No faking it
Here’s a statistic to make any marketer sit up and take notice: More than 90% of Muslim consumers say their faith affects their consumption. This is not about how religious these customers are, or how they practice their faith, but rather it’s about the simple fact that the Muslim values that inform who they are also inform how they engage with products, brands and communications.
What does this mean for brands looking to crack that market open? First of all, remember that values that inspire Muslim consumers are applied consistently, across all touchpoints. Muslim consumers have a deep relationship with these values. How they choose their products, from whom they purchase them, how they consume, and whom they spread the word to and with what endorsements. These are all embedded into a continuous cycle that defines what it means to live a Muslim lifestyle.
Therefore, brands must engage with the same consistency, and must build in integrity across all touchpoints and messages. As one Muslim consumer said:
You cannot fake it. We will know.
Technical product specifications, such as whether a food product is halal, must be in sync with how Muslim consumers live their lives. This must be echoed in the way the product and brand present themselves as well. If the consumer detects a false note at any point, the relationship is broken. And with Muslim consumers for whom core Islamic values are key, it can be a long crawl back to forgiveness and re-engagement.
Muslim consumers see themselves as part of a wider community, the ummah—a continuous body that stretches across the entire global Muslim community. In this unique arrangement, Muslims consider it their religious duty to connect with, support, and guide other members, whether they live next door or on the other side of the world.
Being part of the ummah means bearing a responsibility to hold brands to account if there are any worries about the continuity— and therefore integrity—of a brand’s messaging and products. What is said to a Muslim in Europe will echo around the world. Discontinuity in messaging—whether it’s on the shelves or in some piece of eCommerce—will be picked up, notes will be compared, and a brand will be exposed.
The good news for businesses is that it works both ways. The ummah and the individuals within it can act as a vehicle and catalyst of Continuous Commerce for brands that show them consistent respect. In these instances, Muslim consumers see them as one of their citizens and will treat them as part of their respected circle.
What all of this amounts to is a fresh take on Continuous Commerce—one that mirrors the way in which Muslim consumers see themselves as a continuous community. Once brands tap into the power of this idea, they’ll have a consumer who will remain more locked into the purchase journey than anyone responding to a texted discount or in-store promotion ever will.