Ogilvy & Mather has launched Ogilvy Noor, a new multidisciplinary practice focused on Islamic branding in partnership with TNS.
A statement from the agency called this practice “the world’s first bespoke Islamic branding practice, offering expert practical advice on how to build brands that appeal to Muslim consumers, globally”.
Ogilvy Noor is led by a team of experts based across Ogilvy’s key Muslim market offices worldwide including Dubai, Pakistan, Malaysia and the UK.
In partnership with TNS, Ogilvy & Mather has also launched a report titled “Brands, Islam and the New Muslim Consumer”, which is based on a two year survey on what drives Muslims as consumers, against the vast backdrop of ethnic, economic, political and religious diversity of the Muslim world.
Researchers looked at Islam through the lens of the tangible effect it has on how lives are lived and how that in turn affects brands and business. The research has identified trends and opportunities that are emerging from the world’s most interesting, dynamic yet controversial “marketplace”.
The Muslim consumer is viewed as a critically important segment for marketers, with the halal segment alone worth US$2.1 trillion, and growing at US$500 billion annually.
The report debunks many of the stereotypes that surround Muslim consumer attitudes towards brands and their marketing communications. For example, halal labels, while important to showcase certification, are no longer sufficient to persuade the New Muslim Consumer that the company behind the product conducts its business in line with Islamic values.
A key part of this report is the Noor Global Brand Index, which is a preliminary exploration of the consumer perception of halal status and Shariah compliance, or relative the ‘Muslim-friendliness’ of certain global brands across the world today.
Miles Young, Global CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, said: “A market of 1.8 billion people that has scarcely been tapped, Muslim consumers offer enormous potential to businesses around the world – but only if their values are fully understood. While there are vast and colorful differences among the populations surveyed, we identified behavioral trends and insights that would be valuable to marketers in developing meaningful relationships with this emerging global constituency.”
In addition, the survey provides insight into Shariah values and how brands can align with them. Significantly, the report sheds light on how these practices are closely aligned with the existing universal ideals of good business practices, such as authenticity and transparency, which have only become more important for global business in recent years.
According to a statement by Ogilvy, this study becomes particularly important given the risk associated with the boycotting of brands in instances where Muslim consumers are alienated.