KATHMANDU: To build a marketing strategy for Nepal, one needs to understand the product and intended positioning of brand Nepal. We have discussed in detail the strong and unique product offering of Nepal. We, therefore, now need to define the Nepal brand promise and positioning.
Nepal, like all countries, has to choose what positioning statement it wants to dictate to the global community. This positioning will determine which of the various elements of investors, tourists, global agencies and other stakeholders of economic, cultural or social standing will be drawn to the brand. By understanding the positioning, the brand building efforts of the country on the global platform can be optimised.
Ideally, the product positioning should be a direct reflection of the product offering. We are fortunate that the product offerings of Nepal are very strong and unique. Therefore, they can serve the purpose of position building without manipulative advertisings or sales promotions.
To begin with, on the economic front, Nepal should position itself as an ideal investment destination for investors. Located between the two economic powerhouses, Nepal should position and market itself as the bridge and link between China and India and target global
trading, logistics, ware-housing and sourcing companies. The country has to project itself as a trading-friendly economy with all the desired traits of safety, convenience, easy mobility, transport infrastructure and rational trade tax policies.
Secondly, being endowed with great tourism potential, Nepal has to decide on the target tourists on the basis of their spending power. Even though the product offering for tourism is very strong, Nepal has to decide its positioning — the promise of experience and destination. One option, given the recent economic boom in China and India, is for Nepal to position itself as an ‘upscale luxury destination’. However, this would require a significant shift in the mentality and ideology of political and law enforcing authorities.
Secondly, to position itself as a high-end destination, the marketing efforts have to be tweaked as per requirement. Endorsement by global celebrities, aspiration brands and experience delivery will help build the Nepal brand. There are clearly many more positioning options that
can be pursued. What is important is that the positioning is well defined and all efforts of marketing feed the positioning statement.
Lastly, the projection of a living culture is the ace that Nepal holds. It is truly unique and non-replicable. The ability to promote this living culture aspect will have dual benefits. First, it will draw the experiential tourism segment which can be packaged in a very upscale manner. Second, elements of the living culture experience can actually be exported to build premium brand equity!It is evident that Nepal, with its product offerings, has to be positioned and marketed in a focused and appropriate manner to attract and command the right brand recall and equity. The people responsible for the brand have to carve out a distinct positioning so that Nepal can find its place on the global brand map, which it rightly deserves. (The author is associated with The Chaudhary Group and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)