Islamic Branding and Marketing: Creating a Global Islamic Business
Around 25% of the world's population is Islamic, with varying degrees of affiliation and implementation of that religion. While business leaders, academics, and others in the West often think of the Islamic population as concentrated in a handful of nations, especially in the Middle East and South East Asia, the truth is that there are significant Muslim minority populations around the world, from India to China, and France to Japan.
Throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe in Islamic majority and minority countries there is massive business activity, with Islamic trade currently assessed in trillions of dollars.
In terms of global economic power and commercial success, it is becoming clear that Islamic countries are gaining ground on their Western counterparts.
The rising prosperity and spreading population of Islam is, however, only part of the story. From a marketing perspective, the Muslim world would dearly like to develop a plethora of leading global brands, partly as a response to the rise of branding activity in other parts of the world, and also to diversify their business interests and develop greater economic well being.
From the late 1980s, there has been a terrific increase in the number and success of Western held brands. During the 1990s, we saw a competitive response beginning in Asia, with brands from countries such as Singapore, South Korea, India and China making considerable progress in regional and global markets. One reason for this is that the cultivation of intangible assets such as strong brands is seen as an essential feature of a mature, stable national economy.
It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that early signs of branding success from Islamic countries such as those in the Middle East are emerging, and I believe that the next wave of brand development and success will come from the Islamic world. At the same time, the vast potential represented by large Muslim populations everywhere has caught the eye of the multinationals rooted in the West.
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