A Research institution, Nielsen Indonesia, has projected that sales of fast moving consumer goods during the Ramadan month and Eid Fitri will increase by a minimum of 10 percent, as against the same period last year. The consumption increase will be boosted by rising price and consumer purchasing power. This is coming on the heels of calls by concerned individual for foodstuff and consumer goods traders to maintain stability in prices during the Holy month of Ramadhan. In other parts of the world, Ramadan fair exhibitions are held, such exhibitions have been held in Tunisia and United Arabs Emirate respectively.
For brands that are savvy enough to court Muslims while the market is still mostly untapped, Ramadhan offers a timely and relevant opportunity to key into the minds of consumers. Ramadhan is an ideal time for brands to acknowledge Muslim consumers, through far reaching programs that will remain in their minds for a very long time to come because this month offers the most brand-building opportunities in the world.
Ramadhan is a period of introspection for Muslims, a time to better observe Islamic teachings, appreciate your blessings and be moved to action by the burden of others. In short, it’s a month of narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor. For the halal industry, it’s a merger of faith, food and for Shariah-compliant hotels, a merger of faith and hospitality. Ramadhan offers the most brand-building opportunities through strategic advertising and public relations exercises such as sponsoring Ramadhan talks and Azans; launching of new products, donations to mosques and orphanages, as well as corporate gifts to clients. It is worthy to mention that Ramadhan is the most appropriate time to connect to more customers.
The halal food producers ought to come alive during Ramadhan as they introduce new product lines and menus under their brands. It would be interesting to see these food companies setting up a competition for favorite recipes of their customers and include the winning entries in the company’s offering.
It is about opening a lead to customers who may have felt “food deprived” obviously, the logical significance of such events is that such “food shows” sponsored by companies with vested interest has a direct benefit because, such demonstration for Muslim food lovers is to guide them on healthy eating habits, share innovative recipes and most ideally, cooking methods which promote weight loss during Ramadhan and still uphold the spiritual essence of the time
In another perspective, Ramadhan offers the ultimate brand-building platform for restaurants, Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) but they must first think outside the box to create a festive Ramadhan ambiance over and above the decorative ornaments and lighting effects. More importantly, because the Ramadhan atmosphere is just as celebrative for Muslims as Christmas is for Christians or Diwali for Hinudus, the responsibility is on the halal food providers and hotels to make Ramadhan a joyous celebration and the first of Shaawal, a season to be happy for the Muslim Ummah at large.
Islamic hospitality is an important essence of the religion and can be made manifest during Ramadhan where Shariah-compliant hotels will think of collaboration to showcase the variety of halal food products and Iftar feasts as seen in Europe and most Muslim countries as well as offer premium-priced suites at benevolent rates to ride on the Ramadhan campaign. They must engage the customer by involving them in the process of meaningful dialogue beyond the commonly used focus groups discussions.
Generally speaking, a lot is expected from brand operators at this crucial period as a way of solidarity, by associating with those whose patronage is key to the existence of their brand as a way of saying thank you customers, for the many years of patronage and the years ahead.