trans­ac­tion times to cost sav­ings for its fran­chisees. The ability to con­nect with cus­tomers indi­vid­u­ally with spe­cific offers and other mar­keting oppor­tu­ni­ties is also a sig­nif­i­cant ben­efit, he said.

This is the future,” Travis said of mobile apps. “It’s going to rev­o­lu­tionize retailing.”