By Noor Shrestha
KEY LEARNINGS FROM 3 DAY WORKSHOP WITH SHAHRIAR RAHMAN
Research shows that “brand” and “strategy” are amongst the most misused and misunderstood words in modern business. And some of us, actually make it worse by putting ambiguous and complex layers on top of what is supposed to be a clear direction. But it does not have to be that way.
In fact, Brand strategy is a way to bring clarity to the marketing process. And that’s what this session did to us – provide CLARITY to the whole process.
As per Shahriar Rahman, there are only a few key questions which we need to answer to bring that clarity. The first is who is the product aimed at? Meaning define your target audience well. Second is what is the key consumer insight? The third is what are the consumers really buying? Meaning the selling proposition and the brand personality. In fact, if we answer these three questions carefully, it will automatically lead us to the answer to the fourth question and that helps to answer the way forward to do effective advertising campaigns. The fourth is what is the extendible brand message? And, these four answers work together to develop the whole campaign plan.
We, as a team, are very happy that we got this opportunity to learn about the whole process to use this brand planning tool from Shariar Rahman and his colleague Nazia Hasnat with rigorous 9 hours interactive workshop practicing them real-time by simultaneously working to develop brand planning for four key categories. Our founding managing director, Ujaya Shakya (I like to call him Ujaya dai) also worked with them to bring more clarity in the process by citing examples from Nepali culture and value systems which becomes more relevant when we have to work for brands in Nepal.
In short, I feel that this workshop is unquestionably, the finest foundation for a strategy planner (and my team) to have a clear strategic vision to help our clients in the process.
Shahriar Rahman is a strategist based out of Dhaka and currently working as the Chief Thought Officer at Adcomm Group, one of the largest marketing and advertising conglomerates in Bangladesh and also, a partner of Mullen Lowe Worldwide. In this role, he has the privilege of advising nearly 200 local, regional and international brands every year. His work has helped build some of the most powerful brands in the region. A few ideas developed by his team for Unilever have been adopted for global rollout. Shahriar is a firm believer in connecting the dots, and in personal life, he appreciates good food, interesting people, fine arts, and traveling – Nepal being one of his favorite destinations. Nazia Hasnat is his colleague in the same team and has been working closely with him for over 10 years now.
Shahriar thinks that “In an increasingly connected and globalized world where technology is democratizing information at a breakneck speed, and where competition can appear practically from anywhere, strategic marketing has become even more vital for business success than ever before. Economies like Nepal are sitting on the cusp of a new marketing reality that comes inevitably with progress, and only the most equipped will survive. I applaud Outreach Nepal’s foresight for trying to future-proof their team and as a result their clients’ businesses, with updated learnings through their #ORNKnowledge initiative. The energy and creativity of the participants at my workshop gave me renewed hope for the future of the industry.”
Similarly, Nazia says, “This is not an ordinary team, a powerhouse of creative minds with great ideas. It was a genuine pleasure meeting all these exciting and amazing people. I believe their constant hunger for learning new things will set them apart from the competition.”
This workshop is part of the #ORNKnowledge session which we started in the Outreach Group for a few years now. #ORNKnowledge is a knowledge-sharing platform, where we get to interact and learn from global leaders in advertising and brand marketers. The objective of the session is to learn from their experiences which will eventually help us in our working life. In the past, we have had Thomas Kim from South Korea, Bharat Avalani from Malaysia, Sam Balsara from Madison India, Rohith Hettiaratchi from Sri Lanka, Ved Agarwal from Amazon India, Neil George, Managing Director for Nivea South Asia, and just recently, last month, we had a session with Saurabh Bajaj, Marketing Manager of Britannia Industries India. And I take this opportunity to thank them and our founder managing director, Ujaya dai, to interact with them and enlighten our knowledge. At Outreach, we have always given the first priority to learnings, and I feel proud to see many of our present and past colleagues continue to do some good works in this industry with these learnings.
Noor Shrestha is an advertising professional working in Outreach Nepal for over 15 years. He started his career with Outreach and currently working as the Head of Client Relationship.