Re-inventing Brand Nat Geo For 21st Century
Declan Moore, CEO of National Geographic Partners, an expanded joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society, speaks about the brand’s latest rebranding exercise across its global media platforms and its plans for the India market
Declan Moore, CEO of National Geographic Partners, an expanded joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society, speaks to BW Businessworld’s Priyanka Mehra about the brand’s latest rebranding exercise across its global media platforms and its plans for the India market
What three developments can we expect in India on the back of the re-branding exercise?
First, you are going to get consistently superb storytelling. Second, you are going to get a lot more wow and wonder. Third, you are going to see a brand that actually comes to life and is engaging and relevant. It is like re-inventing the brand for the 21st century. There is an opportunity to go digital and knit all of that storytelling together and create compelling stories for consumers. With Nat-Geo Partners, we have connected storytelling between publishing, social media, digital publishing, and television, into one integrated offering. What we are really going to do is unlock the power of all our assets and unleash the power of this legacy brand.
What are your plans for India?
India is an extremely important market for us. One where we have a national footprint for our brand. We are seeing ferocious consumption of storytelling content here. Today, when we look at the channel reach, we have roughly 22 per cent of the audience coming from India. When we look at the support we get on social media, India has a significant contribution to that as well. Today, there is an opportunity to extend the brand to the ‘experience’ space in terms of real, branded, location-based entertainment. Looking at the growth numbers, the brand plays out very well in the travel space. We are quite interested to grow in the travel media space, specifically travel ancillary products.
Your competitor, Discovery, has forayed into a whole new arena of sports in India. Do you have any plans to launch a new channel or enter a new domain?
For us, it is more about ‘how we build this brand’ and communicate our sense of purpose, rather than new channels. National Geographic is not, and has never been, just a channel; that is what differentiates us from all other channels or brands in the world. We are a 129-yearold institution. While we run the non-fiction space, we are also introducing a scripted series — our first in the series is ‘Genius’, based on the autobiography of theoretical physicist Albert Einstein.
How is the growth in revenues on the digital front?
We witnessed an all- time high last year in our global revenues from digital; we saw a 29 per cent increase in digital display over last year, and a 49 per cent growth on social over last year.
What are the key filters for your brand content across all media?
Our filters are based on the three pillars of factual accuracy, visual excellence and a compelling narrative. We see ourselves as a serious player in the premium space, and with hyper fragmentation around us in the media space, it is important to create a brand definition of story-telling and consistently deliver that across all the touch points to the consumer, which we strive to do consistently.