The transformation and resilience displayed by Nepal since the 2015 earthquake is indeed inspiring. The country has focused not only on physical and infrastructural rebuilding but has also witnessed a shift in attitudes among its people, particularly the youth. The national sentiments have evolved from hopelessness to hopefulness, showcasing the determination of Nepal.
During the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, the youth of Nepal played a remarkable role. Many young individuals volunteered their time and efforts to help the victims and contribute to the restoration of historically and culturally significant sites in their communities. This spirit of solidarity and community has been tested again during the pandemic.
As Nepal continues its journey of progress, the determination and sense of community fostered during these challenging times will contribute to a more united and hopeful nation.
For global brands seeking success in Nepal, here are a few key tips to consider.
Nepal is much more than just its mountains and hills. Nepal’s geographical diversity, including its mountains, hills and plains (terai), adds to its richness and uniqueness. Each region in Nepal has its own distinct customs, traditions, festivals and languages. To succeed in Nepal, it is crucial for brands to recognise and respect this cultural diversity. Tailor your marketing strategies and messages to embrace cultural diversity and resonate with the specific nuances of different regions. Recognising this is going to be even more crucial for global brands as they look for a Nepali connection.
With more than two-thirds of the population below the age of 35 years, Nepal boasts a vibrant and dynamic youth population. This demographic represents not only the future of the country but also holds immense potential to contribute to its economic and social fabric, with approximately half-a-million young individuals preparing for new careers after completing their basic education every year. Recognising the talent and creativity of young Nepali individuals, and engaging and empowering them in your marketing ecosystem will go a long way in harnessing the potential of youthful Nepal.
In the coming decade, there are strong indications that the middle class will experience exponential growth, particularly due to the entrance of the younger population into the job market. This expansion of the middle class will have far-reaching implications for global brands, as the increased aspirations of these families will drive consumer consumption to larger extent. This presents a unique opportunity for global brands to engage with this emerging middle class at an early stage, as they will be instrumental in driving future consumption trends. By understanding their evolving needs and preferences, engaging with them at a younger age, and delivering exceptional experiences, global brands can establish long-lasting relationships that will drive their growth in Nepal.
The implementation of the clean feed policy in Nepal has significant implications for global brands who want to do their marketing activities in Nepal. This policy, which has been in effect for more than two years now, aims to prevent advertisement spillovers from foreign channels to Nepali audiences and encourages to focus on producing and promoting local content specifically produces for Nepal. It has brought about notable changes, including the discontinuation of the practice of using dubbed TV commercials, which was previously prevalent. Global brands now need to adapt their advertising strategies to comply with the clean feed policy, thereby supporting the growth of the domestic creative industry, and providing opportunities for local talents helping in the process to support the preservation of the Nepali languages and cultures.
In addition, the Government of Nepal’s Advertising Board is currently working on drafting the country’s first National Advertising Policy. In the process, they are also interacting with key stakeholders in the ecosystem to take their feedback. This policy also signifies the government’s recognition of the importance of the advertising industry in Nepal’s overall economic growth and development. It will provide a roadmap for advertisers, agencies and media platforms, facilitating the responsible and effective dissemination of advertisements while safeguarding the interest of consumers.
By considering these tips and embracing the unique characteristics of Nepal, global brands can now position themselves for larger success in this progressing market while contributing to the country’s growth ambition.
Ujaya Shakya is founder of Outreach Nepal and author of Brandsutra.