EXCLUSIVE: Nation Media Group Rebrands

  • The logo for Nation Media Group's new website
    The logo for Nation Media Group's new website
    File
  • Nation Media Group has announced the rebranding of its newspapers and creation of a new digital brand which started on July 30, 2020, ushering in a digital-first strategy in the company.

    The Nation will have a new logo as well as a new layout for its website and new web address, "Nation.Africa" through which readers will access content.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Nation Media Group Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu stated that the brand was expanding to serve its pan African audience. 

    A screengrab of Nation Media's new website's layout
    A screengrab of Nation Media's new website's layout
    File

    “We have correspondents in most countries in Africa who serve news directly to us. The new site will be rolled out in the next few weeks,” he explained. 

    Head of External Affairs and Marketing Clifford Machoka described the new digital brand as a "culmination of the digital transformation journey."

    "It is going to be a user-driven process and we will be doing a lot of listening," he told Kenyans.co.ke

    Strategy

    The rebranding will be executed in phases as highlighted in an internal memo sent to staff from NMG CEO Stephen Gitagama.

    “I am delighted to announce the beginning of our digital transformation journey through the phased launch of our digital brand - Nation.Africa,” the memo read.

    The new website, "Nation.Africa" will feature the new logo and different colour palettes which will change based on different segments. The Lifestyle segment which has undergone the transformation features the colour purple. Other different categories of content will have their own prominent colours. 

    The second phase of the rebranding will involve the redesigning of its newspapers, namely Saturday Nation which will be launched on August 1, Sunday Nation on August 2, and Daily Nation on August 3. 

    The news papers have been skillfully redesigned to world class standards with introduction of fresh wide-ranging content including new magazines focusing on uplifting human interest stories, exclusives and analysis for various demographics - from the young to the old, to the educated and the curious - that makes everyday special with a modern clean, classy and appealing design. 

    Business model

    The rebranding of NMG’s products has been geared to help the firm transform into a modern digital content company.

    NMG has been investing heavily in the digital space which has been necessitated by the change in how news is consumed in the present times. 

    Over the years print media has experienced reduced revenues due to disruption caused by the digital publishing industry where information is consumed in real time which has significantly reduced the life cycle of news.

    The new frontier for news consumption is through mobile phones whose penetration is growing by the day owing to the advancement in technology and affordability of devices and data bundles. 

    “Nation is evolving into a fresh new brand on all channels, but with a mobile first mindset and with the versatile African youth in focus,” Mutuma Mathiu described the transformation. 

    The company will also explore a subscription model for different types of content in the near future.

    Revenue

    With the decline in sale of newspapers, NMG is also going to redesign its revenue model to focus on digital content and its forms of advertising.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the negative impact of the decline, which has driven media houses to cut operational costs by laying off workers

    With the rebranding, NMG will explore digital advertising, e-paper subscriptions and content-driven reader revenue.

    In March 2020, the company had announced that it was investing in a new state-of-the-art Ksh150 million system that would converge content production on its print, broadcast and digital platforms.

    “Let me conclude by re-emphasising that although we are entering uncharted territory and it will take time to transition, I believe this will be an exciting journey with invaluable lessons for all of us. This calls for each of us to be a champion of this mission, sharing a common mindset, driven by the set of values that we live by,” NMG CEO signed off. 

    The digital disruption in the media industry has also affected Nation’s competitors, The Standard, which has also redesigned its website. 

    The Standard’s new website requires readers to log in with an email address to access the content. 

    Although login in is free at this point, the company is monitoring user activity which will inform how it will roll out a pay wall for readers to subscribe to some or all of the content.

    A newspaper stand in Kenya.
    A newspaper stand in Kenya.
    File