Creating a sense of community
The whole month is about community, but when you can’t be together, how do you create a sense of community? This is a question that brands can step up to, offering solutions to a question which leaves many puzzled.
Technology and social media will play an even more important role than ever. It already rises during Ramadan, especially in the late-night hours post iftar. Typically, people are more positive during Ramadan towards brands anyway. So, this is a great time to build on that.
In 2018, Ogilvy commissioned The Great British Ramadan study, the first known study of its kind looking at the UK Muslim experience of Ramadan. We identified six key trends underpinning Ramadan: spirituality, charity, community, health and wellness, food and drink and celebration. This year, these will still hold, however the weighting of each of these will change as will the manifestation of each trend.
There’s already been a rise in charitable initiatives above and beyond the spike typically seen, from donations to food deliveries. Discussions around spirituality talk of finding the ‘true meaning’ of Ramadan. But of course, there are worries when it comes to finances, anxieties about giving children a Ramadan experience, not to mention, nerves can already be on edge when fasting and close proximity at home could exacerbate that. What will food and drink be like when everyone is at home with no respite from children? And will duties be shared equally between men and women? Perhaps the biggest challenge is how celebration will take place for eid, a similar challenge to that already discussed about creating community when you can’t be together.
Demonstrate brand commitment
Brands must therefore think carefully about where they can be of most benefit and support Muslim audiences. To think about delivering the ‘normal’ elements of Ramadan can be one way, relieving the anxieties of the new situation, or finding meaning and new ways to make the most of the current Ramadan.
It is worth adding that engaging with Muslim audiences is now an imperative part of any organisation’s diversity and inclusion strategy, in particular ensuring the organisation is preparing for when lockdown eases so it is in good shape. To demonstrate its commitment and to be in the best possible shape, engaging with Muslim audiences during Ramadan is a key strategic pillar. It’s the opportunity for your brand to make its mark, in a way and at a time that consumers, Muslim and beyond, will always remember.