How far has the market progressed for American Muslim Consumers?
Last year Ogilvy Noor participated in the American Muslim Consumer Conference. Our CEO Miles Young was the keynote speaker at the event held in New Jersey, USA. After the conference he commented: “The conference was a huge success, a kind of coming-of-age for the Muslim community here as an economic force.”
This year we’ll be attending again, represented by our Head of Strategy Nazia Du Bois (nee Hussain) from the UK along with Sarab al Jijakli from our New York office. They are both excited to be part of the growing recognition of American Muslim consumers and their needs.
Nazia Du Bois wrote about the needs of the American Muslim Consumer in a white paper “A Little Empathy Goes A Long Way: How Brands Can Engage the American Muslim Consumer.” It provides a great backdrop coming into this year’s conference and our thoughts and guidance on how brands should tackle this flourishing segment.
“Ogilvy Noor research reveals that 86% of American Muslim consumers believe that American companies “need to make more of an effort to understand Muslim values,” but at exactly the same time they are feeling largely ignored by American brands and companies, with 98% feeling that American brands “don’t actively reach out to Muslim consumers.” This despite these consumers showing the potential to be an extremely loyal customer base, with over 80% saying that they would prefer to buy brands that support Muslim identity through promotion and celebration of religious festivals, for example. And it’s not just that these are great consumers to have on your side — it’s also that they can be potentially vastly damaging to have against you. When faced with a brand that has offended Muslims, almost 99% of consumers said that they would stop using it, 65% doing so even if the available alternatives were not as good. To make matters even more alarming, a full 83% feel it is their responsibility to inform all their friends and family of what they know of the brand’s behavior. At Ogilvy Noor, we believe the best and, indeed, only way to avoid such a situation is to start with a deep and thorough understanding of Muslim consumer values and of how these values affect daily consumption behavior. Only with this kind of empathy can brands begin to appeal to Muslim consumers on their terms, whether global or American. Almost 75% of our respondents want brands to “make Muslims feel like an integral part of the wider community, not a marginal group.” American Muslim consumers feel a deep need for inclusion in the fabric of American life, especially in such troubled times, and believe that brands and corporate America have a responsibility towards promoting that inclusivity.”