Chapter 24: Islam, Consumption and Marketing: Going Beyond the Essentialist Approaches
Özlem Sandıkcı and Güliz Ger INTRODUCTION Islam and marketing are two terms that, until recently, seldom came together. Yet today, there is a burgeoning interest, in both academic and practitioner circles, in understanding Muslim consumers and devising marketing strategies and practices that will enable companies to reach what is now considered to be a highly attractive market segment. One can trace such interest in the increasing number of research articles appearing in scholarly publications; the establishment of a specialist journal, appropriately titled the Journal of Islamic Marketing; the organization of academic conferences and executive workshops in various parts of the world, such as the Contemporary Muslim Consumer Cultures Conference at Free University of Berlin (2008), the International Conference on Islamic Marketing and Branding, Kuala Lumpur (2010), the American Muslim Consumers Conference, New Jersey, USA (2009 and 2010), and the Oxford Forum on Islamic Branding (2010); the production of high profile consultancy reports, such as A.T. Kearney’s Addressing the Muslim Market (2007), JWT’s Understanding the Islamic Consumer (2009), and Ogilvy and Mather’s Brands, Islam and the New Muslim Consumer (2010); the circulation of news stories about Muslim consumers and Islamic brands and businesses in the trade press and popular media, such as the New York Times (Gooch, 2010), Time (Power, 2009), the Economist (2007), Advertising Age (Hastings-Black, 2008), and Euromonitor International (Kasriel, 2008); and the publication of this very Handbook. Accompanying this rather sudden and strong interest is inevitably the question of why? Why is there an interest in...
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