Ujaya Shakya
Apr 10, 2018

View from Nepal: An innovation that packs a punch

The author talks about a unique promotion that could give the print media a much needed booster shot

View from Nepal: An innovation that packs a punch
Innovations have always played a pivotal role in our lives. Since time in yore, innovations have transformed our life. They have touched our lives in ways more than one. Marketers are no strangers when it comes to innovations. Innovations help them to connect better with their consumers. They need to understand that consumers are always looking for new brand experiences on a regular basis. Hence, brands need to change the way they connect with them. This not only strengthens the relationship between the brand and its consumers, but also sets an example for other brands to follow. Instead of using the same formulaic way of ‘speaking’ to them. 
A brand loses their charm over a period of time because of the way they connect with their consumers. Usually, a tried and tested formula is deemed safe and that is replicated over and over again. But this actually is suicidal for the brands and their reputation. So when a brand does something that is not a regular way of communication, it automatically stands out. Innovation is the key for brands to sustain and lead the way. Case in point is a campaign done by The Himalayan Times. It connected with its consumers in an absolutely refreshing new way, when it launched its subscription scheme in an innovative manner. 
Traditionally, every publication has a tried and tested formula of launching a subscription scheme. But this time, The Himalayan Times did something really Out-Of-The-Box. They created a unique “Subscription Pack” that resembles like a FMCG product. The details of the scheme were inside the pack. 
This was not just any regular subscription, but a revolutionary “product innovation”. Never before has a newspaper subscription been presented as a “tangible product”. This one was an actual pack that was available on the shelves of supermarkets. Now people could shop the subscription in the similar way they shop for their grocery items while at these supermarkets at their own comfort and leisure.  
They also ensured the look of this pack was unique. The design, fonts, colours and the entire look were not like a subscription scheme for a newspaper. Instead it looked like a product that one sees in supermarkets. But when one looked at it closely, it never ceased to surprise the consumer. 
The uniqueness didn’t just end there. Unlike regular subscription schemes, this wasn’t available on newsstands. But to the surprise of the consumers, these packs were available on the shelves of supermarkets. Just like any FMCG products that consumers are used to picking off the shelves. So when consumers were busy shopping for their household, they were surprised when they came across this pack, which they never expected to be there in the first place. Kudos to the team behind this innovative campaign that has strategies a unique way to promote the subscription scheme that was a conversation starter. 
This is a revolutionary step by the brand in the way it connected with its audience.  I believe, this could usher in a new wave of thinking and creativity not just for marketers but agencies, as well. It can also be a remarkable case study for other brands in the region, from not just ideas standpoint within the given parameters but going much beyond the comfort zone and thinking of ideas, which can bring a sweeping change in the whole category. “The Himalayan Times Subscription Pack” is beyond a regular communication campaign. This entails a product innovation, distribution transformation and ease to the final consumer. Thus, it could be a beginning of whole a new ray of hope in the publication industry, which has been recently been famished after digital insurgency. 
(Ujaya Shakya is the founder and managing director of Outreach Group based in Kathmandu and the author of ‘Brandsutra’.)
Campaign India

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