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Muslim millennials offer opportunities

News, 11 November 2016

SINGAPORE: Muslim millennials are the next big opportunity for brands, according to a new book focusing on the characteristics of this emerging consumer demographic.

Ogilvy Noor, the agency's Islamic brand consultancy, has forecast that the Muslim consumer lifestyle market is slated to reach US$2.6 trillion by 2020, with young Muslim women leading the charge.

Shelina Janmohamed, vice president of Ogilvy Noor and author of Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World, outlined to Warc the way in which this market is set to develop. (For more details, read Warc's exlusive interview with her: The 'next billion' consumers: How brands can engage Muslim millennials.)

For example, Ogilvy Noor's research has revealed that 90% of Muslims make purchase decisions with their religious values in mind, such as halal compliant food and clothing. But Muslim millennials also share similar consumer characteristics to non-Muslim consumers of the same age group.

"(Millennial Muslim women) are becoming more educated, going into employment, getting married later and having children later," said Janmohamed.

"They have greater disposable income. And they are also driving change in gender relations in the public and private sphere."

One thing that sets Muslim millennials apart from previous generations, she suggested, is their outlook on life: faith is very important and close to their hearts and they also deeply treasure modernity. For them, faith and modernity go comfortably hand in hand.

"They see no conflict between the two. In fact, they believe that they should have the best of both," said Janmohamed, adding that Generation M has largely grown up under the spotlight of the War on Terror, as well as the digitisation of their everyday lives.

"Their reaction to the global spotlight on Muslims has been to assert their pride in their faith and to use outward self expression," she observed.

'Generation M' is gravitating towards the spirit and foundations of being Muslim, which in the context of consumer products, can extend to qualities such as sustainable sources, organic certification and ethical practices.

"They have more money to spend, but they also have greater expectations of how brands should be serving them," said Janmohamed.

Data sourced from Warc