How to Build a Muslim-Friendly Brand

muslim-friendly brand

Your brand is the lasting impression that your audience has of your company. Your brand includes:

  • your brand style guide, 
  • the tone in your website copy,
  • your tone on social media, 
  • your color palette
  • logo, and 
  • the aesthetic of your website.

According to Business Queensland, a brand is “how your customers recognize and experience your business. A strong brand is more than just a logo — it’s reflected in everything from your customer service style, staff uniforms, business cards, and premises to your marketing materials and advertising.”.

You want to build a perception around Muslim consumers that your company cares about their needs and strives to offer products or services that are in compliance with the Shariah.

According to Oxford Languages, we can define Shariah as below:

“Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet (Hadith and Sunna)…”

Your brand differentiator, which is what sets you apart from your competitors and ignites desire beyond the confines of the brand identity must be Muslim-friendly, to begin with.

No matter which channels your Muslim customers find and interact with your brand – they should all demonstrate the unique Muslim-friendly experience that your brand offers them.

Please also read our 6 Easy Steps Guide to Starting a Business Targeting Muslims!

Create a Muslim-Friendly Brand Strategy

A brand strategy is a long-term plan that will propel you to a successful brand presence and consequently achieve your business goals. Sure, your brand includes your product, your logo, your website, and your name. However, it is far more encompassing and also includes intangible aspects of your organization’s identity.

A well-thought-out and defined Muslim-friendly brand identity is the backbone of any entity targeting Muslim customers both online and offline. This is however even more true for online enterprises that don’t have the physical brand components of brick-and-mortar stores.

Halal Brand Personality

In a previous blog article, How to Create a Halal Brand Personality to Gain Brand Loyalty Among Young Modest Fashion Consumers, we talked about the five components of halal brand personality. 

You will need these to create a brand personality that is perceived as positive and likable by Muslim consumers. Here is a quick summary of those five components:

1. Purity

Purity in halal brand personality is the sincerity that your brand provides to Muslim consumers. 

2. Excitement

When your brand makes Muslim consumers excited, it will increase their engagement and commitment.

3. Safety

If Muslim consumers feel safe with your products they are more likely to develop a high-value relationship and a positive purchasing behavior towards your brand.

4. Sophistication

Sophistication in your product enhances a Muslim user’s personality and insinuates her/his social status as well.

5. Righteousness

Righteousness is the virtue or morality from an Islamic perspective. Righteousness plays an important role in providing confidence to Muslim consumers that they have chosen the right brand.

Muslim Buyer Persona

For an impactful Muslim customer targeting, you need to know who they are as people. What kind of a Muslim person is your ideal target customer? This is highly important given the diversity of Muslims across cultures and backgrounds.

This is why you need a buyer persona that is nothing more than a character profile of your ideal customers. Ask yourself :

  • who are they, 
  • what do they want, 
  • what are their lives like, and
  • what would motivate them to engage with your brand?

All the content you create and market: blogs, white papers, etc. should be written addressing this buyer persona’s pain points and concerns. This will help you target and connect with your targeted Muslim audiences on a more personal, individual level, without having to tailor a different approach for every single customer. 

A simple but accurate example of a buyer persona:

Muslim buyer persona
Source: How to Run a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign to Muslim Consumers

Components of a Muslim-Friendly Brand

Your brand is alive and is composed of a specific combination of moving parts. Top brands make it all seem effortless, but even the most successful of the brands consist of the same six essential factors.

1. Website Design

Your website is usually the first point of contact for Muslim users with your company. In fact, it is the face of your company. Apart from making sure your site is simple to understand and navigate, make sure any imagery does not repel Muslim users. So, avoid showing too much skin, alcohol consumption, etc.

Having said that, make sure that your website does not look like a bazaar somewhere in Tunisia or Afghanistan. Your design elements must be modern and attractive to Millenials and the upcoming Gen Z.

2. Logo

Your logo is the most recognized piece of your brand’s collateral. Your logo provides an opportunity for Muslim customers to automatically associate products or services with your brand.

Unless you are a mosque or a religious organization, you do not really have to make it look Islamic by using crescents or anything of that sort. Just keep it simple and easy to remember.

3. Colors

Your brand colors are very important because human beings are visual creatures. Take Facebook’s medium blue or Twitter’s sky blue colors, they are engraved in our minds so much so that we associate them with those two brands immediately.

For this reason, you want to move away from the typical shades of green used by most Islamic entities and choose colors that make you stand out. Also, if the industry you are in typically uses certain colors, be the rebel and use colors that are completely different.

4. Tone of Voice

What your brand sounds like is very important? Do you want to sound bubbly, intellectual, caring, or a mix of everything? Well, this should fluctuate somewhat between channels (without losing your core message and style).

For example, your emails may be more formal, while your social media may be more casual. That’s totally fine! As long as you are always putting out content that brings value to the audience.

Avoid being vulgar and condescending, or even sarcastic. This goes against Islamic principles and will turn off most Muslims instantly. Always have something nice to say because this is something expected in Islam.

Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good, or keep silent… – Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.

Source: 40 Hadith Nawawi 15

5. Images

We slightly touched on imagery when we discussed the website. As mentioned then, make sure the images you use adhere to Islamic principles.

The images you use, regardless of the platform, should also take into account the four points above. They should, therefore, reflect the tone your brand has set out for itself, follow a color palette, and include your brand’s logo. 

Be systematic in your image selection so that your visual identity is just as strong as your written identity.

6. Domain Name

You must pick a domain name that is well-aligned with the brand itself. It needs to be easy for online users to find. Make sure it is intuitive, helps your customers get access to the information about you without too much hustle.

A domain name needs to be easy to remember and spelled to drive more traffic to your website. Take into consideration the diversity of Muslims in this case too. For example, it is easy for Moroccan Muslims in The Netherlands to remember the name “Bouchra” but internationally Muslim users will remember “Bushra” much more. So instead of www.bouchra.com, use www.bushra.com if you are catering to an international Muslim audience.

Utilize all of the above to create brand consistency because, without consistency, the six components on their own are of little value.

Bringing Your Brand Out

Optimize Your Content

Since the first step of bringing out your brand is creating attractive, valuable content, this is where we start. Content helps you showcase knowledge and industry leadership. The best and most engaging pieces of content are:

  • blogs,  
  • videos, 
  • ebooks, 
  • case studies,
  • analyst reports
  • newsletters,
  • social media posts, and
  • podcasts. 

Not only does your content allow your Muslim consumers to get to know you. When done well, it will make them feel that you care about their needs in a market currently not focusing enough on this fast-growing consumer group.

…offer advice on an issue, provide commentary on recent news events, give a step-by-step guide to solving a particular problem, or just tell an anecdote that your customers will find interesting.

Source: Hubspot

Get Social on Social Media

Engage with Muslim users on as many relevant social media platforms as you are able to without spreading yourself too thin. Don’t just go ramp up the number of followers but really talk and connect with them.

Respond to feedback, answer their questions, and concerns in real-time. Help them resolve a problem. Let them know that your brand values what they have to say and better yet, show that you share the same values whenever possible. 

In a world where everybody is being given a platform to express their opinion about Islam except Muslims themselves, your brand will be a breath of fresh air if you give them a platform to express themselves. It should not be political, but just an expression of their passion, ambition, wants, and needs. This will give your brand an abundance of UGC (user-generated content).

Now isn’t this what social media is all about for brands?!

Advertise Through the Right Channels

We have mentioned this in previous articles, but it is extremely difficult to target Muslims online. Facebook ads and Google ads are not only expensive, but they are also inaccurate. If you have tried Facebook ads, for instance, I am sure you have had a few unhappy non-Muslim people lashing out intolerant comments.

But at least with Facebook you actually witness some of the inaccuracy. With Google Ads, you just close your eyes and hope the right Muslim audience is being addressed.

But why would you do that when over a decade ago in 2010 Muslim Ad Network (MAN) solved that problem for you.

Your brand can effectively target ads to Muslim consumers instantly across thousands of websites and apps with MAN.  Use Muslim Ad Network’s platform – a powerful tool that will save you money, time, and effort. The only platform that gives you access to over 250 million Muslim consumers every month; no guesswork.

If you want your brand to feature on the biggest Muslim-based websites but also on the mainstream’s most powerful websites; think of CNN and ESPN, get in contact with MAN now.

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