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Reaching the American Muslim Consumer
Founder & CEO, Muxlim, Inc.
A niche market of 1.6 billion people globally worth an estimated $1 trillion and $170 billion in the US alone are highly brand loyal and feel ignored by brands. How much would the first mover advantage be worth to companies addressing this market? And what efforts are required to do it successfully?
Being The Brand Of Choice For Muslim Consumers
Some of the most powerful Muslim consumer segments are based in Muslim-minority regions such as North America and Europe. Muslim populations in these countries are professional, educated, affluent and online en masse. Marketers are now recognizing the potential of this underserved market and the real opportunity to garner their loyalty.
US Muslim Consumer Market Opportunity
With the growth of digital media, which is increasingly attracting the affluent Muslim consumer, marketers now have a new and effective channel to engage this lucrative market. With over 150 million Muslims online, digital properties catering to their specific tastes are growing. Nokia alone reaches an estimated 200 million Muslim mobile users globally.
A significant proportion of Muslims online are based in Muslim-minority markets such as the US and Europe who are also the most affluent globally. Market research by JWT has shown that Muslimconsumers in Western countries not only enjoy above-average income and education but are also highly brand loyal and perceptive to advertising that recognizes them as Muslim. JWT has determined that the 6-8 million US Muslims are spending $170 billion a year and 2-3 million UK Muslims are spending £31 billion a year.
One key indicator of the strength of this market in the US is the growth of financial services catering to unique Muslim needs (interest-free, ethically-driven investing, etc. …). In 1987 there were two¹ US financial institutions catering to these needs (Amana Funds, and American Finance House—LARIBA.) Today the US is home to at least nineteen² providers of Islamic banking products and services, including retail banks, investment banks, mortgage companies, investment advisors and community-based finance providers. The largest mortgage services company in this category— Guidance Financial founded in 2002 (with $200 million in home financing available), has today over $1.5 billion worth of homes financed in the U.S.³ Similarly Amana Funds started with $3.2 million in 1987 and today has more than $2 billion in assets.
First mover advantage is the most valuable opportunity for brands interested in this large untapped market. The correct approach to tapping this market is developing a complete strategy with a partner that is well entrenched in this market, not executing short-term tactics or over-using religious identity in marketing messages.
- An untapped niche market in North America rapidly reaching critical mass.
- An advancing untapped global market that is rapidly increasing its consumption of digital media.
- Already attracting many major brands across various sectors (led by Finance, Food).
- An opportunity to be the first mover in building loyalty among this growing market segment.
¹ Islamic Finance in North America: Yasaar Media 2009
² Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance
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Some facts about U.S. Muslim population:
- Islam is among the fastest growing religion in the world and the U.S.
- There are nearly 7 million Muslim with $200 billion buying power
- Projected U.S. Muslim population projected by 2014 is 16 million
- 67% of Muslims are under 40 years old while 67% of adult American population is over 40 years old
- 67% of Muslims have a bachelor's degree or higher compared to 44% of Americans with a bachelor's degree or higher
- 66% of Muslims HH's earn over $50,000 per year and 26% HH's earn over $100,000 per year
- U.S. Muslim represent nearly 0.50% of world's Muslim population and control 20% of total Muslim buying power in the world