Renowned industry expert Dr Jonathan A.J. Wilson shares his top tips and insight on achieving success in the world's fastest growing economy.
What are the pro's and con's of "halal‐conscious consumers"?
Once they trust you, they are so loyal and grateful and they will spend more than most and more regularly.
However before you win their trust, you need a lot of patience and to offer a lot more reassurance and transparency, and that takes time, costs money and will give you grey hairs.
Where in the Muslim economy do you feel there is still undiscovered potential market opportunity?
All of them to be honest - it’s still really early doors. The greatest breakthrough will be when Muslim-owned businesses can scale up and employ large numbers of people, operate in several regions, and proudly assert that their business is founded on Islamic principles from the ground up. Food, fashion, and hospitality and tourism have the greatest potential to engage with people from a variety of backgrounds.
What do you notice as the most common mistake Muslim businesses make in their efforts to attract their target market?
They see people as ethnic groups, or Muslim and nonMuslim and then try to change their approach and way that they build rapport based upon stereotypes and views, which may have no basis. Also, many don’t spend enough money time and effort in their marketing, branding, and PR - and these are the things that will enable them to increase their profit margins by charging a premium and attract wider audiences.
What is the key difference between marketing to Muslim and non-Muslim consumers?
There are some definite deal breakers for Muslims, so you need to take care that you know what they are. They are also very socially connected and move in bigger family units and groups of friends, so you have to be aware of word of mouth, and how to swing it in your favour.
Non-Muslims may have greater expectations in different areas and for example: be less tolerant of some of the wider aspects of business - such as poor customer service; lateness; quality (as they have more choice with things like non-Halal alternatives); reassurance that they are welcome (in much the same way that Muslims want reassurance from non-Muslims that they are welcome too)
Is it possible for HALAL brands to make themselves an appealing proposition to non-Muslim consumers without alienating their core market?
For sure! Look at Emirates Airlines, Honest Chops butchers in Manhattan New York, Saffron Road in Whole Foods, and iEat foods. I guess one of the blue prints and evidence that it can happen would have to be Muhammad Ali.
What is the single biggest secret to attracting the Muslim consumer?
Show them that you love Muslims and you love Islam, and you're there to stand shoulder to shoulder with them - not take their money and run. Present a perspective which shows that you’re not there to judge or preach, but here to serve.
Why should a business get involved in London Muslim Lifestyle Show and how can they make the most of it?London is one, if not the most popular tourist destination in the world - so the world is watching and therefore you have the chance to steal some global media attention at the event. It’s also a good environment to test your ideas and concepts on a diverse sample audience and to get realtime instant feedback - both Muslim and nonMuslim (friendly).
- This is the window into your dreams and the thing that you spend all day every day on. You want people to share your dream, feel your passion, remember you, and share their experiences through word of mouth and social media.
- Get enough sleep in advance and make sure you have enough people on your stand with their best faces on.
- Take photos and selfies, encourage sharing on social media - track this in realtime and respond. Start this activity before the event so that you can build up a following and vibe in advance.
- Think carefully about your pricing - think of this not just as a way to make money, but also as a marketing and promotional investment.
- Find ways to make it easy for people to try what you have to offer and to take a payment.
- Contact people afterwards and say thank you!
- Network with other stall holders.
- Be prepared to grab a media interview - what are you going to say in your 30secs of fame?
Exhibit your brand London Muslim Lifestyle Show 2017. There are a few stalls still available. To enquire complete the form below.
Jonathan A. J. Wilson PhD is Professor & Consultant in the ABCDs (Advertising, Branding, Culture & Digital) and an eminent Halal Market Expert, Speaker & Writer.
Dr Wilson will be attending London Muslim Lifestyle Show 2017.Meet him in the Salaam Gateway Seminar Room.
Entry to the Seminars at London Muslim Lifestyle Show is included in the show entry ticket. 15th-16th April 2017 at Olympia London.