Branding is a need, not a luxury for SME ecosystem – Ashish Shinde, Empire Media


The ongoing pandemic has turned all business sectors on its head. When plenty of businesses are on the verge of shutting down, few enterprising industries and sectors innovated their business strategies to survive the onslaught. Local businesses and MSME’s had to adapt to the changing scenario and think out of the box to ensure their brand and products are promoted.

During the lockdown, businesses realized the need to digitize their business so Local shops like Chavan Bandhu Masale from Lalbaug in Mumbai or Kelve Masale from a distant suburb of Palghar roped in The Empire Media, a young Mumbai based creative advertising agency to formulate innovative and fresh ideas to take their businesses online and expand their business. The strategies, cost-effective and customized way of reaching out to the target audience and the skills of The Empire Media developed them from a small business to a BRAND.

“Most of the businesses we are catering to are family-owned, who possess an old school thought process about promoting their brand. But with the lockdown, they realized the need to upgrade their approach to brand promotion and the need for online visibility. Our performance-based approach to brand outreach by using different online and offline advertising tools are critical for making the consumer sit up and notice any brand in this competitive marketing space. This helped the brands enormously to gauge the markets and consumer tendencies thus creating a sound approach to promoting the brand.” shared Ashish Shinde, Founder, The Empire Media

The Empire Media has been successful in gaining brand recognition for several local businesses. Kelve Masale which is a prominent and recognized spice brand from the small town of Palghar is one such success story for The Empire Media. “We started Kelve Masale In 2019, it was a fledgling business with a turnover of just Rs 10,000. In 2020, when the lockdown was announced, I knew we had to adapt to ensure the survival of the business. We approached The Empire Media after looking at their success record for local businesses and Team Empire Media devised a strategy where the core objective was to reinvent the brand identity, image and appearance along with a fully functional e-commerce website to usher in the new age of business. This worked wonders as the brand recall increased, a whole new audience could experience the magic of Kelve Masale. The business has grown in 250% in the last year” shared Kuldeep Vartak, Kelve Masale

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Another interesting case study is of Chavan Bandhu Masale, which is a family owned masala shop in Lalbaug which is in the heart of the city. “Being a traditional family-owned business, we were not sure how we are going to grow as the pandemic increased. We were thinking what if we had to close the business. In this situation, we found The Empire Media and they suggested new avenues like online sales, social media and more to grow our business. The Empire Media came up with a unique strategy which was a mix of modern promotional methods mixed with traditional promotional methods. This was the key ingredient to the campaigns success as it brought a wider market and a whole new audience got a taste of original masala which they had only heard from their parents” opined Sachin Chavan from Chavan Bandhu.

The Empire Media has also been instrumental in signing actor Sayaji Shinde as the brand ambassador for Dombivali based road side assistance start-up AUTO i CARE for their pan India campaign.

 “We are specialized in promoting local businesses. However, we are growing steadily with few established brands coming forward to have us create a feasible strategy for their brand and reach out to their audience. Our knowledge of the local markets, with our innovative concepts will definitely help more companies in re-imagining themselves to fit in a growing global market. We are hopeful we will be able to take the step forward and cater to bigger brands across India” added Rameshwar Jagdale Co-Founder, The Empire Media