Research
Ogilvy & Mather launches Ogilvy Noor

Ogilvy Noor is the world’s first multi-disciplinary global Islamic branding practice. And in partnership with TNS,
Ogilvy has also launched a report entitled ‘Brands, Islam and the New Muslim Consumer’, which is based on a
two year survey on what drives Muslims as consumers against the vast backdrop of the diverse Muslim world.

And to help globalised companies better understand the strength of the Muslim voice, Miles Young, Global CEO
of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, will be presenting at the inaugural Oxford Global Islamic Branding and Marketing Forum
Oxford Global Islamic Branding and Marketing Forum.


Below is an extract from an interview with John Goodman, President Ogilvy & Mather South and Southeast Asia.

Where is the center of the Muslim economy? Asia or the Middle East?
It would be undiplomatic for us to say where leadership lies, or if it even should matter.

The Arab world is often considered the heartland of the Islamic faith. Yet only 15% of the world’s Muslims are Arab.
There are more Muslims living across Asia and Africa today than there are in the Middle East. No one country aspires
to take Islamic ‘leadership’ because it is precisely the nature of Islam to view the Ummah, the global Muslim population,
as a coherent group of equal citizens in the eyes of God, regardless of country or region of origin.

Why did you find it necessary to launch a study?
The Muslim world (1.8 billion people) is radically misunderstood by both international and local marketers; to date there
has been no investment into what matters to this group of consumers. Not to do so would be like looking at China in 1991
and saying ‘it doesn’t matter’.

Ogilvy Noor has asked the questions that have never been asked before. Much has been made of the global Muslim
consumer opportunity, but there’s been no instructive guidance as to how to build brands more effectively to this end.
We wanted to cut through all the clutter and provide a clear guide to marketing effectively to the new Muslim consumer,
on their own terms.

What is a Muslim brand?
There is no such thing as a ‘Muslim brand’. Brands do not have religions. Brands can, however, align themselves with
the values of a religion. Within the Muslim context, that would then be called ‘Islamic’ (not Muslim) branding.

The Ogilvy Noor definition of Islamic Branding is branding that is empathetic to Shariah values in order to appeal to the
Muslim consumer, ranging from basic Shariah-friendliness to full Shariah-compliance in all aspects of the brand’s identity,
behaviour and communications. We must stress that brands do not and cannot achieve Shariah-compliance simply by
virtue of originating from a predominantly-Muslim country, of having a Muslim workforce, or Muslim leadership. We believe
any brand from anywhere in the world can achieve a level of Shariah-compliance that makes it more appealing to
Muslim consumers.

What is the economic projection of the opportunity of the Islamic market?
The Economist estimates that the halal market alone (mainly food, beverage and some personal care) is worth
US$ 2.1 trillion a year and is growing at an annual rate of US$ 500 billion. Knowing that Muslim populations
are growing faster than any other, the growth projection of the entire Muslim consumer market including all
categories of consumption is likely to be mind-boggling – and has not, to our knowledge, yet been undertaken.