5 Myths About Targeting Muslim Consumers You Must Leave Behind Today

Targeting Muslim consumers is starting to heat up as a trend with more and more mainstream brands and companies finding ways to engage Muslims. With diversity and inclusion marketing becoming more prominent, the expectation is that targeting Muslims is going to take off even faster in the coming years.

With that in mind, many mainstream and Muslim brands are rushing in and at times make mistakes. To help make that journey easier for companies and brands, here are 5 well-established myths we debunked.

1- All Muslims Have the Same Perception of the Ads They View

Studies have shown that Muslims have different attitudes towards advertising compared to followers of other faiths. This makes Muslim audiences an especially complex group of consumers to target. 

For instance, a study titled, “The Ethics of Marketing in Islamic and Christian communities: Insights for Global Marketing” raised the point that Muslim consumers have a higher level of negative attitude towards “ethically objectionable” promotional images compared to Christian consumers.

When comparing Muslim consumers to those practicing Buddhism, Christianity, and non-religious beliefs such as Confucianism and Taoism, researchers found a “statistical distinction” between Islam and the other faiths that they studied concerning their views of ethical advertising.

Muslim consumer diversity, of course, goes beyond just attitude towards unethical advertising. In a previous article, “How Mainstream Brands Can Identify and Serve Muslim Niche Markets” we mentioned that it is extremely important to research your Muslim audience to understand their needs, goals, motivations, frustrations, and expectations.

You are not serving one homogenous halal product that every single Muslim will want to buy or find interesting. So why would your advertising approach towards Muslim consumers be monotonous?

Religious, cultural, national, generational, diversity means the message you send out as a brand needs to be tailored to the exact Muslim buyer persona you have in mind.

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

In a digital-consumer world, you might also want to find out “How to Influence the 3 Types of Online Muslim Consumers”.

2- Just Add ‘Halal’ to the Mix and Muslim Consumers Will Come Running

No, no, and no! 

You will not be able to attract Muslim consumers just by adding some halal components to your advertising like a sister wearing a hijab or a crescent.

You will also fail miserably if, for the entire year, your brand does not engage Muslim consumers and you suddenly pop up during Ramadan with a corky advertisement.

We’ve seen plenty of examples of big brands repelling Muslim consumers by not understanding their values. They end up offending them through their ill-prepared campaigns.

Their campaigns, feel like temporary capitalization of a seasonal opportunity like Ramadan for example. A brand that has a look-and-feel that one is used to all of a sudden looks like the inside of a mosque. This makes the Muslim consumer feel like they are being taken for a ride and that the brand does not really care about the Muslim consumer….

Source: The One Reason Every Brand is Failing to Capitalize on the Muslim Consumer Market Effectively

3- Muslim Consumers Will Love Me Because I am Also Muslim

Before you have to find out the hard way, please continue reading.

In our article, “7 Hard Truths You Will Face When Targeting Muslim Audiences” we highlighted that despite mainstream brands having constantly disappointed Muslim consumers, they are well established and have the trust of Muslim audiences.

Maybe not to look after their interest but at least to deliver good quality products and services. This is even more true when they compare those brands to Muslim businesses that are new in the market. 

You may also struggle to market to Muslims for the sole reason that Muslims are so diverse in culture and level of practice of the religion. Your perception of the world as a Muslim may not be the same as the Muslim audience you are targeting. This is why you need to be methodical when communicating with Muslims through your marketing.

4-  Muslims Don’t Have Expectations of Inclusion from Mainstream Brands

Yes, there was a time when this was true. This was during another generation when most Muslims were first-generation immigrants. Today, Muslims have become more conscious of their Islamic identity and its place in the mainstream world.

A staggering 66% of Muslims globally are under the age of 30. These young people are looking for brands that understand their values and can help them fulfill their aspirations as Muslims. 

They expect brands to offer them opportunities to express themselves beyond the stereotypes.

This summer (2021), the founder of Henna and Hijabs -Hilal Ibrahim- partnered with Nordstrom for the store’s first designer hijab line. What caught my attention was not her successful entry into the mainstream fashion world but what one of her customers said on film while at the Nordstrom store launch.

She said that it was wonderful to be at the store and see the line of hijabs. It made her feel normal, that she belonged there too. The sense of belonging may be key to Muslim consumers choosing your brand over others.

5-  Reaching the Right Muslim Audience Online is Too Complicated

On the flip side of point #2, some think it’s just too complicated to target Muslims online. So what they do is settle to advertising on Google, Bing, and Facebook with the hopes of fishing out some Muslim consumers from the crowd.

This approach is expensive, time-consuming, and ineffective. Of course, you will land a few customers here and there but you will never reach your true potential for your product or services.

Yes, as we mentioned earlier, the Muslim audience is unique and complex and so it needs thorough preparation and know-how for you to engage them efficiently.

This is where Muslim Ad Network is crucial for targeting Muslim consumers online. Muslim Ad Network has been specializing in targeting Muslim consumers for over a decade now. Way before targeting Muslim audiences was even a thing.

Whatever you are thinking of trying, Muslim Ad Network has already put it to the test and knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes to digital marketing to Muslim consumers online. Having served over 1 billion ads globally, we invite you to contact us to help your business start engaging with Muslim audiences and converting them into customers today.

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