Why Businesses Must Stop Ignoring Black Muslim Consumers
In 2020, the Black Lives Matter protests around the world instigated a commitment among many individuals and organizations to educate themselves about Black history, heritage, and culture – not only to understand racism but to stand in solidarity against it.
As Black History Month is commemorated in the UK this month, it’s important to remember the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement. Outside of the US, the UK had the largest Black Lives Matter protests in the world. These global movements contributed to the highlighting of institutional and systemic racism.
The pressure was put on businesses to take tangible action against racism.
Some brands made their stances clear and others not so much. How important is it that brands incorporate equality? Could you become guilty of denying an audience simply because of the color of their skin? In this day and age ignorance is no longer bliss.
The Reality of the Black Consumer
In 2019 Pepper Miller, president of The Hunter-Miller Group, and Reginald Osborne, principal and multicultural marketing executive at the Van Osborne Group, were presenters at the Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference. Miller and Osborne explored how brands can play a role in addressing social justice issues in the Black American community and the main topic of their discussion was around the concept of ‘woke marketing’.
In an article by ANA, they define woke marketing as “a call to action to business leaders to create and use purpose-driven marketing to do good by creating messages that communicate authenticity and demonstrate empathy and cut through the clutter of messages for underserved communities”.
Black Muslims are part of the largest and longest-standing segment of society in the U.S. that is discriminated against daily. There is therefore increased importance for brands to engage with and understand this audience, taking a more ‘woke’ approach to their marketing.
As a brand trying to target the Black Muslim consumer, it is important that you take the time to understand the perception, characteristics, and differences that are associated with this audience. If you start to take a more realistic approach to your communication then you are more likely to engage them, which will consequently, have a positive impact on your bottom line.
You have to stop ‘reaching’ via the general Muslim market. As a brand, you have to be responsible in your marketing and engage your audiences whilst appreciating their reality. That’s how you create a loyal consumer but also how you become different from the competition.
If you are pursuing a total-market strategy for Muslim audiences you have to start by understanding how the Black Muslim consumer is opportunistic if communicated with correctly instead of defying them through generalization. That’s how you can stay one step ahead of the marketing game.
The Black Consumer Market
In August 2021 McKinsey & Company released an article highlighting how the $300 billion Black American market was being underserved in the United States.
In it, they reveal that,
“… companies may well be missing the chance to cultivate a significant emerging market. With a little ingenuity and deeper analysis, companies may find that serving the Black American consumer will allow them to tap into significant value while contributing to a meaningful economic revival.”
The article also mentions spending by Black households has increased 5% annually over the past two decades. This is a superior growth rate to that of White households (3%).
One of the main reasons for marketers to start recognizing the potential of the Black consumer market according to Next TV is that:
“African-American consumers are making gains and upending outdated stereotypes on multiple fronts from education to income to social media and civic engagement,” the report states, “becoming increasingly affluent, influential and culturally diverse.”
The United Kingdom has seen the Black and minority ethnic population double in the last 30 years and is expected to double again by 2045. This is according to Promota Africa, an agency that specializes in Black and minority markets.
They mention that this market is currently worth £300 billion per annum.
How Your Halal Brand can Connect and Convert Black Muslim Consumers?
Black Consumer Diversity
According to Pew Research, 10% of Blacks living in the United States are foreign-born. Black consumers do not belong to a “homogenous group”. There are many subcultures within the African American community.
As Forbes explains in their article, Why Marketing To Black Consumer Subcultures Matters,
“Heritage matters. And to deny African or Caribbean immigrants that heritage by not representing it in advertising sends the message that your brand subscribes to the false narrative of homogeneity.”
In the United Kingdom, the Black population follows a similar sentiment. Most of those who belong to this group are migrants from Africa or the Caribbean. One must remember that Africa is a vast continent with diverse nations and cultures.
Tip: When targeting Black Muslim consumers make sure you involve every sub-group by highlighting the different cultures in your media.
Black Consumer Preferences
Recent research by Numerator found that Black American consumers are more likely than others to buy from a brand with values that match theirs.
The research mentions that approximately 22% of Black consumers say a brand’s values are important in their purchase decisions which are far greater than the general population, which scores under 18%.
This sentiment is even stronger among the younger generation. Think with Google mentions that 70% of Black Millenials say that they are more likely to buy from a brand that takes a stand on race-related issues.
Tip: Muslims, in general, find values to be very important as it is engraved in their teachings. However, it may resonate even more for the Black Muslim population since they have been on the wrong end of social justice in recent years. So make sure your brand’s social justice campaigns for Muslims include them to maximize its impact.
Early Tech Adopters
According to Refuel Agency, which specializes in select target audiences throughout the United States:
“… 61% of African American adults agree that new technology is “fascinating” to them. Additionally, young Black consumers are 11% more likely than the general population to own a smartphone — 97% of them have them.”
They mention that:
- Young Black consumers are using tech to engage with brands via social media, stream video content, and as a tool for creation and entrepreneurship.
- 66% of young Black consumers stream video content on a regular basis. That is 14% more than the general population.
- 73% of Black Gen Z and Millennials are avid gamers!
Tip: Do you own a high-tech brand or do you do your advertising on high-tech platforms and apps? Make sure you represent young Black Muslim consumers.
Tip: Thinking of getting your halal brand started in the metaverse and NFTs? Be one of the first to represent this group of avid gamers.
Black Passion Points
Collage Group, a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), released a paper called Black Passion Points in May 2021.
Here are some of the passion points they mentioned that are also relevant to Muslims of Black ethnicity:
- Black consumers are most likely to consider themselves stylish or fashionable. They rank first at 46% followed by Hispanic consumers at 40%.
- More than two-thirds of Black consumers express their personality through their appearance.
- Black Americans practice religion more often than other ethnic groups. At 63% they are even further ahead than Hispanic Americans who come in second at 55%.
- When it comes to religious community involvement, Black and Hispanic Americans share the first position at 49%.
Tip: If you are a modest fashion brand you are missing out on some serious potential if your creatives and media do not represent Black Muslim consumers. No other minority group takes style and fashion to heart more.
Tip: Black Americans practice religion at a much higher rate than other ethnic groups. No other religious group practices religion as much as Muslims. Just think of the 5 daily prayers which is the minimum one can do. When addressing Black Muslim consumers make sure that religion and religious rituals are part of the conversation.
Muslim Ad Network has over a decade’s worth of experience helping brands gain more brand awareness and revenue through advertising to Muslim consumers online.
We are ready to answer your questions at any time so feel free to contact Muslim Ad Netwowk today.start targeting muslim consumers