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5 tips to stand out from the Ramadan crowd

As Ramadan is coming to a close, we have the opportunity to reflect on the advertising efforts of brands, during this month. Ramadan, which has been likened to both the SuperBowl and Christmas, is one of the most important times in a Muslim marketer's year. Preparation of campaigns can be nine months in advance to the actual month.

Ramadan is a special time of the year for all Muslims. There is not one Muslim that is not touched by Ramadan, in one way or another. It is also a great time for brands to launch new products or re-launch existing products for Ramadan Whilst it may seem easy for brands to market to Muslims during Ramadan, it may be worth thinking more about what can be done in this month to really have an impact.

1. #SameOldSameOld

Many brands often use the same images/symbols and same buzz words in association with Ramadan, from lanterns to silhouettes of mosques. I understand that it is a proven association that consumers have with Ramadan, however, there are many different ways to show or represent Ramadan in your adverts Maybe you could use a young millennial male on his knees, wearing a white religious dress? Or maybe you could have 2 hijabis cooking together in a kitchen, with the sun slightly lowered? Be creative and think outside of the box.

2. #AreYouTayyab?

With Muslim millennials reviving the spirit of Islam, and focussing less on the formal side of the religion, it is important for you to understand that being tayyab (being sustainable and ethical) is important. Tayyab can play a big part in influencing the buying decisions that young Muslims make. Are your ingredients from sustainable sources? Are all members of your supply chain being fairly treated? Are you giving back to communities through the production of your product or with your actual product? Make sure that you can answer these questions to satisfy and influence Muslim youth in their search for answers.

3. #TakeAStand

To avoid being swept up in the usual Ramadan noise, make your voice clear. Incorporate something that your brand stands for, in your Ramadan communications. This shows consumers that you talk the talk AND walk the walk. Whether it be supporting refugees or giving opportunities to single mothers, show your consumers that you are authentic and true to your brand.

4. #AllMonthLong

Many brands and companies release a great Ramadan TVC or digital advert on YouTube and simply leave it at that. However it is not just for one day. It is a whole month! So why are you letting an entire month of prime-time advertising just walk past you? There are many things that you can do to show consumers that you are consistent, from daily iftar freebies, daily Ramadan competitions and much much more.

5. #BeDigital

As digital engagement on social media soars, during Ramadan, your brand needs to be awake. From 12am to 12am, make sure that your brand turns up to consumers' news feeds As they flick through, they may see your product, with your great advert, on Facebook, prompting them to try this new product. Or they may just reconnect with your brand after seeing your awesome Ramadan advert, re-bridging your connection with them. The point is to be seen on social media, all of the time.

6. [An extra important one!] #ImNotArab

Not all Ramadan campaign activity should take place in the Middle east and Asia. There are more Muslims around the world, such as in the UK, USA, Africa and many more places. It is important to think about the many communities of Muslims that exist around the world and understand how each community can be reached in a positive way. It doesn't have to be a lot but something is better than nothing.

I hope these few tips can help you take a different angle next year with a better, more focussed Ramadan strategy that will be sure to wow and convert.

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