THE STERLING work being done by Ogilvy PR’s Singapore and London teams on Islamic branding is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
BBC’s flagship Radio 4 radio station dedicated a huge slot this week to OgilvyNoor, our specialised service for products tailored to Muslim sensibilities.
OgilvyNoor’s one-woman powerhouse in Singapore is Miss Q Akashah and she has notched up a string of massive media hits since signing the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation as a client last month.
Q and her team in Singapore’s PR office are now working towards even greater success when the World Islamic Economic Forum event takes place in Iskandar, Malaysia on December 4. The event will act as a huge gathering point for Western companies looking to build their businesses in Muslim countries, especially in the wake of the recent Arab Spring.
In London, OgilvyNoor senior strategist, Shelina Janmohamed, took what can sometimes be a complex issue and conveyed a crystal clear understanding of Muslim marketing for listeners of the programme.
She said: “When we spoke to Muslim consumers, 90 per cent of them said that their faith influences their consumption. And that is the starting point for understanding who Muslim consumers are.
“There are around 1.8 billion Muslims around the world and they spend US$2.1 trillion across the Halal economy, of which around US$500 billion is spent on food and Halal-related products. But actually it’s much wider than that. It also encompasses fashion, beauty, travel, finance and personal care.
“There are a wide range of products that Muslim consumers are saying they would like the values that bring them together from their shared faith imbued in the products and the communications which support them.”
She added that the secret of OgilvyNoor’s success had been its deep understanding of Muslim consumers in different parts of the network, clearly reflecting the benefits of the Singapore-London axis.
“Muslims live all over the world,” she continued. “There are Muslims in majority countries, in the Far East and the Middle East, and there are Muslims in minority countries, and one of the great mistakes that people make is to equate, for example, that all Muslims are Arabs and all Arabs are Muslims. Actually that’s far from the case.
“Sixty per cent of Muslims actually live in the Asia Pacific region, but there are also substantial minorities. There are two million in the UK and in the US we have more than seven million. So, marketers have to be really conscious about the cultural context that they are going into.”
She added: “The entire principle of an agency like OgilvyNoor is that there are faith values that bind all of these Muslims together.
“But even more interesting is the younger demographic. Around 42 per cent is under 25 and they are really brand conscious and they see brands as part of their trusted circle. And what we talk to brands about is how they become part of this trusted circle, part of the community which that young person is part of.”