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Islamic Marketing_A&M Aug 2011 issue


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Islamic Marketing feature story by A&M in Aug 2011 issue where "Challenges and Misconceptions" of marketing to the Global Muslim Community covers my interview.

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Islamic Marketing_A&M Aug 2011 issue

  1. 1. feature: islamic marketing The numbers are hard to ignore. The Muslim demographic accounts for more than 20% of the world’s population at about 1.6 billion and is expected to increase to 2.2 billion by 2030. Perhaps more enticingly, the Muslim market is now valued at US$ 2.1 trillion globally. “The Muslim market represents a significant BEYOND untapped market,” notes Dr Paul Temporal, author of Islamic Branding and Marketing: Creating a Global Islamic Business. “These days, when companies are facing ever stronger competition in established markets and many companies are rushing into high- THE CALL OF profile regions such as China, India and Brazil, DUTY the single biggest market in the world has been largely overlooked. Islamic markets could present a potentially greater opportunity for growth with comparatively little competition from international or local brands.” In Malaysia, where Muslims make up more Worth US$2.1 trillion globally, the than 60% of the population, it is natural for Muslim market can’t be ignored. Gabey marketers to focus on this market segment based Goh finds out how companies can on the sheer volume and value to their business. make the most of their opportunities. THE FUTURISTS Who is today’s Muslim consumer? With an estimated growth rate of US$500 billion a year, what is most notable about this market segment is the fact more than 40% of the Muslim population is under 24 years of age. Meet the “Futurists”, deemed the “next frontier” for marketers. “These youths are proud to be Muslim and are very individualistic. Their viewpoint is: ‘don’t tell me how to be a Muslim, what I choose to embrace is my own thing’. This is a generation of consumers who want to not only engage with brands, but expect much more from them as well,” explains Shazia Khan, associate planning director at Ogilvy Noor, the Islamic marketing consultancy arm of Ogilvy. The young contemporary Muslim consumer is goal-orientated and ambitious, and finding individualistic brands that reflect this zest and drive is appealing. According to Khan, they are frustrated at the current offerings in the market and want brands that are innovative and forward thinking. The traditional formulas do not apply to this group, with research finding it put off by stereotypical portrayals of the Muslim identity. “They want to be engaged and shown advertising that is engaging. It’s not rocket science, but it’s about marketers understanding that it is not what they thought these consumers wanted. It actually puts them off, that extreme attitude, this is a generation that grew up post- 9/11” Khan says. This same group is also sensitive to the heritage of brands, wanting to know if there is a strong mother brand backing a particular offering. Khan says: “This is a very connected and savvy3 0 a d verti s i ng + marketi ng | au g u s t 2011 WWW. MARK E TING-INTE RAC TI VE . C OM
  2. 2. feature: islamic marketinggeneration and you can’t hide from them. How “A halal brand has to additionally factor in themany skeletons do you have in the closet? They values that form the basis of the emotionalwill come out. If you let them down, they knowthey have the power and they are not afraid to triggers in this consumer segment.”boycott your brand.” Jumaatun Azmi – managing director and founder of KasehDia Jumaatun Azmi, managing director andfounder of KasehDia, agrees, adding consumersin this segment make choices that reassert theiridentity as Muslims, and choose products thatare Syariah-compliant. “It can be a highly risky segment if the “Halal must now encompass the whole Haris Ismail, vice-president for brandedconsumer driving this industry is not fully supply chain and meet lifestyle demands of the content at Astro, observes there are two mainunderstood by the brand owner,” she says. Muslims of today, while remaining true to the approaches to Islamic marketing: general Commenting with reference to the halal fundamental religious requirements of halal which brand association, largely the domain of FMCGindustry, Jumaatun says: “While other brands is basically what is permissible according to the products, and Syariah-compliant products,factor in the emotional triggers when creating a Qur’an.” usually from the Muslim manufacturers who willbrand personality and image, a halal brand has deploy the Islamic claim over their additionally factor in the values that form the THE MUSLIM DOLLAR Jumaatun says: “To create a competitivebasis of the emotional triggers in this consumer Izelan Basar, channel manager for Muslim lifestyle brand, the marketer must first and foremostsegment. channel Astro Oasis, notes Islamic marketing is understand the values this market is based on “This consumer is looking for products that fit fast gaining popularity among companies locally, – trust, purity, quality, fair-trade, integrity andinto a ‘halal’ lifestyle and looks beyond just how and this is because of the strong emerging middle transparency.”the meat is slaughtered. class of Muslim consumers. As a proponent of the use of branded content Noor Malaysia iNdex Malaysia iNdex Shurah 121 BrAND INDex Source: Ogilvy Noor/TNS 2010 F&N ramly 136 136 Balqis Colgate 120 115 Ayamas 131 Sari Ayu 112 Nestle 131 Johnson & Johnson 110 Malaysia iNdex Marigold 131 Sunsilk 105 Lipton 137 everyday 131 Biore 104 Alicafe 135 Quaker 1330 Lux 103 Boh Tea 134 Wall’s 130 Pantene 103 Milo 133 Anlene 129 Fair & Lovely 103 Power root 132 Kraft 128 rexona 103 Nescafe 131 Dumex 128 Clean & Clear 102 Yeo’s 131 Maggi 128 Head & Shoulders 101 Peel fresh 131 Yakult 127 rejoice 101 Seasons 130 Knorr 127 Dove 98 F&N 128 Vitagen 127 Nivea 97 Sunkist 127 Fernleaf 127 Darlie 97 Marigold 126 Dutch Lady 127 Body Shop 93 Drinho 126 Magnolia 124 SK II 91 Ovaltine 126 Farm Best 123 L’Oreal 90 Mirinda 126 Pringles 123 Close Up 87 Vico 124 Five Star 111 eucerin 83 Coca Cola 124 Lays 108 Crabtree & evelyn 82 Pepsi 120 Heinz 106 Axe 81 7 Up 120 Nido 105 L’Occitane 80 Beverage Food & dairy PersoNal CareWWW.M A R K ET I N G- I N T ER A C T IVE.C O M au g u s t 201 1 | a dvert i s i ng + m a r ke t i ng 3 1
  3. 3. feature: islamic marketingin reaching this market segment, Haris points tothe recent efforts of Garnier, owned by L’Oréal,as an example of a successful execution. The brand wanted to improve its equityamong the female Malay audience so a dramaseries called Tudung Ekspres was created, whichdepicted the lives of four Muslim women fromdiverse backgrounds and socio-economic status. “Through the show, these characterspersonified the new-age Muslim women whoare modern and progressive in tackling life’schallenges that one faces in a metropolitan city.At the same time they hold true and steadfastto the teachings of Islam and traditional values,”Haris says. The show had success with a cult followingaveraging 600,000 viewers each episode. However, Izelan says companies coulddo more in Islamic marketing because theirinvolvement is limited to using Malay talentsand Malay culture nuances rather than Syariah-compliant approaches. “Perhaps these companies are not readyto embark on Islamic marketing as a strategybecause generally they do not have the processesin place.” However, he notes local companies, whohave embraced this form of marketing, have seen MAY OUR BONDStheir efforts pay off. “We see potential and, in fact, high demand NEVER BREAKfor Islamic products which are currently underrepresented in the market place,” he says. For Izelan, education is the key in findingsuccess, driven largely by the rising population of This Hari Raya let us remember what is truly important. Let us ask forgiveness for the times we weren’t there, and give heartfelt thanks formore discerning consumers who demand better Maxis Mobile Services Sdn. Bhd. (73315-V) the times we were. Let us cherish, deep in our hearts, the bonds that makeproducts which suit the Muslim lifestyle. us strong. As we come home to those we love, let us find true peace. “The marketing fraternity needs to be educatedin Syariah-compliant marketing approaches to SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRIequip themselves with the understanding of howto best utilise Islamic marketing,” he says. Emotional resonance: Brands must find the right frequency with their Muslim consumers New Straits Times: Haris adds: “religion is a delicate topic at the H33cm x W26.1cm (8col)best of times and when involving matters suchas religion, we must consciously be sensitivebecause it is very intricate and you would not “The marketing fraternity needs to be educatedwant to ‘oversell’ or ‘undersell’ something such in Syariah-compliant marketing approachesas this.” to equip themselves with the understanding of Khan notes that to date, it is the FMCG giants how to best utilise Islamic marketing.”such as Nestlé and Unilever that have been themost successful in resonating with the Muslim Izelan Basar – channel manager for Astro Oasiscommunity in their campaigns. She cites Sunsilk’s Lively Clean & Freshshampoo campaign as a breakthrough inspeaking to Muslim consumers beyond the THE RIGHT NUMBER check if an eatery is certified.traditional cues. In the case of Salamfone, Malaysia’s and the Launched in April, its CeO Kamshul Kasim Unilever, which owns the Sunsilk brand, says world’s first Syariah-compliant telecommunications says he saw a need to address a gap in thethe product is the first shampoo to speak directly provider, the tenets of Islam are hard-wired into its the “lifestyle of a tudung wearer”. business and brand philosophy. “We’ve been hearing a lot about Islamic The ad features a young woman wearing For example, as part of its brand promise, it banking and insurance and I thought to myself,a headscarf saying she can now do what she also offers a hotline service to its subscribers – ‘what if we did something similar in the telcowants because she no longer has to worry about Talian Hidayah – where one can call to ask for space?’” says the industry veteran who boastsitchiness, before she goes on to kick a goal in a religious advice, ask for guidance on a particular 25 years in soccer game. fatwa (religious edict) and a halal directory to “Many would ask what’s so halal or haram3 2 a d verti s i ng + marketi ng | au g u s t 2011 WWW. MARK E TING-INTE RAC TI VE . C OM
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  5. 5. feature: islamic marketing CoMMoN ChalleNges CoMMoN MisCoNCePtioNs 1. Developing trust 1. Muslim only purchase during the holy month of Brands have to inform, educate and reassure the consumer about Ramadhan. product quality (and this is where halal certification and Syariah- Incorrect. Muslim consumers are like any other consumers compliance comes in). Having a fully certified halal supply chain who need products and services through the year. Advertisers’ is expected. Simultaneously, being seen to be Syariah-friendly behaviour reflects the misconception, that is, addressing Muslims (through compliance) is equally important. only during ramadhan – giving the impression to others that Muslims only buy during ramadhan and no other time; therefore 2. Islamic values they (Muslims) need not be addressed at other times of the year. The understanding of Syariah values (which the consumer empathises and aligns their life with), needs to be clearly shown 2. Over use of standard symbols such as the arch and in the brand’s communications. crescent moon. Shows a lack of understanding of Islamic culture and leads to 3. Intention alienating Muslims (especially younger ones). Business (as per Syariah) is based on “intention” or “Niat”. Islamic value-based businesses need to ensure value maximisation for 3. The halal mark (and Syariah-compliant) gives a product the community in which it operates. This, in itself, is a paradigm brand identification for the Muslim community. shift in terms of how we know business is done. This particular The halal mark is for Muslims to know the product has complied point of difference needs to be communicated, explained and with required process regulations. It does not do anything other understood by those representing the branding so as to be than support brand activities. communicated to the consumer. Such commitment from an 4. The Muslim consumer is a stereotype organisation has to be led by the CeO and no-one less. It has Previous segmentations of the Muslim consumers have been to be carried out in a rigorous way through many parts of the on the scales of devoutness to Islam. Thus there were either organisation before the marketing and branding process can liberals or conservatives. research by JWT and Ogilvy Noor begin. clearly shows six distinct segments classifying the global Muslim 4. Branding consumer wherein the approach has been to see how religion When an organisation goes in for branding, there is no plays a central role in the life of the Muslim consumer. compromises in sophistication. If the branding is not given its full essence and sophistication, today’s Muslim consumer will not allow us to get away with it and the brand will fail. Secondly, use of emotions conforming within the ethical responsibilities (that the organisation has) must be allowed in the Joy Abdullah – senior consultant at Daily Baraka brand communication. Core Muslim values What they mean for brands Kamshul explains the primary group are Khan adds it goes “beyond the halal certification” Purity Be authentic in word and deed mostly consumers who are ready and accepting when it comes to really resonating with today’s of Salamfone’s value proposition and says what Muslim consumer. “The brand needs to live it.” Honesty Be transparent surprised him most was the numerous queries “The Muslim consumer will ask, ‘what’s your Humility Avoid hubris from non-Muslim consumers. brand story like? Are you reflecting values I share?’ Discipline Display efficiency “When I ask them why, the reply is usually It’s more than a product they are buying into. And Togetherness Be part of the community because they’ve observed how Islamic such values must also be communicated clearly companies practise their business and think that through any brand communications,” she says. Image-consciousness Help project the right image similar approach would apply in our case, which When it comes to the realm of corporateSource: Ogilvy Noor appeals to them,” he says. social responsibility initiatives, Khan draws on the When asked about the challenges the brand following Hadith: “He is most charitable who givesabout a telco provider? It’s not just a matter of faces when it comes to marketing its services, so secretly that his left hand knows not what hiscertification, it’s also getting the concept of the Kamshul says while there are many similarities right hand has given.”business, even our source of funds right, for in Islamic and secular marketing, there are some “The problem is that when brands do it,example we cannot accept money that is tied to distinct differences. they don’t do it well, with advertising campaignsgambling. It is the basic tenets of the company “Our executions would be slightly different shouting about what charitable works they haveand our transactions must be equitable and fair in because we have to work within certain done. That’s off-putting, if you’re doing it, do itaccordance with the rules.” boundaries. With conventional campaigns, you without shouting about it,” Khan says. In addition to being certified as Syariah- could use almost anything, in whatever style you Kamshul agrees, citing the same Hadithcompliant which is annually reviewed, other want. adage when speaking about Salamfone’srequirements the company must fulfil include the “In our case we can’t because once you approach to Infaq (charity).advertising of its pricing. say you are Syariah-complaint, you have to seek For every call made, one cent is automatically “It must be transparent, up front and clearly approval from a committee before proceeding.” put into a separate account for charitablestated.” He admits it remains quite restrictive (“we causes. The brand’s primary audience is Muslim can’t be like Calvin Klein using a tall dark In May of this year, a landslide hit anconsumers 25-55 with its secondary target handsome man showing a six-pack!”), but while orphanage in Hulu Langat in Klang, killing 1617-24. For now, it is focusing its efforts in the limiting in a way, it encourages creativity. people. When the company found out, it madepredominantly Muslims states of Perlis, Kedah Agreeing with Kamshul’s assessment of a rM5,000 donation to the orphanage using theand Kelantan. there being room for creativity, Ogilvy Noor’s funds.3 4 a d verti s i ng + marketi ng | au g u s t 2011 WWW. MARK E TING-INTE RAC TI VE . C OM
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  7. 7. feature: islamic marketingNo to stereotypes: The modern Muslim shuns orthodox portrayals and craves an innovative approach by brands. million,” Kamshul says. However, he admits the situation is evolving and it is only a matter of time before people realise the value of it. FINDING QIBLAH By 2050, more than 60% of the global under-18 population will be Muslim. “research suggests these consumers will keep to their Islamic values and will want appropriate products. Lifestyle products such as fast-food, personal care, fashion, cosmetics, media products, including social media and digital products, are all likely to benefit from this demographic trend,” says author Temporal. It is clear addressing the needs of this consumer group is something marketers can no longer ignore with success determined by not only how well a brand upholds the values of the religious tenets of Islam, but also resonates with those who follow the faith.Giving to the community: Salamfone’s donation to a orphan house, a victim of the recent landslide. With a large global market hungry for compatible brands, KasehDia’s Jumaatun “When it comes to alms in Islam, one should of curiosity are over, with nine telco players now says Muslims, although united by the samenot shout, but in our case we could not avoid in the market. fundamental religious requirements, are alsoit, we had to advertise to show how we were The onus is now on players to differentiate an immensely culturally and ethnically diversedisbursing the funds. The money is not ours and within this crowded space. community.belongs to the consumers,” he explains, adding “Another challenge is convincing our dealer “This poses a challenge to marketers whoadherence to transparency in its transactions was network to promote it, but to mitigate that ongoing must take a different approach in differentalso another requirement. challenge we have gone out and done on-ground geographic areas. The one-size-fits-all approach Moving forward, the brand has a target promotions to sell the brand.” will not work.”of 200,000 subscribers by the end of the year He observes the Muslim market can be seen When asked what advice he would give toand currently promotes its offerings via selected as too niche within his industry. brands looking to enter the Muslim consumertraditional channels such as TV (Astro’s Oasis “For example, we target the Muslim space, Kamshul says: “There’s definitely aand TV3) and print (Harian Metro). population, which is around 18 million people. market, but you have to work doubly hard, as it’s “We feel we are on target in terms of core Take out the very young, the babies and elderly not a free-for-all thing.demographics, but need to increase the stickiness and the number goes down to nine million. Some “You have to stick to the rules and it takesof the brand in the marketplace,” he says, adding don’t care about their telco being compliant so double effort and more creativity to get yourthe days of customers flocking to new brands out really it’s an addressable market of some five product out into the market.”3 6 a d verti s i ng + marketi ng | au g u s t 2011 WWW. MARK E TING-INTE RAC TI VE . C OM
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