Marketing to Muslims: The results speak for themselves

With all this talk of the "new" opportunity to reach Muslim consumers, let's explore a timely example of a brand and retailer doing just that.

With all this talk of the “new” opportunity to reach Muslim consumers, let's explore a timely example of a brand and retailer doing just that.

In August my firm, Hewar Social Communications, partnered with client Saffron Road Foods and one of their retail partners, Whole Foods Market, to proactively reach out to Muslim consumers during the month of Ramadan.

Saffron Road, a new premium natural foods brand, is one of the few Halal-certified brands in the US and one that is making significant inroads in providing Muslim consumers with more convenient places to purchase goods that adhere to their faith's dietary principals.

Our campaign, focused primarily online, sought to increase awareness, drive sales, and connect with Muslims on an emotional level. The outreach resonated with Muslims in a big way, as this was the first time a grocery chain in the US has acknowledged Muslim consumers on a national level during Ramadan.

Although Ramadan is a month-long fasting period for Muslims, spending on food goods during this month rises significantly. Once the sun goes down and Muslims are able to break their fasts, evenings are filled with feasts, often large gatherings among friends and family. Because of this, Ramadan represents a relevant entry point for companies, especially food brands, to begin creating a relationship with Muslims.

From a national price reduction and extensive editorial coverage to sharing tips on how to prepare for Ramadan meals and entertaining, our efforts resulted in sending thousands of new shoppers in stores to purchase the brand. Saffron Road's sales increased by 300% during the month of August alone, putting both Saffron Road and Whole Foods top-of-mind among Muslims.

The results do speak for themselves. Muslims have money to spend and are eager for brands to start a relationship with them. There is simply a strong business case for reaching Muslims; as you plan outreach activities for the brands you represent, how will you reach Muslim consumers in 2012?

Lisa Mabe is founder and principal of Hewar Social Communications. Find her on Twitter at @LisaofArabia.

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