15 branding lessons to learn from NBS as it turns 15 – Grace Nafuna

I have been privileged to join the Next Media services in the commercial department for the last two months. But before that, I was a regular guest at various marketing-themed Twitter Spaces and a guest speaker at the Future is Now summit, organized by Next Media. During my work with Reach A Hand, where I was the head of communications, I was also required to liaise closely with the Next Media house as our media partner. 

However, before our professional partnership, I have always been a fan of the Next Media house and its forward-thinking agile leadership and futuristic approach to media, including leading the way for digital transformation when many media brands in Uganda were slow to adapt. 

It is thus safe to say that when it comes to Media innovation in Uganda, Next Media is, without a doubt, a market leader. 

Yesterday as the brand celebrated 15 years of existence in a momentous occasion to reflect on its journey, achievements, and the valuable lessons the team has learned along the way, I reflected on the 15 lessons we can each learn from the brand story of Next Media Services or NBS as it is popularly known.

Below are the 15 branding and business lessons individuals and companies can learn from this outstanding home-grown company and its leadership.

Vision and Purpose:

NBS was built upon a strong vision to be the Leading media house in East Africa; if you ask me, it is well on its way there. With a mission to inform to transform, Next Media has purposed to revolutionize the media landscape through innovation, technology, and customer-centricity. Their unwavering commitment to this vision has been the driving force behind their success.

Passionate People:

As reiterated by the CEO, Kin Kariisa, yesterday, one of Next Media’s most significant assets has always been its talented and dedicated team. The NBS family is a diverse group of intelligent and ambitious individuals who are allowed to bring their unique perspectives, expertise, and passion to the table, fueling growth and fostering a collaborative culture for the media fraternity. Despite being a large organization, the CEO has an open-door policy that empowers team members to share their contributions to the company’s growth.

Customer-Centric Approach:

Next Media has embodied a customer-centric culture. I have witnessed this firsthand in the commercial department. Whether this be the media audience we serve or our business partners, we firmly believe that customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of sustainable business success. We have forged long-lasting partnerships by consistently putting our client’s needs at the forefront and tailoring our solutions to their specific requirements.

Embracing Innovation:

Innovation is not just a word at Next Media; it’s a way of life. Over the past 15 years, the media house has continuously embraced emerging technologies, trends, and methodologies, enabling them to deliver cutting-edge solutions that drive transformation and growth for their audience and clients.

Learning and Adaptability:

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving business landscape that is media, the ability to learn and adapt quickly is crucial. NBS has always fostered a culture of continuous learning, enabling its team to stay ahead of the curve and thrive in a dynamic environment. For the little time I have been there, I have attended several workshops and a CEO masterclass, for which I am grateful.

Collaborative Ecosystem:

Partnerships have been instrumental in the NBS journey. By collaborating with industry leaders, businesses, international media houses, and clients, NBS has created a robust ecosystem that amplifies their collective potential and fosters innovation.

Thought Leadership:

NBS has strived to be a thought leader in the media industry. Through sharing insights, best practices, and expertise, they have contributed to the knowledge base of current affairs in this country, driven narratives and conversations, and shaped the future of this country.

Global Footprint:

From humble beginnings, NBS has expanded its footprint across continents. Their global presence through the AfroMobile App and NilePost has enabled them to deliver on their mandate to serve their audience worldwide.

Ethical Business Practices:

Integrity, transparency, and ethical conduct have been non-negotiable values for NBS/ Next Media Services. They believe building trust with their clients, partners, and stakeholders is essential for long-term success and sustainable growth.

Social Responsibility:

As companies grow, so does their responsibility towards society. NBS has consistently engaged in and spearheaded initiatives that create a positive impact, whether it be through corporate social responsibility programs, environmental sustainability efforts, or supporting local communities. Some of these initiatives include the ”Taasa Obutonde” and ”Beera Steady” campaigns.

Agility and Resilience:

Over the years, NBS has encountered various challenges, from economic downturns to disruptive market forces. However, their agility and resilience have allowed them to navigate uncertainty, adapt to change, and emerge stronger than ever. 

Employee Empowerment:

NBS understands that its success is directly linked to the well-being and growth of its employees. They have strived to create an inclusive and empowering work environment that fosters idea-sharing, personal and professional development, ensuring the collective success of their team. Their flat organizational structure fosters idea-sharing, innovation, and a camaraderie spirit amongst their employees.

Embracing Diversity:

NBS celebrates diversity in all forms, recognizing that it fuels creativity, innovation, and empathy. By fostering an inclusive environment that values different perspectives and experiences, they have allowed individuals from diverse backgrounds to join and thrive in the workforce, bringing a richer bowl of ideas and innovations to the table.

Learning from Failures: Every failure has been an opportunity for growth and learning for Next Media. They have embraced these challenges and used them to improve and innovate.

Embracing the Future: As the media house looks into the future, we, the team, are excited about the possibilities. As emphasized by the team leads yesterday, NBS will continue to adapt, innovate, and lead in making a positive impact.

Elizabeth Tendo

Elizabeth Tendo

Elizabeth Tendo is a Ugandan Marketer, Public Relations Practitioner, Content Curator, and Producer working in the media production industry, currently Head of Public Relations, Next Media.

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