DinarStandard’s 4-Step Muslim Market Strategy framework guides new and existing companies in implementing an effective Muslim market growth strategy. Below is a brief description of each of the steps.
Step 1: Market Sizing
Evaluate if the Muslim market potential is sizeable and relevant to the markets in which the company is operating or plans to operate. For example a travel company in Spain needs to determine whether there is a sizable number of Muslim travelers visiting the region in which it operates. It should also address the potential of what Spain has to offer Muslim travelers: Islamic heritage sites, Halal food, family-friendly atmosphere, etc.
Step 2: Key Themes to Consider
In order to determine your strategy, identify the key trends and opportunities specific to your sector. For example some of the trends in travel include an increasingly growing middle class, increased digital connectively, and rise of socially responsible travel. Some of the opportunities include a growing demand for Muslim-friendly resorts, convergence with other travel sub-sectors or other Islamic economy sectors, and the rising middle class, especially in South East Asia.
In determining your strategy, consider current trends and opportunities and decide what themes you will focus on. For example, will you focus on accommodating the basic needs of Muslim guests, in terms of Halal food, and travel spaces; or will you go a step further and offer gender segregated activities by providing separate pool and spa facilities for men and for women. You will also need to consider how you will accommodate both Muslim and non-Muslim clients.
Step 3: Customization Strategy
In developing your strategy, you will need to determine how far you will customize your product or services for the Muslim market. You have the following options:
Level 1: Mainstream (no customization): This is a “do nothing” strategy in terms of customizing for the Muslim market. Depending on the type of product/service you offer and where you are based, there may not be a need. Examples of companies in the travel industry that provide no customization and yet are used by Muslims are: Trip Advisor, Avis car rental, Europcar.
Level 2: Unique Media Access: This level of customization focuses on engaging the Muslim audience by using media channels that are targeted towards Muslims. However, the message is not customized to Muslims.
Level 3: Unique Messaging: In this level of customization, you will target Muslims through targeted media channels, coupled with unique messaging that addresses their values. Examples include Burger King ads in local publications and TV commercials wishing Muslims happy Ramadan.
Level 4: Mainstream Product Extensions: This involves developing a new product within an existing brand that addresses unique Muslim requirements. Examples of that include clothing manufacturers, such as DKNY, that produce a line for Muslim women; another example is Sunsilk shampoo for Muslim women who wear a headscarf. Travel related examples include airlines offering Halal food options, special ‘Islamic themed travel packages.
Level 5: Unique Branded Products: This is the highest level of customization. It requires a whole new product line or business unit to be created to address unique Muslim product needs. Examples include hotel brands such as Sofyan Hotels in Indonesia or De Palma Group of hotels in Malaysia that market themselves as sharia compliant. Their kitchens are Halal certified, they have large prayer rooms and conduct congregational Friday prayers, and all female staff wear Islamic clothing.
Step 4: Marketing Strategy
Once the market customization strategy has been determine, you will need to plan a marketing strategy that aligns with your customization efforts. Below are key areas of consideration:
Channel strategy: Determine the media channels you will use. Consider using targeted channels that include local media, religious media, in addition to other Muslim lifestyle channels.
Unique communication strategy: Customize your messaging to appeal to Muslim values, needs and sensitivities. Also consider ethnic nuances.
Market positioning: The most important aspect of marketing to Muslim consumers is appealing to their values with sincerity. Companies in each industry sector should also carefully decide what to name the sector (taking in consideration both the industry’s and consumers’ perspectives) and consider standardizing the term across the industry.
The above 4-step Muslim market strategy framework serves as a general guideline for companies targeting Muslim markets.
For tailored recommendations that correspond with your company’s unique needs, contact us to schedule a complimentary Marketing Strategy Consultation.