Brandworth has created its own product ecosystem

In the world of marketing and event management, Brandworth Pvt. Ltd. is rising as one of the fastest growing creative media companies in Nepal. Mohan Gajurel is the CEO of the company and has over 15 years of experience in media planning and marketing working at Kantipur Media Group and Kamana Prakashan Samuha.

The HRM caught up with Gajurel to talk about the current state of the Nepali media and marketing landscape, challenges and opportunities in business, and strategies of Brandworth, among other topics. Excerpts:  

The Nepali media industry is reeling under reduced spending by advertisers. How do you see the prospects of advertising and marketing business?
Indeed, the economic downturn has affected the Nepali media and advertising industry. It began with the Covid-19 pandemic and the current slowdown has further compounded the challenges disrupting traditional advertising methods, and the impacts have been seen on the budgets of advertisers.

In fact, the Nepali media industry is currently facing the toughest times. While it’s natural to expect a rebound after a crisis, the situation did not improve as quickly as anticipated after the Covid-19 pandemic. However, amidst these challenges, there is also a paradigm shift in the industry due to big changes in the habits of consumers because of the rise of digital mediums.

How is your company Brandworth facing the challenges? 
In the face of an unfavorable situation, cost-cutting measures by advertisers have presented challenges akin to oxygen deprivation for a Covid-19 patient. Just like others in the industry, we find ourselves in the same boat, fighting for survival. However, as a company that was born during a crisis and has witnessed the industry’s ups and downs in our early days, we refuse to be daunted. We have embraced the notion that crises are part of the business cycle. With this mindset, we remain resilient and proactive, seeking innovative solutions to navigate these challenging times.

How do you think marketers should take a different approach in difficult times like these?
During the crisis, industry players must be encouraged to collaborate and share knowledge. Marketers should embrace digital marketing, social media, content marketing, and other modern strategies that can be more cost-effective and reach a wider audience. They should prioritize understanding and addressing customer needs during difficult times.

We should stay updated on market trends and consumer behavior shifts. We should be open to pivoting strategies, reallocating resources, and exploring new opportunities that emerge during challenging times. The ability to adapt, innovate, and collaborate is crucial in overcoming the challenges posed by an unforeseen crisis.

How has the proliferation of digital media helped the growth of new trends in the advertising market in Nepal? What new trends have emerged in the market? 
The Nepali advertising industry is currently going through a transitional period. This situation, where traditional and digital media coexist without a complete shift towards the latter, is not uncommon in various parts of the world. It indicates that businesses and clients are still exploring the best platforms to invest their advertising budgets.

Indeed, some Nepali advertisers may primarily rely on social media platforms such as Facebook as their main digital marketing platform. However, digital marketing encompasses a much broader range of strategies and channels beyond just social media platforms.

How is influencer marketing changing the landscape of advertising and marketing? 
Influencer marketing has gained significant traction in recent years and has become an effective strategy for reaching target audiences. Influencers, who are individuals with a substantial following on digital platforms, have the ability to influence the purchasing decisions and behaviors of their followers. One of the advantages of influencer marketing is its cost-effectiveness. Compared to traditional forms of advertising that often require significant budgets, influencer marketing can be more affordable as it requires fewer resources in terms of manpower and production tools. This makes it accessible to businesses of various sizes.

Brandworth is engaged in both above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line (BTL) businesses. Where do you see more growth prospects in the coming year?
Though the ATL business is decreasing worldwide, it still continues to exist in certain capacities. In the Nepali market, it seems that the ATL business may not have significant growth. On the other hand, the BTL business continues to be relevant and adapt to the size and dynamics of the local market.

Over the last couple of years, consumer behavior has changed dramatically and there is a growing emphasis on direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategies. DTC strategies often leverage digital channels such as e-commerce platforms, social media, email marketing, and personalized advertising, to engage directly with consumers. These tactics offer businesses greater control over their messaging and enable them to gather valuable data and insights to refine their marketing efforts.

What challenges do startup companies like yours face? How difficult is doing business in Nepal?
I worked as a private company job holder for a long time. Shifting from a job to starting your own company indeed presents various challenges. I was not from a business family and I continued to learn through my own experiences.

Facing difficulties during the early days of a company is not uncommon, especially considering the added complexities brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and economic slowdown. However, challenges often present opportunities for growth and innovation. For us, it also brought some opportunities as we organized Nepal’s First Digital Economic Conclave and Digital Gaijatra, as well as marketed the popular TV show Nepal Idol.

In the entrepreneurial journey, it’s important to remain adaptable, open to learning, and willing to experiment with different approaches.

What strategies Brandworth has been deploying to create its unique identity in the market?  
Brandworth has created its own product ecosystem. It is a strategic approach for establishing our business territory. By developing our own product or service offerings, we can gain more independence and reduce reliance solely on client projects.

Building our own product ecosystem allows us to have more control over our business and opens up opportunities for generating recurring revenue. It provides a foundation for growth and sustainability, even in challenging market conditions.

It’s important to thoroughly research and validate the market for our product, understand customer needs, and ensure our product provides unique value. Developing a strong marketing and sales strategy to promote and sell our product is equally important.

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