Marketing Communications in the Islamic Perspective: Communicating the Halal Branding

Marketing Communications in the Islamic Perspective: Communicating the Halal Branding

Omar Ramzy (Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development, Egypt) and Omar H. Eldahan (Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8139-2.ch007

Abstract

Because the Muslim market is so large, its potential has become a focus of many studies. However, few companies have managed to crack into this huge and lucrative market. This chapter attempts to define the problems and obstacles faced by companies attempting to cover this market and understand where they have failed. Furthermore, the chapter then provides guidelines towards avoiding and overcoming these obstacles while simultaneously turning them into opportunities. In this chapter, it was found that the mistakes commonly made are due to the coding of the messages, the lack of trust of companies, as well as an overuse and degrading of the Halal brand. It also finds that by establishing trust and relationship with the Muslim consumers, as well as by spreading awareness of the Muslim needs and culture among the employees of the company, these issues can be successfully tackled.
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Background

Of all the different countries, cultures, ethnicities, norms and religions, perhaps the one most often misunderstood (and thus communicated with poorly) is Islam. Islam, as with most other major religions, is not merely a religion; it is in fact an entire culture that purveys across the different countries and unifies an otherwise completely diverse and unrelated group of people. This unity despite political, linguistic and social barriers is further strengthened by the prevalence of only one major branch of Islam (Sunni) with approximately 75% of the world’s Muslim population adhering to it. Then why is it that communication with them is often so difficult? One reason is the dual nature of the unity of the Muslim religion and of Muslims themselves; for it can be said that Muslims can have the same and different views about the same words, teachings, and scriptures (Jafari, 2012).

These issues have created large hurdles to overcome, and overcome them we must because the size of the potential market of the Muslim community is huge — it is comprised of over 1.5 billion people world-wide with an incredible $2.1 trillion global market (J. a. J. Wilson & Liu, 2010). This untapped market has increased the demand for expertise and knowledge on Islamic Branding (IB) and has generated entirely new fields of study (Alserhan, 2010). In order to understand this field and to capitalize on the market, the key ideas and beliefs of Muslims must be understood. Many Muslims follow a strict interpretation of Islam banning any product that has to do with alcohol, pork, gambling and other harmful business practices; this stems from the Muslims’ concept of “Haram” and “Halal”. Something that is Haram is forbidden in the Muslim religion and Muslims thusly fear punishment for engaging in such activities. Halal, on the other hand is anything that is permitted or permissible to do in Islam.

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